Josh Childress Signs With Olympiakos Of Greece For Largest EuroLeague Contract Ever

Josh Childress Goes Greek And The Troubling Trend Of NBA Players Heading To Europe

7/23/08 in NBA   |   100%InjuryRate   |   1283 respect


I didn't really think this would happen, and yet it did. Josh Childress of the Atlanta Hawks has decided to go to Europe to make a boatload of cash playing for Olympiakos of Greece.

Apparently the deal is much more than the initially reported 3-years, $20 million (equivalent, of course). While the details haven't been released yet, it is the largest EuroLeague contract ever.
"It's official, I just signed," Childress said by phone Wednesday morning from Athens, where he and agent Jim Tanner will be until Friday. "I think it was . . . a situation where I didn't know who to expect coming in, coming over to Athens. But it's a great city and a great organization. They do whatever they can to make you feel at home."
Yes, and they're also going to pay you a ton of money. Hell, I'd feel at home pretty much anywhere for the largest foreign basketball contract ever.

Atlanta had offered Childress a 5-year, $33 million contract, but that didn't fly. Even worse, there's nothing Atlanta can do about it. Although they retain Childress' rights for the next two years - because Childress is a restricted agent - they have no recourse to match an offer made to a restricted free agent by a non-NBA team.

Now, while Childress is hardly the second coming of MJ, he was a more than decent 6th man. And his departure could begin to pave the way for a troubling trend - at least in David Stern's eyes.

As the blog Five Tool Tool points out in a post entitled "The Euro Menace", with the Euro significantly stronger than the dollar right now, playing ball in Europe is actually getting more attractive. What's also attractive is that Euro teams have no salary cap.

And Childress isn't the first guy to do this, he's just the most noticeable player. Carlos Delfino, formerly of the Pistons, has decided to head to Khimki BC in Russia to make $9 million a year. He'd never get that in the NBA.

Bostjan Nachbar of the Nets, who averaged about 10 a game in 22 minutes, just inked a 3-year, $41 million deal to toil for Dynamo Moscow. I know Russia isn't on the Euro, but the country is flush with oil money right now.

Juan Carlos Navarro of Memphis is returning to Barcelona and Jorge Garbajosa of the Raptors is heading back to Europe as well. There are also a handful of other players working on contracts.

The fact is this is simple economics. It pays to be in Europe. Now, while the NBA won't be losing LeBron or Dwight Howard any time soon, we could see some rather talented bench players head across the Atlantic for more cash and playing time. And that could ultimately - if the Euro remains strong for years to come - result in some of these Euro teams getting bolder and bolder in terms of throwing money at bigger and bigger names.

And don't think it can't happen. Look at the KHL, the new Russian hockey league, they've already snagged Jaromir Jagr and Ray Emery.

On top of all this, recent phenom high school point guard Brandon Jennings, who didn't meet academic requirements to get into Arizona, has decided to head to Italy to play professionally for a year before likely declaring for the NBA Draft next season. Jennings opens the door for high school phenoms, whether they qualify for college or not, to potentially spend a year abroad - and get paid handsomely - rather than be forced to attend college for a year.

I know David Stern wanted to make the NBA an international game, but I don't think he thought he'd start losing players in the process. But that's precisely what's happening.
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7/25/08   |   DeeRigga   |   5704 respect

Clearly you are not really seeing the actual point to the migration -

1.  You become an INSTANT celebrity in foreign countries

2.  You KEEP ALL THE MONEY in your contract - the U.S. Government cannot tax you for foreign earned income (Hence, $35M turns to $35M when you check your accounts...)

3.  Can you say "Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous"?  A mediocre NBA Star will now be a DEMIGOD overseas...believe me, I have seen it!

 

Childress is young, single, and a good player who is healthy; this was a good move.  He will not miss the NBA, and I think will come back and play again 

7/23/08   |   dwyermaker   |   39 respect

As concerning as this trend is for the NBA, I would be more concerned about the rookie salary cap at this point then anything.  Essentially, top-level basketball talent has to play below their market value for 2-3 years based on the rookie salary cap just to play in the NBA.  As the Euroleagues get better, why would you cost yourself $10-20 million in salary just to play in the NBA?  Euro players are wising up and clearly American-born players are as well.  You think Josh Childress didn't take basic Economics/Business classes at Stanford?  Well, while I hate saying anything positive about that school, he definitely learned something...

 

 Everyone assumes that Brandon Jennings is going to declare for the NBA after next year... why?  He could play a few more years in Europe, secure his and his family's financial future no matter what happens, then head to the NBA if he feels like it and can stomach playing for less than his true value for a few years.

 

Stern's made all his rules because the NBA has basically operated as a monopoly for high-end basketball talent since the days of the ABA.  No mas, though... And Stern better wake up to basic economics and supply and demand before he starts losing more talented and entertaining players like Childress and Brandon Jennings overseas.

7/23/08   |   jackkent

Bball is now a global sport and all leagues want to make money. Sorry Stern, the money and talent flow should not be one way.  Beckham and and the MLS is a prime example of this.

7/23/08   |   100%InjuryRate   |   1283 respect

primo wrote:

Roy Jones Jr even played overseas. We already know they can ball, look at the players in the NBA and the past few USA teams that can't win the Gold. Their is quality talent.

(Edited by 100%InjuryRate)

primo wrote:

Roy Jones Jr even played overseas. We already know they can ball, look at the players in the NBA and the past few USA teams that can't win the Gold. Their is quality talent.

Roy Jones probably isn't the best example, seeing as I would use him as an example AGAINST Europe teams being good.

But there's no question Euro leagues are legit. Anyone who doesn't think so doesn't follow basketball.

7/23/08   |   CriticalFanatic

100%InjuryRate wrote:
I think it is. This isn't just one guy. There are a handful of guys heading over there.

Well, there have been players heading to the CFL as well, but with 53 man rosters they aren't as noticeable as some bench players in the NBA.

I agree, it's not exactly the same thing, but that's mostly because it's only Canada. Vacationing with the beautiful women on Greek beaches is slightly different than with the whales in Nova Scotia.

7/23/08   |   Boski93   |   375 respect

(Edited by 100%InjuryRate)

What Childress should do to win over his teammates and fans is to have his fro carved to look like the Prathenon.

7/23/08   |   primo   |   1 respect

Roy Jones Jr even played overseas. We already know they can ball, look at the players in the NBA and the past few USA teams that can't win the Gold. Their is quality talent.

7/23/08   |   100%InjuryRate   |   1283 respect

primo wrote:

Is this any different than went Rocket Ismael signed with the Canadian football league instead of going to the NFL?

 

Childress, get your money Man.

I think it is. This isn't just one guy. There are a handful of guys heading over there.

7/23/08   |   primo   |   1 respect

Is this any different than went Rocket Ismael signed with the Canadian football league instead of going to the NFL?

 

Childress, get your money Man.

7/23/08   |   CriticalFanatic

Here's a decent article that suggests the future or more NBA'ers and high schoolers going to Europe could depend on how much shoe deals can command abroad.

7/23/08   |   MrNFL   |   175 respect

Maybe they have decent reffing in Europe?