NBA Rumors: Fran Vázquez "Likely" Using Orlando Magic Offer as Leverage to Secure European Contract, According to Report

Mattias Kern - Getty Images Sport

The Orlando Magic have been hoping to sign 2005 lottery pick Fran Vázquez for some time, and with the 29-year-old Spaniard's contract with FC Regal Barcelona set to expire soon, it appeared as though Vázquez might finally make the jump to the NBA with the team that drafted him seven years ago. But Andrew Melnick of ESPN Florida reports that Vázquez is "likely" just using the threat of signing with Orlando in order to drive up his market value in Europe, and that he's not really serious about joining the Magic.

Otis Smith, the Magic's President of Basketball Operations, told the Orlando Sentinel in March that "the plan" is to bring Vázquez over in the summer of 2012.

Orlando selected Vázquez with the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, hoping to pair him with center Dwight Howard to form one of the league's most athletic, talented, young frontcourts. But the youngster elected to stay in Spain instead, spurning Orlando and drawing ire from Orlando fans.

Vázquez told the Spanish publication Diario Sur earlier in April he hadn't yet decided between jumping to the NBA and staying in Europe.

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