Jasaitis joins Maccabi for three years

Jasaitis, 24, arrives from Lithuanian champs Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius.

maccabi 88 (photo credit: )
maccabi 88
(photo credit: )
Maccabi Tel Aviv announced the signing of Lithuanian small forward Simas Jasaitis Thursday. The deal is for three years, financial terms were not released. Jasaitis, 24, arrives from Lithuanian champs Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius, where he was coached by new Maccabi boss Neven Spahija. He spent five seasons with L. Rytas, winning the ULEB Cup in 2005. The 2.02-meter Jasaitis averaged 10.7 points on 47.2 percent shooting and 5.0 rebounds in 29 minutes of play during his team's trip to the Euroleague Top 16 last season. He erupted for a season-high 21 points and five rebounds in an 88-83 home win against Maccabi in February. Jasaitis is not expected to fill the role of two-time Euroleague MVP Anthony Parker, who signed a three-year deal with the NBA's Toronto Raptors on Thursday, but is more likely to fill in for injured swingman Tal Burstein, who is a free agent. Even if Burstein chooses to return to Maccabi, he is unlikely to be fit for the start of the season in October. Burstein ruptured his Achilles in Maccabi's State Cup final victory over Hapoel Jerusalem. Maccabi and coach Spahija will now focus their efforts on finding a replacement for Parker. Spahija is scouting players at the NBA summer leagues, and is also serving as an assistant on the San Antonio Spurs squad. Nikola Vujcic, who has extended his deal with the Israeli champs, has until Saturday to use an opt-out close and join an NBA team.