The San Antonio Spurs have made yet another international coup, it appears.
The Spurs have come to an agreement in principle with Argentinean center Fabrico Oberto, according to his agent, Herb Rudoy.
Oberto, who averaged 14.2 ppg and 7.3 rpg for Parmesa in Spain this season, is widely regarded as one of the top five players in Europe.
He was the team captain of the Argentina team that defeated Team USA at the 2002 World Championships. He dropped 28 points on Yugoslavia's Vlade Divac in the finale of that tournament.
Oberto is a warrior in the paint with polished moves around the post. He's a good scorer, rebounder and defender who has the toughness and aggressiveness to be an excellent role player in the league. He's also a great passer in the post and frequently draws comparisons to Divac on that skill. Don't be surprised if he is the Spurs starting center on opening night.
Oberto has been hotly pursued by NBA teams for years but has never shown much interest in the past. He's one of the highest paid players in Europe and has been content to be a star over there.
The fact that he turns thirty this year, is considered a little undersized to play center in the NBA (he's barely 6-10 in shoes) and has the free throw touch of Shaq (45 percent from the line) has hurt his free agent stock in the past two years.
The move by the Spurs means that it's unlikely they will bring over their other Argentinean big man, Luis Scola, this season. The Spurs drafted Scola in the second round of the 2002 NBA Draft, but have been unable to bring him over because of an enormous buyout provision with his team Tau Ceramica.
Chad Ford covers the NBA for ESPN Insider.