By Marc Stein
The Toronto Raptors will announce the release of forward Pops Mensah-Bonsu later Tuesday, according to NBA front-office sources.
The Raptors, though, hope to re-sign Mensah-Bonsu to a 10-day contract if the three-year veteran clears waivers.
A stipulation in Mensah-Bonsu’s contract required Toronto to make a decision this week, with the remainder of his $825,497 salary becoming guaranteed for the rest of the season if he appears on the Raptors’ roster beyond Jan. 5. The 26-year-old has earned nearly $355,000 of his salary in the season’s first two-plus months.
Mensah-Bonsu began the season with the Houston Rockets, then signed with Toronto in November for his second stint with the Raptors after playing in just four games with Houston.
He’s playing sparingly for Toronto as well, averaging 2.1 points and 1.9 rebounds in 6.7 minutes per game since switching teams. But the Raptors remain determined to retain Mensah-Bonsu -- one of the stars for 2012 Olympic host Great Britain in international play -- if he is not claimed by another team and if he resists interest from European suitors.
If the Raptors are able to bring back Mensah-Bonsu after he clears waivers, they can sign him to two 10-day contracts before they have to make a decision on signing him for the rest of the season.