Monday, December 19, 2011
Bismack Biyombo free to join Bobcats
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Forward Bismack Biyombo signed a rookie contract with the Charlotte Bobcats hours after agreeing to pay a buyout clause to release him from his contract with Spanish club Fuenlabrada.
Terms of his new deal were not disclosed.
Biyombo will not play in Monday night's preseason opener against the Hawks because he hasn't had a chance to practice with the team, coach Paul Silas said. Silas said Biyombo would begin to practice Tuesday and would play in Thursday night's game at Atlanta.
Fuenlabrada said Monday that Biyombo had agreed to pay the $1.5 million clause that will free him from the remaining two years of his contract. The Bobcats agreed to pay $525,000 of that -- the most allowed by international rules -- according to Rod Higgins, the Bobcats' director of basketball operations.
Bobcats owner Michael Jordan had agreed to pay that before the team drafted Biyombo.
Biyombo had to watch his teammates from the sideline during training camp while he worked on the side.
"If you just saw him during the practice session, he was sitting over there about as depressed as I've ever seen anyone," Silas said. "Now when I first walked in, he had his hands in the air and smiling, so this is great for him as well as the team."
On his Twitter account, Biyombo said, "Thank God it's over."
The Bobcats did not make him available for interviews after the shootaround because he hadn't signed his contract.
Biyombo, the seventh pick in the NBA draft, had sought to avoid paying the fee, but his civil suit against Fuenlabrada was dismissed by a Spanish court late last week. The 19-year-old Congo native had been doing individual drills in Charlotte since the end of the NBA lockout while his dispute dragged on.
Silas said he was relieved the situation was resolved and thought the rookie would be a big help for the young team. Biyombo, who's not expected to start this season, should initially help the Bobcats on defense.
"He's a really good defender and rebounder and a shot blocker," Silas said. "He has to work on his offensive game, which he's willing to do. He's worked on that already with posting up. We have to work on the shot from outside. But the energy that he brings is what we really need. I'm just looking forward to it. I'm happy to have him back and playing because everyone else is playing but him."
Silas believes Biyombo will be able to make up for the lost week of training camp.
"You can watch it all you want to, but until you get out there and execute ... " Silas said. "The good thing is we have time. It's tough because until you get out there in a rotation and you're learning -- if you're just sitting over there, it's almost impossible to get it. You have to get out there and do it for it to happen."