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Julyan Stone Signs To Play In Italy

Point guard Julyan Stone has signed with Reyer Venezia of Italy, the team announced (translation via Sportando’s Armando Caporaso). The news is surprising, since a half-dozen NBA teams had reportedly shown interest of late and Stone had apparently fielded a couple of lucrative offers from China. It’s possible that the Italian deal includes some sort of escape clause that would allow him to latch on somewhere else for camp, but that’s not immediately clear, and it seems most likely that the 25-year-old who’s spent the past three years in the NBA won’t be in the league when the 2014/15 season begins.

Reports have indicated that the Spurs, Lakers, Cavs, Clippers and Heat have all been on Stone’s workout agenda in the past couple of weeks, and the Kings looked like they were in the running for him, too. The Raptors cut Stone in July rather than guarantee his minimum salary for the season, though it appeared Toronto had interest in signing him to a new deal once he cleared waivers. He was reportedly in talks with the Sixers, Bucks and Kings around the same time, too, but chatter surrounding the Giovanni Funiciello client dried up until late August.

Raptors GM Masai Ujiri signed the former UTEP Miner to both of his NBA deals, the first coming when Ujiri was in charge of the Nuggets front office. Injury helped keep Stone from seeing much action the past three years, but when he has been available to play, his teams haven’t often called upon him, and he’s averaged just 1.3 points and 1.1 assists in 7.0 minutes per game across 47 appearances for his NBA career.

The addition of Stone makes up for Reyer Venezia’s loss of fellow NBA veteran Lorenzo Brown, whose deal with the team was voided after he failed his physical.

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