Los Raptors: Toronto signs Spanish Cup Finals MVP

Updated: July 24, 2006, 8:04 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

TORONTO -- Bryan Colangelo is continuing to give the Toronto Raptors a European imprint.

The Raptors on Monday signed forward Jorge Garbajosa, the MVP of the last two Spanish Cup Finals, to a multiyear contract.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Since Colangelo has taken over the Raptors as president and general manager, he has traded for Slovenian center Rasho Nesterovic, hired Maurizio Gherardini as his assistant and selected Italian center Andrea Bargnani with the top overall pick in the NBA draft.

Colangelo signed two-time Euroleague MVP Anthony Parker, who is an American.

Garbajosa, 6-foot-9, 245-pounds, spent the past two seasons with Unicaja Malaga, helping the team win the 2005-06 ACB League championship and the Spanish National Cup. This past season, he averaged 14.9 points and 6.9 rebounds and 35 minutes for Unicaja in the Euroleague this past year.

"Jorge Garbajosa has contributed toward winning at every stop in his professional career," Colangelo said. "We anticipate he will bring experience, leadership and toughness to this basketball team."

A two-time Olympian for Spain, Garbajosa, 28, played for Italian power Benetton Treviso from 2000-04 under Gherardini and Phoenix Suns coach Mike D'Antoni.

"It's an important moment for me," Garbajosa said in a conference call from Spain. "I have played a lot of years here in Europe, and the Toronto Raptors gave me the opportunity to try to play in the best league in the world. I like the city, I like the team, I like everything else, so I want to be part of it."

Gherardini, Toronto's new assistant general manager and Benetton's former GM, recommended the Raptors sign Garbajosa.

"He's a guy who's not afraid of fighting anybody," Gherardini. "He's got the size to go against guys in the paint without being afraid of anybody."

Information from SportsTicker and The Associated Press was used in this report.