Chasing His Hoop Dreams Overseas

Brandon Jennings going to Italy to play pro ball to avoid the NCAA is one thing. A semi-established player like Josh Childress spurning the Atlanta Hawks and the weird land of restricted free agency to sign a three-year, $32 million deal to play for a Greek team is a whole ‘nother can of worms for the NBA.

Before we go any further, one signing obviously does not a trend make, much like Jennings’ jump won’t be judged until next year at the earliest. However, at this point we can safely say that this is a new route opened for guys who are in the middle tier as far as the NBA goes — not superstars, not considered the elite, but guys who make an impact on the game as the glue guys in the starting line-up or valuable sixth men — these guys now have a chance to get more money for shorter contract terms in the prime of their careers, and thus upset the NBA’s status a bit.

It has to frustrate Hawks fans on a very basic level; despite defensive lapses, management had cited re-signing both Childress and fellow RFA Josh Smith as top priorities, yet they apparently did not consider the option that he would leave the country rather than allow ownership to counter any tender sheet he got from another NBA team.

GM Rick Sund had offered $33 million over five years, but in a world where the euro is outdoing the dollar big time and all of Childress’ salary with Olympiakos will be tax-free as far as Greece goes, that’s even more of an economic incentive for the second tier of NBA players.

It may be as revolutionary as we think it could be down the road; it may just be a blip. Regardless, it’s safe to say that we’ll be watching to see how it goes, whether or not Childress will come scurrying back after one year or finish out the whole contract.

4 Responses

  1. It’ll be interesting to see how a young guy like Brandon Jennings handles his professional debuts in a foreign country.
    As for Childress, well… he knows how to count!

  2. Childress is the real acid test, I think. Whether he stays for all three years, or at least more than one, will be real proof. That might actually draw more mid-level players — and might draw more pro prospects from the NCAA than Brandon Jennings could alone.

  3. Josh Childress is a digrace to all Americans. Just like any American that loves Europe more than America. If you love other places so much then get the hell out!!! We want true Americans living in America. Not guys that just want the glory and the money. The NBA should ban Josh Childress from ever coming back. Anybody, that supports Josh Childress is un-American. Any basketball player that follows Josh Childress to Europe is un-American. Anybody that was born in America and actually chooses to go play for another country (Chris Kaman) is un-American. You know why Americans have been losing in the olympics its because we have been kind enough to let Europeans and other foreigners into the NBA. And those spies learn from us take our American money and then go home and teach their own country how to beat us (Yao Ming). I would like to see a ban of foreign players in the NBA.

  4. Gee, and the reason I thought we got bronze in Athens was because we had a team with no outside shooting and an inability to get past the zone.

    It’s all those damn furriners’ fault for stealing our secrets.

    Thanks for the good chuckle.

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