So awhile back I wrote pieces on both Brandon Jennings and Juan Carlos Navarro that began to hint at what has happened this week with Josh Childress. A lot of people have weighed in on this matter, and I think Kelly Dwyer is right to argue that it is far too early to begin calling this either a fluke or the beginning of a new era in basketball operations internationally. I do think the NBA could do a thing or two to insure that international leagues do not become an increasingly utilized safety valve for second-tier NBA talent.
Eliminate/Revise the Rookie Max Contract: Tiago Splitter, who was drafted by the Spurs in '07, chose to stay in Spain and play for Tau Ceramica rather than come to the NBA, mostly because Tau was able to offer him a much more substantial contract than the NBA's rookie contract regulations allow for. I understand why both the league and the coaches have an interest in limiting the salary of 18 and 19 year olds (measured personal development; not breaking the bank on players who are, at the end of the day, just potential), but there should be some stipulation regarding foreign players or players of a certain age that allows NBA franchises to offer competitive contracts to the top international talent. Also maybe add a stipulation which allows an NBA franchise to make a matching offer if an international team attempts to poach an American rookie. I'm not completely sold on my last suggestion, but I figured I'd just throw it out there.
Ok, so actually, that's the only immediately constructive thing I can think of, aside from revive the American economy and pursue a strong-dollar monetary policy. Which, however enticing, may be beyond the NBA's capabilities. That being said, I am very fascinated by this whole development and would like to take some time to explore it further. Alas, work has been absolutely crazy the last couple of weeks (I work in politics and subsequently things are very busy) and it has severely cut into the amount of time I am able to dedicate to writing as well as the energy that I have when I do sit and try to pump something out. Either way, expect more reflections on the significance of Childress' Greek opportunity and the potential/pitfalls of the NBA as a global brand.