I believe that we can FINALLY say with certainty that Fran Vazquez will never play in an Orlando Magic jersey. Multiple news outlets confirm that the 31-year-old is finalizing terms of a renewed contract with current squad Unicaja Malaga. Monetary figures are unknown, but he's taking a pay cut in exchange for a longer contract term. The new deal will be for 2 full guaranteed years that will include a team option for the 2016-2017 campaign. There are expected to be strict financial penalties over the next two years of the contract should Fran wish to escape his deal.
Shut the coffin, lower it into the pit, get the shovels, and start filling in the dirt. The #11 selection of the 2005 NBA Draft will remain one of the worst lottery selections in the Association's history whilst being an infamous black mark on Orlando Magic history.
Fran's clever agent Jose Cobelo mentioned that he had spoken with the Magic front office a few months ago and claimed that larger Spanish teams like Real Madrid were seeking the center's services for next season. This wasn't coincidental timing with Vazquez being asked by Malaga to take less money as the team is going through a shaky financial period. Fran himself almost sabotaged his agent's work by continuing to say he was eager to re-sign with Malaga.
Negotiations were put on the backburner until Real Madrid eliminated Malaga from the ACB playoffs on June 12th. Apparently Rob Hennigan even showed up to one of Malaga's playoff games to chat with Fran. After being eliminated - ending a much improved Malaga campaign from last year - Fran went on repeating constantly that he wanted to remain in Malaga despite other Spanish teams being rumored to sign Vazquez. Either way, job well done to Cobelo then for keeping his client happy as Fran gets to continue playing for his first professional franchise.
Still, I will miss Fran's lisp, his awkward workout videos, and his awesome highlight clips:
Fran is a great player who Magic fans don't need to pay attention to any longer. Vazquez owns a lot of ACB records. Especially when it comes to blocks. He has the most swats in a game with 12. He's 2nd on the all-time ACB league blocks list. With Fran staying at least another 2 years in his nation, he'll own that record as well soon. Vazquez has left his professional mark, unfortunately for Orlando it's just not in the NBA. Fran is still going strong too having a better season than last year. It's a shame because there truly is space on this Magic franchise for a player of Fran's size and skill set. Surely we won't be dealing with Vazquez madness when he's 33 or 34 years old, right? Right? RIGHT?!