Gustavo Ayon
Mexican basketball player, Gustavo Ayon holds up a trophy after Mexico defeated Puerto Rico in Americas Championship final. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia

Former NBA basketball player Gustavo Ayón is looking for a place to call home this winter. Ayón, who last played for the Atlanta Hawks earlier this year, became a free agent after the season and is currently fielding offers while playing for Mexico in the FIBA World Cup in Spain this weekend. Ayón spoke to Basketball on Monday to discuss his future.

Basketball Insiders: You’ve announced a few days ago you do not have any NBA offers for next year. How are you facing this?

Gustavo Ayón: I’m very quiet. Today I have only one bid in China. I will decide after the World Cup, but if it satisfies my financial interests and cherish sports and go there.

Since the interview with, Ayón has been made an offer to play in Spanish League, Liga ACB with Real Madrid, the most successful basketball team in the league with 31 championships to their name and nine over the past 30 years. Either Real Madrid or FC Barcelona has been in the ACB Finals for the past eight years. It is this rivalry between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid that might put a snag in Ayón’s future in Europe.

According to reports, Barcelona currently owns the rights to Ayón. Therefore, if Real Madrid were to sign the Mexican big man, they would need to purchase those rights from Barcelona first. There is no incentive for Barcelona to give away a player of Ayón’s caliber to their hated rivals so more than likely Barcelona would hang on to Ayón’s rights and allow him to play in China next season instead.

Regardless, a return to the NBA seems unlikely for Ayón. Despite scoring a career high 18 points against the Toronto Raptors on February 12th, 2014, Ayón was recently quoted as saying the NBA was a “star’s league.” He blamed his NBA career ending on injuries, and said he preferred to play for a team that allowed him to be at his best, rather than sit on the bench.

Ayón appears to be healthy after a shoulder injury that ended his season with the Hawks earlier this year. Since the injury, Ayón led Mexico to victory against Puerto Rico in the Centrobasket Championship where Mexico won the gold medal and Ayón was named MVP of the tournament. Ayón will debut on Saturday in the FIBA World Cup when Mexico takes on Lithuania to open group play.

Take a look at Gustavo Ayón in action in this video from last season with the Atlanta Hawks:

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