After one year, Navarro leaves Grizzlies, returns to Spain

Updated: June 19, 2008, 4:59 PM ET
Associated Press

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Juan Carlos Navarro rejoined FC Barcelona after a one-season stint with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Navarro signed a five-year contract, opting to return home instead of playing in the NBA, Barcelona said Thursday.

"We plan on extending a qualifying offer to Juan Carlos so that the Grizzlies retain the right to match any future offer if he ever decides to return to the NBA," Memphis general manager Chris Wallace said in a statement. "Juan Carlos made a positive contribution to the team and we wish him and his family all the best in his return to his homeland."

The 28-year-old guard averaged 10.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists with the Grizzlies and was chosen to the NBA All-Rookie second team in May. Navarro made 156 3-pointers during the season, two short of equaling the NBA record for a rookie.

Navarro, who helped Spain win the 2006 world championship, is on the national team for the Beijing Olympics in August.

The Grizzlies obtained the rights to Navarro through a trade with the Washington Wizards. He was selected by the Wizards in the second round of the 2002 NBA draft but remained in Spain.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press