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Blog Entry

Weak European market for locked out NBA players?

Posted on: June 11, 2011 8:28 pm
Edited on: June 11, 2011 8:29 pm
One NBA agent says the European market for locked out NBA players is pretty weak. Posted by Ben Golliver.

With little progress coming out of the latest round of labor negotiations between NBA commissioner David Stern and National Basketball Players Association head Billy Hunter, NBA players are forced to consider the fact that Game 6 on Sunday or Game 7 on Tuesday could be the last time an NBA game is played for quite some time.

Everyone's back-up plan, at least in theory: Go to Europe and play there!

But one NBA agent with experience negotiating contracts overseas says that players are in for a rude awakening when it comes to demand for their services in the European market.

Agent Marc Cornstein, who recently negotiated a contract for former Boston Celtics center Nenad Krstic with CSKA Moscow, told that economic factors will prevent very many players from finding high-paying work overseas.
“I think what a lot of people don’t realize is, you’re going to have a perfect storm of issues here,” Krstic’s agent, Marc Cornstein, told Sporting News. “The economy in Europe is not great, that is a consideration. The lockout here is a big consideration. The bigger teams, like Moscow, are going to be very aggressive early. But beyond that, there are very few teams overseas that are going to be able give lucrative contracts. 

“Maybe 10 or 12 teams will be able to give out $1 million contracts, and they only have 12 roster spots. A lot of those teams have players already under contract, players that they’re happy with. Not every team is going to be in a position to completely restructure the roster to bring in NBA players. None of them are, really."
Going overseas requires a lifestyle change. Certainly some percentage of NBA players wouldn't be interested for that reason. Others simply might not need the money. 

But for fringe NBA players without future guaranteed contracts, international players that want to play closer to home, American players who simply want to compete competitively no matter what happens with the labor negotiations, and those who are looking to maximize  their career earnings potential, there's plenty of motivation to explore the overseas option should these negotiations continue to drag. That is going to put a serious squeeze on the available spots, to be sure.

While we might not be there quite yet, the date for NBA players to commit to the overseas option is approaching very rapidly. This could soon become a matter of who jumps first.

Since: Nov 1, 2009
Posted on: June 12, 2011 5:24 am

Weak European market for locked out NBA players?

"The economy in Europe is not great, that is a consideration"
what an idiot. it's not the economy. europeans love soccer and that's it. they don't care about basketball, that's the reason why there is no money in it and never will.

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: June 11, 2011 10:28 pm

Weak European market for locked out NBA players?

There is yet another factor preventing NBA players from playing in Europe. The FIBA controls all of European basketball and FIBA will not allow a club to sign a contract with a player already under contract with another club, including those in the NBA.

So the only players who can sign in Europe are those who are free agents now or after July 1, 2011. The limit on most FIBA teams in Europe is two non-country players per team. So Spanish teams in the ACB cannot sign more than two non-Spanish players. This limit and the desire for continuity wll draw teams to players who can sign long-term contacts with large buy-outs.

But the lockout, when it comes, will force both teams and players to sacrifice money now for money in the future. Europe will not be a significant factor except to keep players drafted by the NBA, unsigned and playing in Europe, in Europe another year.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or