Semih Erden is returning to Turkey to play with Anadolu Efes of the Euroleague, the team’s website reported Tuesday. The Cavs did not confirm the report.
Erden, 25, signed a two-year deal with a team option for a third year. He spent two injury-plagued seasons in Cleveland, averaging 3.5 points and 2.6 rebounds in 28 games (nine starts) last season. Coach Byron Scott had high hopes for Erden, but they went relatively unmet.
Scott criticized Erden multiple times last season for not playing hard enough and not giving a strong enough effort. When he was traded from the Boston Celtics to the Cavs two years ago, Erden emphatically denied rumors that he was homesick and wanted to return to Turkey.
Then reports swirled for the past couple of weeks that Erden was returning home to play, reports that his agent denied. Yet that’s where he is going.
The Cavs extended Erden a qualifying offer of about $1 million hours before the midnight deadline Sunday, making him a restricted free agent. The Cavs had the right to match any offer he received, but that obviously only applies to other teams in the NBA. The team would retain his rights should he return to the NBA in the future.
You know what this means… this post gets the “Alumni” tag