By Stavros Barbarousis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Certainly way early in the offseason for predictions, but returning to Europe will probably be an option for Willy Hernangomez.
Hernangomez, 29, will become an unrestricted free agent with the New Orleans Pelicans deciding to decline the option for the 2023-24 season. Besides possible NBA suitors, European powerhouses monitoring the situation include Panathinaikos.
With NBA free agency launching Friday, the Greens will be looking for a favorable opening with head coach Ergin Ataman a fan of Hernangomez, according to Eurohoops. Fenerbahce Beko is also expected to show interest, if the Spanish center opts to consider a return to Europe and Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, apart from Real Madrid wishing to orchestrate a reunion.
Despite entering the 2022-23 season as the EuroBasket MVP, among the leaders of Spain in the improbable run from Tbilisi to Berlin and the gold medals, he was limited to 12.1 minutes per game in 38 appearances through the 2022-23 campaign with the Pelicans. He averaged 6.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.9 assists, and 0.3 blocks per contest.
Hernangomez is a veteran of 345 games played in the NBA between the Pelicans, Charlotte Hornets, and New York Knicks. Selected with the 35th overall pick of the 2015 draft, he stayed in Madrid for his only full season with the storied club in 2015-16, coming off the bench to log 14 out of his 17 appearances in EuroLeague, before moving his talents across the Atlantic to the league based in North America.
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