Big news this morning for fans of Euroleague and the Utah Jazz as Ante Tomic has committed to FC Barcelona long-term in a new three-year deal
Ante Tomic has inked a new deal with FC Barcelona that will see him stay at Palau Blaugrana through to the end of the 2017/18 season, at which point the Croatian big man will be 31. The deal also includes an option to extend through to 2019 however it is unknown at this time whether that is a player or team option.
In a statement on Barcelona’s website Tomic said:
“I am very happy to have renewed my contract and am grateful to the people at Barça for their support and for offering me this new opportunity”.
“I only have fond memories of this place, and I want to win everything I can with Barça, the Euroleague, the Liga Endesa, the Copa del Rey…everything”.
“We have played Madrid a lot of times and know what we have to do. But one thing is talking about it and another thing is doing it on court. We have to be mentally and physically ready to win this league. They’re very special games and we want to end the season with a title.”
Tomic has been linked heavily with a move to the Utah Jazz, who hold his NBA rights, along with garnering interest from other wealthy clubs in Euroleague looking to upgrade. Barcelona however held off all suitors and likely ponied up big, with Tomic able to use the interest from the Jazz and elsewhere as significant leverage on his new deal.
This is a huge win for FC Barcelona, irrespective of the contract price. Tomic was exceptional this season in Euroleague and Barcelona obviously struggled at the 5 whenever he was off the floor. The task of finding a back-up who can fill in adequately for Tomic remains a big ask for the off-season, with Trevor Mbakwe of Brose Baskets Bamberg a likely target, but the challenge of straight-up replacing him was a headache Barcelona didn’t need.
For Tomic, it is a big payday which is what his priority had to be after a brilliant year. His jump from Real Madrid to Barcelona in 2012 caught many observers off guard but his perfomances since, being named All-ACB once and All-Euroleague first team twice at Barcelona along with winning last year’s ACB title, proved he was an elite big in Europe.
For Barcelona this is a huge boost to their off-season situation. The starting five will remain largely intact and the depth issues that are present can now be addressed. Tomic, who made the All-Euroleague second team this year, was going to be the most in-demand name on the free agent block this summer had he hit the open market.
For the Jazz, it almost certainly ends their interest in the Croatian and probably means Tomic will never jump across the Atlantic. By the time this deal is up, Tomic will be 31. While Pablo Prigioni and Pero Antic showed players can still make the jump north of 30, those are very much exceptions to the norm. Utah also hold the draft rights to Tibor Pleiss, who had a miserable season as Tomic’s back-up. This is a summer where, in theory, Utah can make a cost-beneficial move on the German but the past year will have done nothing to make them think it’s worth the risk.