I've been over at Crossover Chronicles the last couple days, and broke some news Tuesday afternoon when I reported that CSKA Moscow is not interested in signing temporarily locked-out NBA players. An excerpt from that report is below if you hadn't seen it yet:
I spoke with Nikolai Tsynkevich, Press Officer with CSKA Moscow, and he explained to me his club's position on the subject of signing locked-out NBA players for an undefined length of time:
“Businesswise, our club is not interested to sign players who can leave the team in the middle of the season, or even after one season. Our club is trying to build a successful team for years to come, and not looking for short-time benefits.
You cannot guarantee anything, but I can tell you that our club considers the signing campaign practically done. The only scenario I could see to add someone else is the injuries which can happen in preseason and during the Eurobasket, because CSKA sends nine players to the National Teams out of fourteen on active roster."
He went on to tell me that while the climate may change in October, he doesn't expect any of his rival clubs to pursue the signing of locked-out NBA players either without at least a full-year commitment.
"We will know more about the NBA season delay / cancellation in October, but I am pretty sure that all the big European clubs think the same. Nobody wants to rebuild the team in the middle of the season.”
The full post can be seen here, and I do want to send a big thanks out to Nick from CSKA for his time too. In addition to doing a tremendous job working for the Euroleague's premier basketball organization, he's also consistently been a big help to me here at Stepien Rules in the past as well. Nick hooked me up with both Trajan Langdon and Sasha Kaun, two players with Cavaliers' ties, and I always appreciate his time a great deal. Shouts out HoopsHype and Ball Don't Lie respectively too, by the way, for linking up the report shortly after it went live on Tuesday.
No Cavs Names Have Surfaced Yet In Overseas Interest Reports:
There have been so many names mentioned lately of current NBA players reportedly exploring or considering professional opportunities overseas for the duration of the lockout that I suppose it's noteworthy none of those reports have been linked to any Cavaliers The lists of NBA'ers is all encompassing too, from Kevin Durant to Chandler Parsons and Jamal Crawford to JJ Barea, that I do find it somewhat interesting that there hasn't been any Cavs involved. But I'm not referring to guys like Antawn Jamison, Anderson Varejao, or Baron Davis. They're all hurt, getting older, and set to make tens of millions of dollars next season, and I'm certainly not surprised they're not out looking for foreign employment.
I am beginning to wonder, however, how much more sense it might make for guys like Manny Harris, Joey Graham, Alonzo Gee, and Samardo Samuels to pursue an opporunity like that as opposed to some preeminent stars linked to reports over the last few days. In the case of an Amar'e Stoudemire for example, who has said he's pulling out because he doesn't want to risk injury, what does a guy like Harris have to lose in comparison? It would take Graham, Harris, or Samardo Samuels more than fifteen years to lose the amount of NBA salary dollars that Stoudemire could lose next season should he get hurt playing overseas - assuming the doors open back up in time for the 2011-12 campaign if he did.
If the earning power of an NBA player is limited by the number of years he is healthy and young enough to play, I would think it's in the best interest of guys like Harris, Samuels, and others like them across the NBA, to make as much money as they can in that window. Even if that means playing somewhere in Spain while the NBA negotiates labor peace. I suppose on the other hand, it may be a bit too early to jump on the assumption that the lockout will actually wipe out the full season, but what if it did? Would guys like those Cavs I mentioned be best served by committing to a full year now with a European club as opposed to scrambling later for a job while everybody else is too? Just a thought, and something to keep an eye on the longer this lockout continues.