Monday , Aug , 28 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Halperin close to be NBA’s first Israeli

According to a report in the Jerusalem Post, guard Yotam Halperin is close to signing a deal with the Seattle SuperSonics, which would make him the first Israeli player in NBA.

Although he had signed with Israeli team Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Halperin played with Seattle during their summer league.

The American agent of the 22-year-old player was expected to arrive in Israel with the contract on Monday.

However, no deal was certain, either with the Sonics or Maccabi, according to friends close to Halperin.

In his past interviews, Halperin has said that he would prefer to wait for developments with the Sonics or other European teams before having matters with Maccabi finalized. Halperin was chosen by the Sonics with the 53rd pick in June’s draft.