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Should Cleveland Worry About Players Staying Overseas?

The NBA lockout has presented its fair share of problems for athletes already. If out-of-work players are not getting arrested for reckless driving, they are planking their days away in unreasonable and sometimes dangerous locations. It is all for the entertainment of their fans, still I find the idea of planking ridiculous, while viewing a few pictures and getting a giggle.

Besides those two things, I do not see how hard the players are truly being hit by the fact that they are not able to speak with their coaches, or at least be honest about it. Players, especially rookies, are working out reasonably, trying to keep themselves in shape for when they are actually able to get back on the hardwood in the United States. Rookies are subjected to odd jobs such as appearances or things of that nature as they try to figure out their next move in what will soon turn into a disgusting labor dispute.

Will the players or owners cave first? The answer to that question lies in the realm of the unknown, but players’ options are presented out in the open. Pack up and ship out overseas. Get a playing gig, sign a short term contract and bide your time.

That is exactly what Deron Williams has had in the works for a short while now. He has officially signed a one-year deal worth $5 million dollars with a Turkish team that has been reported to extend if the labor talks get any rougher. Even though basketball’s governing body, FIBA, must still sign off on these transactions, and Agent Roger Montgomery feels like these transactions will be less than amicable, we will see some big name guys playing for some smaller named teams overseas.

With the move being made and the NBA’s owners looking to install some rules that players feel are uncharacteristically unfair, should the league be worried that players will think about staying overseas long term? Williams thinks so.

In an interview with ESPN, the coveted Nets’ point guard said that the new rules owners are look to explore may put a dark cloud over current players’ desire to return.

“If the proposal (the owners) have, if that’s what they’re sticking with and that’s what they want, then I think it would be hard for a lot of guys to come back to the NBA,” Williams said.

“(Kobe) Bryant could go make more money overseas, I guarantee you. If (European teams) knew he could be there for a full season, or they knew I could be there for a full season, or they knew LeBron James could be there for a full season, they’ll pay more money, of course.”

While I feel like these two big named guys especially, would return to the league just because of the notoriety and dedication they steadily receive, smaller marketed teams like Cleveland have nothing to worry about either. Not to say that there are not loads of talent on the squads of the smaller market franchises, but men like Baron Davis, Daniel Gibson and Antwan Jamison thrive in the cities that they represent. Their names may not be as large in an overseas market, and role players depend on their contributions to the NBA to pay their bills.

Sonny Weems signed a contract for a reasonably lower price, reportedly $1.4 million, without an opt-out clause. While the cash amount is nothing to turn the other cheek in the face off, I am pretty sure Davis would hold steady to his contract for $14 million. Even if there is a hard salary cap placed on teams’ heads when the new CBA is introduced, Davis would not be signed to any team for less than $5 million per. He still has juice in his legs and can still make some type of impact in the league.

The overseas gig is a great look for players looking to make a little extra cash while they are benched indefinitely. But saying that some will make the move permanent is a bit brash and wishful thinking for overseas’ franchises contemplating on their swift entrance followed by an even more swift exit.

Topics: Baron Davis, Cleveland Cavaliers, Deron Williams Signs Contract Overseas, Nba Lockout, Overseas Nba Players, Playing Overseas

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