Yes, we’re still pretty convinced in these parts that there will be a lockout come July 1. Hope we’re wrong, don’t think we are.
But lockout or no, there will be an NBA Draft this June 23. Clippers fans can start debating now whether or not to draft Harrison Barnes with that top pick.
What happens after that, nobody is sure.
Draft picks cannot be signed until after July 1 in any year, according to ESPN’s Collective Bargaining Agreement expert Larry Coon. That means these players will be signed under any new CBA — and if there is a lockout they are locked out. They really have no control over the situation.
The threat of a lockout is not impacting decisions about whether or not to come out or stay in college another year, at least not yet, according to Jonathan Givony, president and director of scouting for Draft Express.
“I imagine at the end of the day players will still enter, except for those rare guys that truly love school and come from the type of background that means they don’t have to worry about financial considerations as much as others,” Givony said via email. “Every year there are a ton of guys who enter without much hesitation at all because they feel like they’ve had enough of college and they are ready to be pros. My opinion is they’ll still enter.”
One interesting side note: As Henry Abbott noted at TrueHoop yesterday, one group that consistently loses in every NBA CBA is young players, particularly those yet to enter the league. To use an easy example, if David Stern wants to push the mandatory one year of college (well, really one year after high school) rule to two years, the players union is likely to go along with that because it means players in the union have fewer people threatening their jobs short term.
That two-year rule will come up in negotiations (whether it is put in or not remains to be seen). But would a rule like that push more players to go the Brandon Jennings route and go to Europe for a couple years?
“Europe could become a more attractive option if that’s indeed the case, but the big-money European teams need to show mutual interest, and right now they aren’t,” Givony said. “Those guys after all really can’t help those teams win games at their level. A lockout will mean more borderline NBA type players will head to Europe, so there will be even less “good jobs” for those high school guys.”