Potential first-round pick Walter Tavares has signed a three-year extension with Gran Canaria of Spain, the Spanish ACB league officially announced (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). It’s unclear what kind of NBA escape clauses there are in the deal, but it’s something of an about-face for the Andy Miller client, who had reportedly been moving toward a buyout from the club.
The 7’3″ Tavares is the 33rd-ranked prospect in Jonathan Givony’s DraftExpress listings, and he’s No. 39 with Chad Ford of ESPN.com. Still, several NBA executives told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports earlier this month that the 22-year-old has a strong chance to end up in the first round, and some teams with picks in the 20s had been planning to bring him in for a workout, according to Wojnarowski. The Celtics, whose last pick is No. 17, auditioned him Wednesday and measured his standing reach at 9’10”, the best they’ve ever seen, tweets Baxter Holmes of The Boston Globe. The Pacers, who traded their first-round pick, and the Heat, who pick 26th overall, have also worked him out in the past few weeks.
An NBA team may end up drafting him highly to secure his NBA rights while he continues to play overseas even if his contract wouldn’t let him come stateside anytime soon. He averaged only 6.4 points in 21.5 minutes of play for Gran Canaria this season, so clearly he remains a raw prospect.