May 17, 2012, 9:02 AM EST
For the past couple summers, Rudy Fernandez has had the Real Madrid card in his back pocket.
Two years ago he tried to get Portland to release him so he could go play for the Spanish powerhouse, but that wasn’t happening. Instead they traded him to Denver. Fernandez played for Madrid during the lockout, but returned to Denver only to need back surgery that kept him out most of the season.
Now he is a free agent and he is trying to use Madrid for leverage to get a better deal. At least that’s what it sounds like in an interview with Spanish site TuBasket.
“We’ll see if the Nuggets make a good offer to me or not.”
The rumor last summer was that Fernandez made a multi-year handshake agreement with Madrid, but his contract had to allow him to come back to Denver if the lockout ended so the extra years could not be formalized. Now he just sounds like a guy looking for the most money.
Fernandez says in the same interview it is possible he will be healthy enough to play for Spain in the Olympics. However, players are usually poor judges of when they will return and he is expected to be out. We’ll see.
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