Oct 25, 2011, 9:52 AM EST
Serge Ibaka has been courted by a number of Spanish teams recently — he became a Spanish citizen (he played there before coming to the NBA) which means he doesn’t count against a team’s foreign player limit. That makes him highly prized.
Ibaka has agreed to play for Real Madrid during the lockout, the team confirmed (via Sportando). This is a two month deal, which likely would be extended if the NBA lockout drags on. It does have an NBA opt out so Ibaka could return to the NBA should the lockout end in the next two months.
Ibaka, the Oklahoma City big man known for his defense, did play for the Spanish national team at EuroBasket, coming off the bench to back up the Gasol brothers. Spain won the European championship and with it got a 2012 London Olympics bid.
Ibaka is primarily a defensive force in the NBA, leading the league in blocked shots last season. He starts along side Kendrick Perkins, giving the Thunder a very defensive minded front line.
- Rumor: Ray Allen leaning toward retirement, not return 0
- Josh Smith makes Rockets debut, throws down two-handed dunk (VIDEO) 7
- Carmelo Anthony on the Knicks: “The fans are dying, we’re dying” 16
- Rockets officially sign Josh Smith, who will play Friday night; waive Tarik Black 6
- Clippers win ‘nice, boring’ Christmas Day battle with Warriors 1
- Miami fans give LeBron warm welcome, Heat team not so much in upset win 24
- Russell Westbrook inspires Thunder to skid-stopping win over Spurs 8
- LeBron James, Stephen Curry leading in early All-Star voting returns 30