The European Trend Continues

Only two weeks after we found out that Brandon Jennings would be pursuing a European basketball contract in lieu of spending a year in the NCAA, now Josh Childress has decided he will do something similar. Childress, a four year veteran, has decided to sign a three-year, $20 million contract with the Greek Olympiakos instead of accepting a five-year deal worth around $33 million from the Atlanta Hawks. Childress can also opt out of his contract after each season, giving him the ability to play the US market like chess game.

This move comes as a shock to both the Atlanta Hawks and the entire NBA since no player of Childress’ caliber has ever chosen European basketball over the NBA. Childress’ contract is also the richest contrast in European basketball history, and since the European League does not have a salary cap, we could be seeing more players to follow in the near future, if not this year. If Childress can make $20 million over three years and also have the benefit of leaving whenever he wants, imagine what a superstar who feels he is being underpaid could make.

Both Childress and Jennings pose some interesting problems for the NBA’s future. If the NBA doesn’t figure this out within the next 5 years, European basketball could have a legitimate chance of overtaking the NBA in talent and superiority. Yes, a lot would have to happen between now and then, but if the European League can continue to draw players out of the NBA and the NCAA with big contracts and plenty of fanfare, I don’t see why any high school star or underpaid professional would do otherwise?

But then again, I’m all about the money.

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