(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Maccabi Haifa’s Gal Mekel, a 6-foot-3 point guard, agreed to a
multi-year deal to play for the Dallas Mavericks next season, becoming the
second Israeli basketball player ever to sign with an NBA team. Four years ago,
Omri Casspi became the first.
In June, the 25-year-old Mekel helped lead Maccabi Haifa to the Israeli Basketball Super League Championship, earned in an upset victory over powerhouse Maccabi Tel Aviv. According to the NBA’s free agent rules, Mekel will officially be able to sign his $2.3 million, three-year contract on July 10.
The Mavericks initially offered Mekel a one-year deal with a team option to renew him for two more years, but by the end of negotiations with his agent, Sam Porter, Dallas agreed to guarantee the entire three years. Mekel is expected to earn $490,000 this upcoming season, $816,000 in his second year, and $980,000 in his third.