Edy Tavares addresses future with Real Madrid, admits the NBA is in his mind

2023-08-07 18:30

As long as Edy Tavares and Real Madrid don't reach an agreement on a contract extension, the big man from Cape Verde will keep exploring his options. That was made apparent during the player's recent interview with Relevo.

Credit: Erikas Ovčarenko/BNS
Credit Erikas Ovčarenko/BNS

As most EuroLeague teams are adding the finishing strokes to their rosters ahead of next season, Real Madrid still have some loose ends to take care of.

Having signed Facundo Campazzo, the EuroLeague champs have been trying to lure Edy Tavares into a contract extension that is set to keep him in the Spanish capital beyond 2024, when his current deal expires. According to multiple reports, Los Blancos seem reluctant to raise the financial bar too high (up to 5 million euros gross or 3.5 million net per season), especially if the player won't agree to a long-term commitment.

Tavares himself also appears reluctant in view of negotiations that have stalled for quite some time. 

"I don't know if I'm going to renew with Madrid," the giant from Cape Verde told Relevo's Julio Ocampo.

"The truth is that I'm on an expiring contract, and I don't know what to tell you. Yes, I hope we agree, but the dream of the NBA is there too. I'm not going to deny it", he pointed out this past weekend after losing with Cape Verde against China in the semifinals of a friendly tournament in the Italian town of Trento.

According to BasketNews, the Portland Trail Blazers would be trying to convince him to cross the Atlantic in what would be his second NBA stint, after tallying 12 games with the Hawks and one with Cleveland in 2016. It's still unclear whether Tavares will stay, even though as time goes by, his NBA chances wane.

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.

"If I stay, fine, but if I don't, nothing happens. I've said many times that I'm thinking about the NBA, but you have to analyze everything," he added. 

"Everything is up in the air, but that doesn't worry me. I'm concentrating on the World Cup with my team and then I'll try to enjoy every second with my club until the last game."

In the 2022-23 EuroLeague season, Tavares averaged 9.3 points (67.6% 2P), 6.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 2.2 blocks, and a performance index rating (PIR) of 18 in less than 25 minutes per game.

Before last season started, Tavares had told BasketNews that a possible return to the NBA wasn't among his plans. 

"I always try to focus where I'm at. Now I'm very comfortable at Real Madrid. I'm developing a lot as a player, enjoying basketball. Whatever comes, it will come later, but now I am focused on helping Real Madrid to the best of my abilities," he said. 

Referring to his limited NBA opportunities, he pointed out that the Hawks didn't trust him as much as he wanted. 

"I was practicing and sweating, trying to prove that I could play and have a place there. I haven't been as lucky as Rudy Gobert, who ended up in the Utah Jazz that trusted him from the beginning.

I was unlucky enough to get into a bad team. I was in Atlanta that didn't compete for the playoffs, and the coach didn't trust me that much either. It's not just a question of timing or the time period. I just didn't have a chance."

He also admitted he felt uncomfortable in the NBA.

"All the players want to practice, and then look forward to playing. You're not there to practice all the time and never play. So, you end up getting frustrated and not liking basketball so much because you feel like you can't take that step further to be able to play, or prove that you can be in this league."


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