Childress Move Noteworthy

Josh Childress opted not to worry about qualifying offers, matching offer sheets, and all the fun associated with restricted free agency. Instead, he’s the financial envy of many restricted free agents signing a 3-year, $21 million contract AFTER taxes with Olympiacos of the Greek League.

A few days earlier former Net Boki Nochbar inked for $14.3 million with Dynamo Moscow, far more after tax dollars than he was offered in the NBA. They follow Juan Carlos Navarro, Carlos Delfino, Jorge Garbajosa, among others, on the path to big paydays overseas.

Tax laws and a weak US dollar boost the value of foreign contracts, but that’s not all. These players are stars in Euro League’s, they get paid like stars. While most of the players are foreign born so returning home to Europe is not an outrageous thought, Childress is an Amercian-born player, just entering his prime. The former Pac-10 Player of The Year is a legit NBA contributer, averaging double digit points as a border-line starter/sixth-man for Atlanta. He’s not over the hill, he’s not choosing between the D-League and Europe, and he’s not a foreign player. Its worth keeping an eye on.

The Lebron’s and Kobe’s of the world will always play in the NBA. Europe can never match the money they get here, end of conversation. However, the NBA salary structure is top-heavy. Each team has two or three players earning close to max dollars, and a handful making roughly $2 – $7 million per season. Those mid-tier players are who the league needs to worry about because European teams can pay them substantially more.

Throw in the Brandon Jennings case, a prep star opting to play overseas rather than attend college to wait out the draft period, and the NBA may have a legitimate contender on its hand, similar to the newly-formed CHL in Russia. Players like Childress that aren’t quite good enough for the $100 million contract, yet are not racking up DNP-Coach’s Decisions, may soon face the tough decision of Europe vs. the NBA. How far will the allure of the NBA and playing at home go when the dollars are calling? Europe sure has a large player pool that fits the description to try to lure overseas.

This may turn out to be an isolated exodus by Childress, coincidentally timed with a number of European players deciding to stay home. Or, combined with the Jennings story, it can become a dangerous dual stream of players (high school and mid-level NBA players) leaving the country for greener pastures. Keep an eye on the rest of the restricted free agency class.

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One Response

  1. Concerning Jennings, I’m curious to see how a young man like him will his professional debuts in a foreign country.

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