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NBA Lockout Watch, Day 41: Euroleague Clubs Wary Of Short Deals With NBAers
Published August 10, 2011
DURANT NEXT TO GO? Goodwin Sports Management CEO Aaron Goodwin yesterday said that Thunder F Kevin Durant is “in the early stages of contract negotiations” with Besiktas. Goodwin said that he has met with Besiktas officials and “has likewise begun exploring opportunities for Durant in Spain and Russia.” He added that “playing in China is not something Durant is considering at this time.” Goodwin said that another one of his clients, Hawks G Jamal Crawford, has “also attracted interest from teams in Turkey” (ESPN.com, 8/9). CAA Sports’ Henry Thomas, whose agency represents the Heat's Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh, yesterday said that “none of those three clients have received overseas offers and that none are actively seeking such opportunities.” Thomas said, "One of the elements that you look at when you're evaluating the opportunities that come to you is the risk, and that's going to be a significant piece that will have to be evaluated." Still, Wade yesterday said, "I'm going to play basketball this year. I don't know where, but I love the game so much that I will play it. And we will figure that out" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 8/10).
OTHER POTENTIAL DEALS: German newspaper Bild reported that Mavericks F Dirk Nowitzki “has been offered $1.5 million per month to play for the Zhejiang Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association” (DALLASNEWS.com, 8/9). Courtney Barnes, publicist for Ron Artest, said that the Lakers F “will be in the United Kingdom from Aug. 18 to 23 to speak with officials with the British Basketball League's Cheshire Jets about possibly playing overseas with them during the NBA lockout.” A source said that a deal “has not been finalized” (LATIMES.com, 8/9). In Orlando, Zach McCann notes free agent F Earl Clark is “considering leaping to China.” Sources said that he is “in talks with Zhejiang of the Chinese Basketball Association.” The deal with Zhejiang is reportedly “in the high six figures,” and “would not include an NBA-out clause.” Clark last season “earned approximately $1.8 million” (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 8/10).
DELAYING THE FLOW FROM EUROPE: The Euroleague's Bertomeu indicated that the league is “hoping the ongoing labor negotiations may enable young European players to postpone their move to the NBA.” Bertomeu said that he met with NBA Commissioner David Stern “approximately a year and a half ago to discuss ways to help prevent young Europeans from moving to the NBA prematurely.” Bertomeu: "We can't give too many concrete details. But part of the proposal included a formula that included the elements of age, rookie salaries and how the rookie salaries computed into the salary cap. It was designed to create an incentive for the players to stay in Europe" (SI.com, 8/9).