Spurs draft pick Javtokas likely to leave old team
Web Posted: 06/01/2006 12:00 AM CDT
Express-News Staff Writer
The Lithuanian team for which 2001 Spurs second-round draft pick Robertas Javtokas has played for the past five seasons is so convinced Javtokas will be in the Spurs’ training camp this fall it has signed a player to replace him.
A report on Eurobasket.com indicated that recent player signings by the Lithuanian professional league team Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius, for which Javtokas, a 6-foot-11, 240-pound center, has played since 2001, were motivated in part by the belief Javtokas will not return to the club so he can pursue a spot on the Spurs roster. The report cited Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius general manager J. Vainauskas saying his club “doesn’t have much hope on keeping R. Javtokas . . .“
Because Javtokas’ contract with his Lithuanian team has expired, the Spurs would not have to pay a buy-out fee to Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius before signing him.
Javtokas, a member of the Lithuanian national team since 2000, suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle accident on May 1, 2002, and did not play basketball for more than a year. Since returning to the court, he has been a consistent physical force for Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius and the Lithuanian national team. Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius won the 2005 Lithuanian League title and moved up to Euroleague competition in 2006.