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Page last updated at 19:46 GMT, Tuesday, 5 January 2010

NBA's Toronto Raptors release GB's Pops Mensah-Bonsu

Pops Mensah-Bonsu
Mensah-Bonsu has had two spells with Toronto in the last 12 months

Great Britain forward Pops Mensah-Bonsu has been released by the Toronto Raptors, the second time he has been axed from an NBA roster this season.

Londoner Mensah-Bonsu, 26, started the season with Houston, only to be released after 12 games.

Toronto still have the option of re-signing Mensah-Bonsu to 10-day deals, but they can do that only twice.

Mensah-Bonsu averaged only 2.1 points and 1.9 rebounds in 6.7 minutes per game for Toronto.

The Raptors' move came as little surprise after Mensah-Bonsu logged a mere 20 minutes on court in the team's last seven games.

Toronto, the team with whom Mensah-Bonsu finished last season, had until midnight on 5 January to sign him for the rest of the season or release him.

The move leaves Toronto with options. They can sign the GB forward to two 10-day contracts and would then still be able to sign him for the remainder of the season if they chose.

Mensah-Bonsu has his options too. The repeated stalling of his NBA career will make lucrative European offers more attractive and other NBA teams could still make an offer for him.


GB coach Chris Finch, who moved from Europe to coach an NBA Developmental League team this season, thinks Mensah-Bonsu should stay Stateside if at all possible.

"I think he's an NBA player, he's just in that vein of waiting for the right situation," Finch told BBC Sport last month. "We need him to have a settled situation.

"That could have happened in Europe but I don't think that's where he belongs right now- I think he belongs out here.

"There are a lot of guys in the NBA who have been in that mode for a few years - then they find the right situation, right coach, right team."

Finch will be keen to have a settled Mensah-Bonsu back in the GB fold for this summer's crucial EuroBasket 2011 qualification programme as the national team seek to secure their spot in the 2012 Olympics.

The draw for those qualifiers comes on 16 January.

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see also
GB overlooked for Worlds wildcard
12 Dec 09 |  Basketball
GB wait on World Champs wildcard
09 Dec 09 |  Basketball
GB's Mensah-Bonsu rejoins Raptors
18 Nov 09 |  Basketball
Rockets release GB's Mensah-Bonsu
13 Nov 09 |  Basketball
Lakers begin NBA season with win
28 Oct 09 |  Basketball
Pops return strengthens GB hopes
02 Sep 09 |  Basketball

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