A lot of big name NBA players — Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki, and the list goes on — have talked about playing in Europe if there is an extended NBA lockout. Thing is, it’s not that simple because if a player has an existing NBA contract he has to get a waiver from FIBA to play for another team.
But if you’re a free agent this summer, you have options.
J.J. Barea is a free agent. And after his performance in the playoffs slicing and dicing through defenses he is in demand. Dallas wants him back but other top teams that need a point guard (Lakers, Heat, Knicks and others) have interest as well once the lockout ends.
But if the lockout drags on Barea said he could just pack it up and go play in Spain for a while, as reported by ESPN Dallas.
“I guess my plan B would be Spain, but I hope that does not happen,” Barea said in a joint video chat Wednesday with El Nuevo Día and Primera Hora as his celebrity media tour throughout his home of Puerto Rico rolls on. Barea went on to say that he doesn’t think the league’s owners and players will allow the situation to become that dire.
We’d all like to think that J.J., we really would. But today of all days, it just doesn’t feel like that, does it?
VIZZINI: “So, it is down to you. And it is down to me.”
MAN IN BLACK nods and comes nearer…
MAN IN BLACK: “Perhaps an arrangement can be reached.”
VIZZINI: “There will be no arrangement…”
MAN IN BLACK: “But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.”
That farcical scene from The Princess Bride pretty much sums up where we are with the Tristan Thompson holdout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, minus the Iocane powder. (Although that scene was a battle of wits in the movie and this process seems to lack much wit.) The Cavaliers have put a five-year, $80 million offer on the table. Thompson wants a max deal (or at least a more than has been offered), but he also doesn’t want to play for the qualifying offer and didn’t sign it. LeBron James just wants the two sides just to get it done.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN thinks LeBron could be very disappointed.
Windhorst was on the Zach Lowe podcast at Grantland (which you should be listening to anyway) and had this to say about the Thompson holdout:
“I actually believe it will probably go months. This will go well into the regular season.”
Windhorst compared it to a similar situation back in 2007 with Anderson Varejao, which eventually only broke because the then Charlotte Bobcats signed Varejao to an offer sheet. Thompson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Cavaliers can match any offer, but only Portland and Philadelphia have the cap space right now to offer him a max contract. Neither team has shown any interest in doing so.
And so we wait. And we may be waiting a while.
ProBasketballTalk’s Kurt Helin explains why he believes the Sacramento Kings have enough pieces to potentially make a run at the final playoff spot in the West.