THURSDAY, 7:40am: FC Barecelona exec Joan Creus tells Spanish journalist Alex Gozalbo (translation via Sportando on Twitter) that Ayon is not tied to the club anymore and he is free to sign wherever he wants. It’s not immediately clear whether Ayon has paid the tab on his own buyout as he said he would do yesterday or if they have simply allowed him to break his contract.
Despite the offers from the Spurs and China, Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia writes that Ayon is likely to sign a three-year pact with Real Madrid. The veteran and Real Madrid shook hands on a deal before FC Barcelona interfered.
WEDNESDAY, 10:57pm: Ayon has told FC Barcelona that he’s willing to foot the bill for the buyout himself, according to Javier Maestro of Encestando, who adds that Real Madrid’s three-year offer is still on the table. The Spurs are offering less than $1MM, while Shandong’s offer is adequate, Maestro also reports (Twitter links; translation via HoopsHype).
1:10pm: The Spurs and Shandong of China have made formal offers to Gustavo Ayon, who’s debating between them and playing in Europe this season, reports Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter links). Ayon reportedly had a deal in place with Real Madrid, but Spanish rival FC Barcelona holds his European rights, and their insistence on a buyout worth roughly $376K has thrown a wrench in those plans.
The Spurs have consistently shown interest in Ayon for the past couple of weeks, with an initial report having surfaced late last month and another dispatch from this weekend that indicated that San Antonio was still in the mix. Ayon is one of several players the team is considering for its final regular season roster spot, including Michael Beasley, who’s reportedly working out for Spurs officials in San Antonio this week. The Spurs have Bryce Cotton, Josh Davis and JaMychal Green on deals with nominal partial guarantees as well as 14 fully guaranteed pacts.
Ayon is coming off a three-year, $4.5MM contract he signed with New Orleans shortly after the lockout. He wound up heading to the Magic and Bucks before spending last season with the Hawks, who made him an unrestricted free agent this summer when they declined to tender a qualifying offer. Atlanta hasn’t appeared interested in bringing him back, with the Spurs seemingly the only NBA club in pursuit.