(AFP) – Jun 18, 2008
TORONTO (AFP) — The Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association have reached an agreement to buy out the contract of Spanish forward Jorge Garbajosa.
Garbajosa, who was owed 4.25 million dollars on the final year of a three-year, 12.75 million-dollar contract, was released by the team on Wednesday.
"After a long, difficult and sometimes emotional process stemming from a traumatic injury to a key player, it was concluded that parting ways was the best thing for both Jorge and Raptors organization," Toronto general manager Bryan Colangelo said.
"We wish Jorge nothing but the best with his basketball future."
Garbajosa, 30, was limited to just seven games in the 2007-08 season while recovering from a serious leg injury.
Garbajosa was hurt at the end of March in an NBA game against the Boston Celtics, but opted to forego surgery in order to play for Spain in EuroBasket 2007.
The Raptors had originally denied the 29-year-old permission to play in the tournament because of the injury concerns.
Although the club said that surgery was Garbajosa's "best option" for a full recovery, they reached an agreement that let him play in EuroBasket, with the Spanish Basketball Federation taking out insurance on him.
Garbajosa ended up having surgery in December - after the NBA season had begun - with doctors telling him to stay off his feet for a minimum of 10 weeks.
The Raptors also said Wednesday they had reached a settlement with the Spanish Federation over the claim filed by the Raptors in connection with non-payment of insurance proceeds related to Garbajosa's injury.
"We are pleased that an acceptable resolution was reached and we can finally put this behind us," Colangelo said.
Spanish national team coach Aito Garcia Reneses has included Garbajosa's name in his pool of players for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but it was uncertain whether he will play.
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