Thursday, July 24, 2008

Let the gates open

It's official, Josh Childress has left for Olympiakos (Former team of Gerry McNamara) with a 3-year, 32 million dollar contract in his pocket.

You read that correctly, Josh Childress will be making over 10 million dollars a year during a shorter season with possibly more endorsement opportunities and lower tax rates. Were the Hawks offering even close to that kind of money? We were already scared that he'd bolt when the rumors were at 20 million.

Yes, Childress is one-of-a-kind in that he's smart, worldly, and the kind of player that will fit right into the European game. But don't tell me that if a European club is offering twice as much money as the next highest bidder from the NBA, a player will think more than twice about culture shock. You see the green and you make the necessary adjustments in your life. Also, it's probably just as much of a culture for a rookie to come out of living in New York City all his life to adjust to living in Salt Lake City as Barcelona (not nearly, but the point stands).

Now Rockets Forward and restricted free agent, Carl Landry claims to be hearing serious offers from European teams as well. The Rockets are currently paying him $886K a year and might have enough of their mid-level left to bump that up to $2 million, but what happens when the European team puts $4.5 million on the table like BC Khimki, a Russian B-League team, did for Carlos Delfino? What team in the NBA, with cap space now a rare thing to come by, can afford to give their entire mid-level to a guy one year removed from being a second round draft pick?

The cat's been let out of the bag, and while we won't see a mass exodus, I'd expect the NBA to lose maybe one or two American players a year to Euroleague, not to mention many more Europeans who will decide not to come over, or to go back, until something is done about it.

To close, here's a video of the Greek National Team in all its glory (note: every highlight video should be set to "The Final Countdown")