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USA - Raptors attempt to buyout Garbajosa

From telegraphjournal.canadaeast
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Jorge Garbajosa may have played his last game for the Toronto Raptors.

According to Spanish media reports, the Raptors are trying negotiate a buyout of the final year of Garbajosa's contract, worth US$4.35 million.

Garbajosa spent the majority of the past season recovering from a gruesome leg injury suffered in March 2006. The Raptors filed a lawsuit against the Spanish basketball federation in March, over money they felt they were owed on an insurance claim against Garbajosa's contract.

Raptors president and GM Bryan Colangelo said Wednesday the team was still trying to come to a resolution in the case, but that he couldn't comment further. Colangelo told reporters late last month the lawsuit was on hold while the team tried amicably to come to an agreement with the Spanish federation.

Garbajosa, a six-foot-nine Spanish forward, played just seven games this past season before having surgery on his left ankle and leg, to repair lingering damage from his injury.

The Spanish federation had taken out a US$1-million insurance policy when Garbajosa - against the Raptors' recommendations - played for Spain at the European championships last summer.

Earlier this week, Spanish national team coach Aito Garcia Reneses included Garbajosa in his pool of players for the 2008 Beijing Olympic team.

Colangelo made it clear the day after the Raptors' season ended that they wouldn't permit Garbajosa to play in Beijing, saying "it's a safe assumption that he will not be playing in the Olympics as long as he's under contract to us."

Meanwhile in Los Angeles, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo isn't practising because of a left ankle bone bruise.

Rondo says he'll continue to get treatment on the ankle, and he expects to play in Game 4 tonight.

Rondo says he rolled his ankle in Tuesday night's NBA game against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Celtics lost the game 87-81, trimming their lead in the best-of-seven series to 2-1.

Rondo lasted just under 22 minutes in the game, scoring eight points and dishing out four assists. Though he returned in the fourth quarter, he says he was only 50 per cent and the team was better off with Eddie House and Sam Cassell.