(photo credit: Courtesy)
Yotam Halperin was expected to sign a deal with the Seattle SuperSonics on Monday, becoming the first Israeli to join the NBA.
The Sonics decided to take Halperin onto the team after the young player was selected in the 53rd slot during June's draft.
Halperin, who had signed on for an additional season with Maccabi, played in Seattle's summer league in an attempt to draw attention from NBA scouts.
Halperin's lengthy stay at the summer camp drew resentment from the Israel National Team, who feared the youngster would arrive tired and incapable of putting maximum effort into Israeli games.
The 22-year-old's American arrived in Israel with his contract on Monday afternoon, although details of what the document entailed were unclear.
Israeli National Team coach, Tzvika Scherff, however, emphasized the need for Halperin to concentrate on his playing during his remaining days on the team, the Israeli sports website One reported on Monday.