The Utah Jazz-Ante Tomic Saga Ends With A Whimper


Ante Tomic, FC Barcelona Basquet

As Utah Jazz fans, we have clamored for his arrival. We’ve also lamented his loss. More recently, some among us allowed the renewed hope of an NBA jump to creep back into our basketball lives. Now, finally, it appears as though the door has closed for good. Ante Tomic will not be making his way to Salt Lake City to play for the Jazz.

Reports last month indicated that Tomic was all set to sign a long-term extension with his current club, FC Barcelona Basquet of the Spanish ACB league. More recently, the multi-talented Croatian commented that he had not signed a new deal and that thoughts of playing in the NBA with the Jazz were still rattling around inside his brain.

Now, with confirmation of his new deal coming via FC Barcelona’s official Twitter account on Tuesday morning, the “will he or won’t he” game that Jazz fans have endured since his 2008 selection by Utah in the second round of the NBA Draft appears to have reached its predictable conclusion.

In the minds of many, the 28-year-old big man had already reached the now or never moment as related to a potential career in the NBA. With his new deal with Barcelona potentially keeping him locked up for another four years, it seems unlikely that Tomic will get another crack at the Association.

Despite a somber feeling of finality some may feel with this latest development, the Jazz may ultimately be better off without Tomic on the roster. David Pick of Basketball Insiders offers a sobering appraisal of the situation via Twitter–

Tomic has an intriguing skill set, but uncertainty about how he would perform at the NBA level remains. Moreover, the club still has an intriguing list of alternatives in their search for a fourth big. From the presence of talented centers like Myles Turner and Willie Cauley-Stein in the upcoming draft to the slew of free agents that will be available on July 1st, Jazz brass has options.

And so it goes, AT LONG LAST, that Jazz Nation bids hasta luego to the Euroleague star. Let the speculation end and the actual team building begin!

At least until the next Tibor Pleiss rumor hits the presses.

Next: Five Players Who Could Fill the Fourth Big Role Instead of Tomic

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