A week into the lockout and about a dozen players have already ditched the United Statesfor Europe. None bigger than Deron Williams, who agreed in principle to play with Besiktas in Turkey. As the same team also wooed Zaza Pachulia, it looks like we have a genuine European Dream Team on our hands. Some other sites are overhyping this move a little. The contract Williams negotiated stipulates that whenever the NBA ends its lockout, Williams is allowed to return. Honestly, I think Williams just wanted to get a little more practice playing in the swamps of Jersey. Loud, odoriferous gents with entirely too much chest hair? If it ain’t Jersey, it must be Turkey! The real news here is how dire the NBA lockout appears – especially to players. Chris Paul said the Players Association is committed to fighting. The league is bickering with Forbes over how much money they are or are not making. Kobe’s open to playing overseas – possibly China. Serge Ibaka and Pau are circling a Spain exodus. Armani Jeans Milano wants Carl Landry and Pops Mensah-Bonsu. POPS! DaJuan Summers is off to Italy. Nicolas Batum talks as if he’s overseas already (literally). Sonny Weems and Darius Songaila are off toLithuania. It’s only the second week of July. Imagine what it will be like three months from now if this lockout is still on?
Anyway, here’s equally depressing fantasy basketball news from the week:
Stephen Curry – Might re-enroll at Davidson to continue on with his education if the lockout continues. I want NBA TV to have cameras ready all over the world when the lockout ends so it can have a massive montage like a movie sequel in qhich the first 10 minutes of the movie shows what wacky shizz all our favorite characters have gotten themselves into since last we saw them. Curry’s improving his 3.1 GPA! Boozer’s bartending! Kaman is teaching an unpopular course on etiquette! Billups owns his own driving school! Lockout’s over! We’re gettin’ the band back together!
Andrei Kirilenko – After hearing that Rudy Fernandez turned down a $4.3 million-per-year offer from Real Madrid, Kirilenko offered his services for about $5.8 million. For the record, I also offered my services to Real Madrid and they were less interested in my offer. But only slightly. If I had to place money on which fantasy-relevant player was most likely done in the NBA, it’s Kirilenko. There’s a very real (or “Ray-Al” if you’re Spanish) possibility that AK-47 won’t be the only player to hop the ocean and never come back.
Michael Beasley – Busted for pot possession, but might not face a penalty from the NBA because the NBA doesn’t care what players do right now. He could incite a riot by throwing a trash can through the window of Sal’s pizza for all Stern cares. Speaking of which – or ‘wiches if you’re a hipster working in a Jimmy John’s – I’m interested in which players do any volunteering during the lockout. Sure, every last player is all about reading Goodnight Moon to the kiddies when the cameras are rolling. Turn the cameras off, we’ll see how many of ‘em care.
Roy Hibbert – The H.I.B. Virus tweeted happy thoughts on Frank Vogel’s promotion to head coach: “Even with a lockout going on I wanna congratulate frank on being hired. U deserve it.” A happy Hibbert should advance him about two rounds in your fantasy draft. No foolin’.
Brandon Roy – Former Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard said the team knew about Roy’s fluky knee when they handed him an extra $80 million. If you’re Greg Oden, are you hoping the Blazers extend your contract now?
Brian Scalabrine – said that he will play in Europe if the lockout negotiations don’t improve in two weeks. “No he won’t.” -Europe.