Chinemelu Elonu, the Lakers’ second-round draft pick, has signed a two-year deal to play for the Spanish club team Zaragoza. Elonu, a forward/center from Texas A&M, has an opt-out clause that will allow him to leave Europe and sign with the Lakers after the 2009-10 season.
“Just being drafted by them is exciting,” Elonu said while playing for the Lakers’ summer league team in Las Vegas in July. “Oh man, I was with my family and friends watching the draft on TV. I heard the dude call my name and I was numb. I was very overwhelmed. There’s nothing better than to get drafted by the world champions.”
There wasn’t much chance that Elonu would earn a roster spot with the Lakers, which prompted his move to Spain. He looked raw and out of place while playing in a summer league game against the Clippers and Blake Griffin in July. Playing in Europe will give him an opportunity to develop his game, however.