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Mavericks’ Rudy Fernandez signs deal with Real Madrid

Sep 20, 2011, 10:56 AM EDT

Spain's Rudy Fernandez drinks chapmpagne Getty Images

This should not come as a surprise to anybody. After Rudy Fernandez spent all of last summer trying to get Portland to release him so he could return to the Spanish League, he has used the lockout to return to the Spanish League. Probably should have seen that one coming.

What we told you was going to happen a month ago is now official — Fernandez has signed a deal to return and play for Real Madrid during the NBA lockout.

Of course, this deal has an opt-out clause so he can return to the Dallas Mavericks when the lockout ends. What is different is it also paves the way for him to return to Real Madrid next season when his NBA contract ends. The Mavericks traded for Fernandez at the draft, because he is an upgrade at the backup guard spot over Peja Stojakovic, but they had to know it would be hard to keep him.

Fernandez just got done playing for Spain as they won the EuroBasket title and earned an Olympic berth for next summer.

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