Unicaja Malaga sports director Juanma Rodriguez disclosed that his team did an inquiry into the status of Usman Garuba and Serge Ibaka. However, he soon found out that the two players "have other things in mind."

Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports; Oscar J. Barroso/AFP7 via ZUMA Press Wire
Credit John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports; Oscar J. Barroso/AFP7 via ZUMA Press Wire

Juanma Rodríguez, sports director of Unicaja Malaga, revealed that he asked about the status of Usman Garuba and Serge Ibaka. The former has been associated with Real Madrid, while the latter seems to be close to joining FC Bayern Munich.

Serge Ibaka

Serge  Ibaka
Position: PF
Age: 33
Height: 208 cm
Weight: 107 kg
Birth place: Brazzaville, Congo (Republic of the)

In an interview with the 101TV program 'Zona Verde,' the Spanish executive said he asked about the two players' intentions, especially since both have found themselves without an NBA contract.

Unicaja are currently in search of a center to compensate for the injuries of Augusto Lima, Yankuba Sima and David Kravish. That's why Illiame Diop has been signed to a six-week deal, of which he has two more weeks left.

"Things are very complicated. There are names that we have asked for the sake of asking -- Garuba, Ibaka...They have other things in mind and not Unicaja. At the moment, they both want the NBA and if they don't end up in the NBA, there are three or four EuroLeague teams waiting to sign them both," Rodriguez said.

"I don't know if Real Madrid will end up signing Garuba," he reflected and explained that his team can't sign an American player without a foreign passport since Tyson Carter and Kameron Taylor have taken up the two available spots.

"Besides, [American players] don’t accept a temporary contract either," he went on to say.

"There are good names in South Sudan, which did very well in the World Cup. But South Sudan is not a Cotonou country. I know that there are many teams in Europe looking for a center. It would have to be a younger profile, with hunger, but we haven't found it either," he concluded. 

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