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Serge Ibaka not playing for Spain in Olympics

Olympics Day 16 - Basketball

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Serge Ibaka #14 of Spain looks on with team mate Rudy Fernandez #5 of Spain during the Men’s Basketball gold medal game between the United States and Spain on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympics Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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Serge Ibaka is headed to the Magic, who will presumably give him a larger role. A productive season could lead to a huge payday in free agency next summer.

The 2016 Olympics won’t get in the way of that.

Ibaka won’t play for Spain in Rio, as translated by E. Carchia of Sportando.

This opens the door for Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic to represent Spain. Each team can have only one naturalized citizen, so Spain had to to choose between Ibaka and Mirotic.

There’s still little certainty with Spain’s roster. Pau Gasol plans to play. Marc Gasol wants to play, though that seems like wishful thinking.

All the problems Team USA had getting players – injuries, rest, free agency, Zika – also apply to other countries. At least the Americans won’t be at a competitive disadvantage.