The Toronto Raptors are looking at 24-year-old Kristof Lavrinovic, a 6'10" center who has served prison time for his involvement in a gang rape.
The Lithuanian has already told two European media outlets that the Raptors are prepared to offer him a contract when the NBA's signing period begins July 14.
"Toronto presented me with a contract," Lavrinovic told a Russian sports Web site, a claim he reiterated in a Lithuanian newspaper. "But according to NBA rules I can't sign until (July 14)."
Raptors interim general manager Jack McCloskey said that, while the Raptors are among a number of NBA clubs who "have some interest" in Lavrinovic, they have yet to make him an offer.
"He's getting ahead of himself," McCloskey said by phone from his home at Skidaway Island, Ga. "We can't (sign him right now) and we're not sure we're going to."
"(The rape conviction) concerns me enough that we're going to investigate," McCloskey said. "That's one of the things we'd certainly have to look at and consider ... (but) if he's paid his debt to society. ... Once we talk to him face-to-face that's an opportunity to evaluate (his character) even more."
Said Jim Kelly, the Raptors' director of scouting: "There has been no proposal on our part. (Lavrinovic) has got some background issues.
"We'll have to look at the whole picture. ... But we don't have a general manager."