Update (Friday, 4:15 pm): Yahoo! Sports and HoopsWorld.com report that Blair has signed a one-year contract with Krasnye Krylya in Russia that includes an NBA opt-out clause. The deal will reportedly pay him roughly $90,000 per month.
Original Post: They say winter in Russia is tough, but it can't be too tough for a guy who plays in the NBA without ACLs.
Yahoo Sports reports that San Antonio Spurs forward DeJuan Blair, he of the uniquely reconstructed knees, could be headed to the eastern front.
Spurs forward DeJuan Blair is engaged in serious talks to play in Russia during NBA lockout, sources tell Y! Deal could be struck this week.Should a deal get reached, Blair would be one of the bigger names to head overseas to play during the lockout. A key member of San Antonio's frontcourt rotation, Blair started more than half of the team's games last year and averaged 8.3 points and 7.0 rebounds in 21.4 minutes per game.
A high-energy, undersized rebounding specialist, Blair will only continue to see his role increase as franchise cornerstone Tim Duncan approaches retirement and the Spurs look to fill out their thin frontcourt rotation with some new names.
Blair entered the NBA two years ago with perhaps the biggest injury red flag of any draft prospect in recent memory. The condition of his knees hasn't kept him off the NBA court yet, as he's only missed one game in his two seasons combined.
Selected in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft, Blair signed a unique four-year contract that will pay him less than $1 million in 2011-2012 and barely over $1 million in 2012-2013. Amazingly, those numbers aren't even fully guaranteed either.
To top it off, Blair is just 22 years old, so when you combine his age, durability and the lack of future guaranteed money at stake, a trip overseas comes with relatively little risk. It makes more sense than not for Blair to ply his trade overseas.