After waiting in vain for an offer from an NBA team, Mario Austin has reportedly signed with Hapoel Jerusalem of Israel's Premier League. Austin, the Bulls 2003 second round pick out of Mississippi State, averaged 7.6 points and 3.2 rebounds for the Bulls in the Vegas Summer League. With the recent signings of Malik Allen and Othella Harrington (and potentially Darius Songaila), there was little chance the well-travelled forward would make Chicago's opening-day roster.
After his kidnapping/contract dispute with CSKA Moscow a few years ago, Austin went on to play for the Jackson Rage of the World Basketball Association (billed as - I kid you not - "the next best thing to the NBA"), where he averaged 22.9 points and 10.3 rebounds in 2004 to win the league's MVP award, and then onto Laurentana Biella of the Italian League last season. Austin will team with another former Bulls pick, Roger Mason Jr., who signed with Hapoel earlier this summer.