BUCKS BEAT: Oberto draws interest

2010-10-22T21:17:00Z 2012-02-08T12:08:59Z BUCKS BEAT: Oberto draws interestGERY WOELFEL gwoelfel@journaltimes.com Journal Times
October 22, 2010 9:17 pm  • 

Updated :

With the NBA regular season just around the corner, the Milwaukee Bucks are still exploring ways to solidify the center position.

The Bucks, who had more than a passing interest in free-agent center Erick Dampier before taking a pass on him, were also showing interest in another free-agent big man, Fabricio Oberto.

Herb Rudoy, Oberto's agent, confirmed on Friday morning the Bucks were one of four teams he's been having discussions with about Oberto.

"He (Oberto) is definitely interested in playing for the Bucks and he'd really love to play with Carlos Delfino," Rudoy said. "Right now, they (the Bucks) are sorting through some things, so we'll see."

Friday night, however, ESPN reported Oberto had verball agreed to a one-year deal with the Portland Trail Blazers. Rudy couldn't be reached for comment.

The 6-foot-10, 245-pound Oberto is a native of Argentina, just like Delfino. They have become close friends, primarily through their experiences on Argentina's national team. Together, they helped Argentina win the gold medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.

Delfino said he hasn't talked to any Bucks official about the possibility of signing Oberto, but he would be strongly in favor of it.

"He can still play and his IQ is great," Delfino said of the 35-year-old Oberto. "He's a great teammate and would do anything for the team.

"We're a lot alike. We have the same personalities. We're like brothers. I'd love to have him here."

Oberto played the early portion of his pro career overseas before signing with San Antonio in 2005. He played four seasons with the Spurs and was the starting center on their 2007 championship team.

On June 23, 2009, Oberto was part of a three team trade involving San Antonio, Detroit and Milwaukee, a multi-player deal that saw the Bucks send Richard Jefferson to the Spurs and brought Kurt Thomas to Milwaukee.

Oberto was sent to Detroit in the transaction but was quickly waived by the Pistons. He then signed with Washington, averaging 1.5 points, 1.8 rebounds and 11.4 minutes in 57 games last season.

The Bucks are in the market for a backup to center Andrew Bogut, who is still recovering from elbow, wrist and hand surgery.

Milwaukee's current backup centers are Drew Gooden, a natural power forward, and Brian Skinner, who doesn't have a guaranteed contract.

While some teams wonder if Oberto has anything left in his tank, they have no doubts about his character and work ethic.

"In all the years I've been in this business, he's one of the best guys I've ever dealt with," said Rudoy, who has represented a slew of clients in his nearly four decades as an agent. "He's just a great guy.:

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