THURSDAY, 8:00am: The signing is official, Pick tweets.
MONDAY, 1:51pm: Nate Robinson has agreed to a deal with Israel’s Hapoel Tel Aviv, reports international journalist David Pick (Twitter link). The three-time dunk champion who began the season with the Pelicans had been trying to make a run at the National Football League, but it appears he’s put that effort on the shelf for now. The 31-year-old has remained unsigned since the Pelicans waived him shortly after opening night, failing to hook up with China’s Xinjiang Flying Tigers after reportedly working out for them in January.
The diminutive guard has had a tough time finding NBA work since he did a buyout deal with the Celtics in the middle of last season, after Boston acquired him in a trade with the Nuggets. The Clippers signed him to a pair of 10-day contracts last March, but he suffered a bone bruise in his left knee that prompted the Clippers to turn to Lester Hudson instead.
Robinson was on the opposite end of injury luck this fall, when the banged-up Pelicans signed him to a non-guaranteed contract during the preseason, and when the team made him its opening-night starter at point guard, it appeared Robinson had a place in the NBA for at least a while longer. Instead, New Orleans jumped on Toney Douglas, who’d shaken free from the Pacers, and cut Robinson after only two regular season games.
This would be the first overseas excursion for Robinson, who’s played in parts of 11 NBA seasons, including this one. He’s not far removed from decent production, having averaged 10.4 points in just 19.7 minutes per game for the 2013/14 Nuggets, so a strong closing stretch in Israel is liable to help him back to the game’s highest level.
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