With the Houston Rockets still having roughly $9-10 million in cap room and a need for some help at point guard, many have speculated that this may finally be the time that Spanish league star Sergio Llull comes to Clutch City.
Not this year. The Rockets will not be signing him this offseason, a source confirmed to ClutchFans.
It remains unclear how much interest Llull has in coming over to the NBA. The Rockets felt very good about their chances of bringing him over last season but he declined their deal at a late hour, opting instead to sign an extension with Real Madrid through the 2020-21 season. It was reported that the NBA buyout clause in his new extension was friendlier to him than it was in his previous deal.
The 6-foot-3 combo guard was drafted by Denver with the 34th pick of the 2009 NBA Draft. His draft rights were sold to Houston that night for $2.25 million in cash, a record at the time for a second round pick.
As far as identifying talent, the Rockets did well as Llull has thrived overseas. He is a strong pick-and-roll guard who loves to play in the open court, which would make one think that a Mike D’Antoni system would be a draw. He’s a career 38-39% three-point shooter, though he has been less effective from distance the past two seasons. He’s passionate about the game, having a flair for the dramatic and a penchant for game-winning shots.
It will now be a minimum of eight years from the time Houston drafted him to the next shot they have at getting him over, and even Arvydas Sabonis thinks that’s a bit long. That raises the question about whether the Rockets will ever bring over the 28-year old guard.