The Cordovan point guard will sign for two seasons with a leading franchise that was a finalist in the Western conference last season.
Facundo Campazzo played his last game in the Euroleague this Friday afternoon with the Real Madrid shirt and, minutes later it was confirmed that he will move to the NBA to be part of the Denver Nuggets, protagonists of the Western conference.
The Cordovan base will sign a two-year contract with the franchise that comes from being a conference finalist (he lost to those who would ultimately be the champions, Los Angeles Lakers).
His registered representative in the United States, Alex Saratsis of the international agency Octagon – one of the most important in the world – confirmed it to ESPN.
Thus, Argentina once again has a player in the best league in the world, something that has not happened since Manu Ginobili retired in 2018.
The agreement will not be official, anyway, until Sunday, when the teams can sign a contract with the free players. This Friday, at 20 in Argentina, the tap was “opened” for franchises to make formal offers (although, of course, almost everything was unofficially agreed).
The arrival of Campazzo to the NBA is the realization not only of an old dream – at some point, an obsession – of the Cordovan base. It is also a conclusion that had become inevitable.
The petiso – who will be the shortest player in history among those who did not come from the universities – dominated European basketball in recent years, leading a Real Madrid that, eventual results aside (although he also certifies it with them), it is by potential and organization the best team in the world outside the American league.
Last year, at the World Cup in China, Facundo signed everything that could be expected of him and more by carrying the team on his shoulder with Luis Scola. He was a driver and drove the mighty selections like Serbia and France crazy, who played with teams full of NBA men.
It is also, this arrival in Denver, the triumph over prejudice. Since his debut in Peñarol de Mar del Plata, this 29-year-old boy tolerated being measured with the stick of contempt, especially from his height (he is 1.79 meters tall).
“How is he going to get to the National League?”, was the common question among those who kicked the Mar del Plata parquets. Not only did he do it: he won it four times, three of them consecutively (unprecedented feat until then), taking over a team in which he had to replace a symbol like Pablo This Rodriguez.
“How are you going to stand out in Spain?”, was the question that was asked in that European place when Real Madrid took him in 2014. It did not matter that he had made his mark in the Argentine basketball team integrating the ideal quintet of a Premundial (Caracas 2013) or playing the 2012 Olympic Games .
There were few who felt that this question was answered by itself when Madrid gave it to a smaller team such as the University of Murcia. The mask, long before it became fashionable due to a pandemic, they had to put it on some time later, when the Dwarf Not only did he return to the capital, but he became the lord and master of a star-studded team.
“How is he going to go to the NBA?”wondered some who even dared to suggest that he couldn’t do too much because, in addition to being very small, he was not a great defender. Mentioning them is doing them too much justice: saying that implies total ignorance. Few players are more unbearable – and effective – when it comes to scoring than Campazzo.
There he is, agreeing a contract with a leading franchise that will allow Argentina to dream of an Albiceleste representative who fights for a title, something that among the previous twelve only Manu Ginobili and Fabricio Oberto achieved with San Antonio Spurs and Luis Scola with Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors.
Now, everything will depend on him. In the team there is an immovable starting point guard like Jamal Murray, who rose to stardom in the last playoffs, and a more than respectable substitute like Monte Morris. The expectation will be to know if the team will get rid of the latter, who only has this year’s contract left.
If not, there will not be so many minutes of movement for the Argentine who, judging by his attitude, will be far from being intimidated by it. Although the coach, Mike Malone, could also find him a place next to Murray, who can play as a shooting guard.