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Report: Rockets hope to sign Sergio Llull next summer

Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul v Real Madrid - Turkish Airlines Euroleague Top 16

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - MARCH 06: Sergio Llull, #23 of Real Madrid competes with Justin Carter, #1 of Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul during the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Basketball Top 16 Date 9 game between Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul v Real Madrid at Abdi Ipekci Arena on March 6, 2015 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Aykut Akici/EB via Getty Images)

EB via Getty Images

The Rockets tried to sign Sergio Llull – the No. 34 pick in the 2009 NBA draft whose rights they hold – last year. Instead, he signed a contract extension with Real Madrid.

There wasn’t much noise about Llull to Houston this year.

But – after Llull helped Real Madrid beat the Thunder in an exhibition game – buzz is growing about the point guard joining the Rockets next year.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Llull’s new contract reportedly lowered his buyout from 5 million Euros, but another report says his buyout increased to 12 million Euros. That’s probably the difference in whether Llull can or cannot feasibly jump to the NBA. So, it’s difficult to gauge the likelihood.

The Rockets don’t necessarily need another point guard next year with James Harden, Patrick Beverley and Pablo Prigioni locked up. Houston can also exercise a team option on Tyler Ennis by the end of this month.

But the 28-year-old Llull looks like an NBA-caliber player. It’d be nice to see him in the league before his prime ends.