A month ago, Pops Mensah-Bonsu was bound for Spain, set for next season on a deal with Caja Laboral. Since then, Mensah-Bonsu tore up a EuroBasket qualifier as a member of Great Britain’s national team, and secured GB a spot in the big, bad EuroBasket tourney next summer.
Apparently in Spain, this is grounds for termination. According to The Hoops Market, Caja Laboral has released Mensah-Bonsu, and a report from El Correo points to a lingering knee injury as the cause. It’s entirely possible that the team saw something in Pops’ physical they didn’t like. Or, Caja Laboral utilized Mensah-Bonsu’s knee as a convenient way to nix the arrangement.
Tough to say for sure. All we know is that Mensah-Bonsu is suddenly unattached, and it’s possible he could slip onto an NBA training camp roster. It’s a fool’s errand to sort through depth charts for a team in need of another big; Pops’ skills and knack for hustling make him a nice, versatile candidate for end-of-the-bench minutes, even for teams already going three-deep at forward.
However, it shouldn’t be ruled out that Pops could find another overseas home with a different European club. After all, there’s a reason why Mensah-Bonsu signed with Caja Laboral in the first place, even if he’s an NBA-caliber talent.
Links via Tom Ziller of FanHouse and Mark Deeks of Sham Sports.