Former Duke star Jon Scheyer has signed a contract with Maccabi Elektra Tel Aviv, according to multiple news outlets.
Maccabi is one of the most successful teams in European history, winners of 49 Israeli championships and five European championships. Last season, the team made public their desire to sign Scheyer, but he declined all offers in an attempt to pursue an NBA career.
The 2010-11 season was not kind to Scheyer, though, who suffered a debilitating eye injury while playing for the Miami Heat’s summer league team. Still in rehab, he was invited to Los Angeles Clipper training camp two months later but was cut after just three weeks.
He made his healthy return in February with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA D-League where he played in the team’s last 24 games, including eight playoff appearances. Scheyer averaged 13.8 points, 4.1 assists and 2.38 turnovers per game for the Vipers during the regular season, and shot just 34.0 percent from beyond the arc.
When The Chronicle caught up with Scheyer at the Coach K Academy two weeks ago, though, he was still committed to pursuing an NBA career.
“It’s still an option,” Scheyer said at the time about playing overseas. “But my goal has always been to play in the NBA so I think I’ll sort through it. It makes it difficult with the lockout.”
While details of the contract have not been disclosed, it was reported that Scheyer’s representatives countered Maccabi’s initial two-year, $440,000 offer with a request for $750,000 over the same period.
Scheyer offers Maccabi an opportunity to skirt the foreign player cap in the Israeli League, which states that teams can only employ four foreigners on their roster at any time. Because Scheyer is Jewish, however, he is considered Israeli under the rules.
“I wanted Jon already last season, and I’m very happy we managed to sign him,” Maccabi head coach David Blatt said in a statement. “Jon is a very talented and smart player. He is a true winner at a young age, not less importantly he is Jewish who is coming to Israel and I wish he will stay here for many more years.”