Rudy Fernandez's stay in Dallas might be over even before the Spaniard got to suit up in a Mavericks uniform.
According to reports by the Mundo Deportivo—the Spanish sports newspaper—Real Madrid, of Spain's ACB basketball league, has offered Fernandez a six-year deal worth about $4.35 million per year that would make the 26-year-old guard the highest paid player in the league's history.
Fernandez, who is scheduled to make $2.2 million next season with Dallas, is under contract until June 30, 2012—he has a player option for the 2012-13 season. Thus, even if he accepts Real Madrid's offer, Fernandez will return to Dallas whenever the 2011-12 NBA season starts.
However, with the NBA lockout underway, and the possibility of a canceled season still looming, there is a chance that Fernandez will never play for Dallas.
On June 30, 2012—regardless of whether there is a 2011-12 NBA season—Fernandez can decline his player option for the 2012-13 season, and, as a result, cut all ties with Dallas—as the report suggested.
But, why would Fernandez want to leave the defending NBA champions?
Well, aside from the huge increase in his salary and minutes played, and the uncertainty surrounding the future of the NBA, Fernandez would be returning to his native land and to a league that he is familiar with, having played with DKV Joventut from 2001-08.
Will Fernandez Accept Real Madrid's Offer?
Although there is plenty of speculation at this point, neither Fernandez nor his agent, Andy Miller, have made a statement regarding this rumor.
However, in August of 2010, The Associated Press reported that Miller told several media outlets that Fernandez wanted to play in Europe rather than the NBA. Although that could have been because of Fernandez's rocky relationship with the Trail Blazers' organization, it will be interesting to see how much—if any—his outlook has changed.
In his three-year career, Fernandez has averaged 9.1 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game while shooting 36.4 percent from three-point range.
Thus far, Fernandez's best scoring season came in 2008-09, when he averaged 10.4 points per game and shot 39.9 percent from three-point range and 83.9 percent from the free-throw line.
On June 23, 2011, Fernandez, along with Petteri Kopenen, was traded from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for the Dallas Mavericks' No. 26 and No. 57 overall picks in the 2011 NBA Draft.