Somewhat silenced in the hectic shuffle of Portland Trail Blazers franchise star Damian Lillard requesting a trade, the Blazers are reportedly pursuing a center to add to their guard-heavy roster.
The Blazers offered 7-foot-2 Real Madrid center Edy Tavares, 31, of the EuroLeague a multi-year contract, BasketNews’ Donatas Urbonas reported yesterday.
Stipulations in Tavares’ contract with Real Madrid make an immediate move to the NBA costly for the franchise that signs him, Urbonas reported.
The biggest obstacle to the deal is the massive buyout clause imposed by Real Madrid, which was included in a five-year contract signed in 2019.
Per BasketNews sources, the NBA buyout for Tavares is even higher than the €6M that Facundo Campazzo had to pay in 2020 to secure his move to the Denver Nuggets.
The more than 6 million euros required for a buyout is equal to over $6.5 million in U.S. currency. If Portland wants to avoid that extra price tag, Tavares’ contract is set to expire in one year, so the Blazers could sign him with no buyout needed in the summer of 2024.
Since the 2017-18 season, Tavares, who is from Cape Verde, has played with Real Madrid, which plays domestically in Spain’s Liga ACB and internationally in the EuroLeague. In the 2022-23 EuroLeague season, Tavares averaged 9.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 2.2 blocks, while shooting 67.2% on 2-pointers. Perhaps most notably, Tavares was named the league’s best defensive player for the third time, setting a EuroLeague record with 76 blocks in one season. He was also named to the All-EuroLeague First Team for the third consecutive season.
Tavares’ success continued in the postseason, as he helped Real Madrid win its second EuroLeague title in five seasons. On a roster featuring former Blazers Rudy Fernandez, Sergio Rodriguez and Mario Hezonja, Tavares won Final Four MVP.
Prior to his time with Real Madrid, Tavares was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks with the No. 43 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. Tavares logged 13 appearances in the NBA, playing in 11 games with the Hawks in the 2015-16 season. Tavares appeared in one game with Atlanta and one game with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2016-17 season. Through his 13 career NBA appearances, Tavares averaged 2.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks in 7.8 minutes per game.
According to Urbonas, “Tavares is eager to test himself in the NBA again.”