Maccabi Tel Aviv’s rebuilding plans could face another unexpected blow following
Lior Eliyahu’s decision to try out for the Houston Rockets, who own his NBA
Draft rights since trading for him on the day he was selected 44th overall by
the Orlando Magic in 2006.
The 26-year-old forward still has three years
remaining on his contract with the yellow-and-blue, but has an NBA buyout clause
and can leave for $500,000 this summer.
Eliyahu was given special
permission to join the Israel national team late and will leave for the US on
July 6 to take part in Houston’s training camp and may stay on for the Summer
The question mark hanging over the future of Eliyahu will have
Maccabi coach David Blatt sweating uncomfortably, especially with Yogev Ohayon’s
fate also up in the air.
Ohayon and Maccabi look set to meet in
arbitration after the 25-year-old guard didn’t get the raise he was hoping for
following a breakthrough season.
Ohayon claims he has a clause allowing
him to leave this summer, but Maccabi vehemently rejects any such suggestion and
the saga looks set to continue into the summer.
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