Maurice Ndour is joining Real Madrid, reports Carlos Sánchez Blas of Radio Marca in Spain (Twitter link; translation via Sportando’s Orazio Cauchi). Blas indicates that Ndour has already put pen to paper, though the team has yet to make a formal announcement. The power forward signed a contract with the Mavericks in the summer that included a season and a half of guaranteed salary, but he suffered a stress reaction in his left leg, and Dallas waived him amid a roster crunch at the end of the preseason, a move owner Mark Cuban described as difficult. International journalist David Pick tweeted shortly thereafter that Ndour was scheduled to resume action at the end of November and that he was canvassing interest from the NBA and overseas. Chema de Lucas of Gigantes del Basket first reported Madrid’s interest in the first-year pro (translation via HoopsHype).
Ndour went undrafted out of Ohio University in June, but he made a strong impression as a Knicks summer-leaguer in July, when he averaged 9.6 points and 4.8 rebounds in 23.4 minutes per contest across five appearances. The Knicks tried to get him to back out of the commitment he made to the Mavs, who formally signed him about a week after his final summer league game, as Marc Berman of the New York Post reported, but Ndour declined to imitate DeAndre Jordan‘s infamous flip-flop. New York has maintained an open roster spot since the start of the regular season, but it has seemed unlikely that Ndour would fill it, as Berman reported in late October.
It’s unclear how much Ndour will make on his deal with Madrid, but if he earns more than $845,059, it would be possible for the Mavericks to slightly trim the amount they owe him for this season, thanks to the NBA’s rule regarding set-off rights. Dallas is currently on the hook to Ndour for more than $525K this season and in excess of $437MM for 2016/17.
Should an NBA team have pounced on Ndour before he decided to play overseas instead? Leave a comment to tell us.