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NBA

NBA: Usman Garuba set for Houston Rockets dream move

The young Spanish player has reached an agreement with Real Madrid and will soon officially announce his leap to the world's top league.

Update:

It's now official - Usman Garuba is set to play in the NBA. The young Spanish player has reached an agreement with Real Madrid to leave the club, freeing him up to play in the best basketball league in the world. The teenage power forward, who is just back from competing in his first Olympic Games with Spain, was the No.23 pick in the last draft. All he needed was to agree terms with Madrid, who could have decided to keep him, but instead, perferred to reach an agreement with a promising young player who now has the chance to realise his dream of playing over the pond.

Now or never for Garuba

As Diario AS recently reported, the 19-year-old had three years left to run on his contract with Madrid, a deal which was due to run out in June 2024. This year, his buy-out clause was set at 3 million euros, rising to four million next year, then five million within the next two years. But to able to realise a dream move to the NBA, he needed to leave now... or wait three years - by which time he would be 22 and perhaps he wouldn't be facing the same opportunity. Madrid accepted that Garuba could pay his own buy-out in installments (the player's agents wanted it to be paid over five years) and his departure for NBA .

Garuba's position in the draft will determine his salary during his first two seasons in the NBA - the first two will be guaranteed for a rookie at four million dollars before tax in total; he would have earned a million more if he has been selected five places higher. There are fiscal benefits in Texas - probably one of the most advantageous for basketball players, who can receive over 60% of their gross salary as net. Now we must wait and see if the franchise offers an additional 20% rise to his salary, the maximum allowed which would see him earning 4.8 million gross. It's a habitual practice which clubs tend to do tied to performance-related bonuses. The franchise can also contribute up to 775,000 dollars to help to free him from his current, international contract  in line with league rules.

Garuba is set to play in the NBA, but Madrid will retain his economic rights. And in the event of him returning during the next two years, he would maintain the contract he had in place with the Liga Endesa club, until 2024. It's a agreement that suits everyone but especially the player, who has always dreamt of playing in the NBA.

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