HoopsHype Josh Childress rumors

July 15, 2011 Updates

Has anyone contacted him from the players union about his comments since he first said them: “No, no, no. They understand where I’m coming from, and quite frankly I was just being honest. Like I said, the biggest thing is just making sure guys are informed. I would hate for a guy to not know what he’s getting in to, and I truly hope that everyone that goes has a great experience like I did.” What exactly are they ‘getting into’ as he’s alluded to: “Well it’s just a different style. It’s a different style of play, mentality, overall just a completely animal. And I think you get some situations where some coaches you’re going to get two-a-days every day, and you’re going to be playing one game a week, one to two games a week. It’s just different. There’s not a ton of things I can say about it other than it’s just different and that you’re aware of that. I wouldn’t want guys going over there thinking it’s like the NBA, because it’s not.” Sports Radio Interviews

July 13, 2011 Updates

But don't take my word for it. Phoenix Suns swingman Josh Childress returned to the NBA this season after spending the previous two playing for the Grecian version of the Boston Celtics, Olympiacos. Now that he's back in the NBA, I asked if he'd consider returning to Europe to play during the lockout and jeopardize the last four years of his five-year, $33 million deal. "No, I wouldn't," he says. "And I don't know why guys would. I understand that guys really want to play. But you sometimes have to look at what you have and treat this as a business. The only way I could see it making sense is if you're a player from a particular country going back. But for an American player with a good-sized guaranteed deal here, I can't see why you'd do it." ESPN.com

One great misnomer is that a player is just as at risk of a contract-voiding injury playing at Pauley Pavilion or in some other offseason pick-up game as playing overseas. "Couldn't be further from the truth," says agent Mark Bartlestein, whose agency, Priority Sports & Entertainment, has nearly 40 NBA clients and two dozen players overseas, including Songaila. "Every NBA player contract that I'm aware of has language in it that allows them to play pick-up basketball. But you're not protected if you're playing in a summer league, charity game or for a team in Europe. For a player who is in a big-time lucrative contract, there's tremendous risk." ESPN.com

Childress, comparatively, signed a three-year, $20 million deal with Olympiacos, but that's when its owners were trying to make a splash and Childress had to agree to stay at least one full season. With Greece's economy in ruins, both Olympiacos and Panathanaikos are now up for sale, leaving the number of teams able and willing to offer a deal comparable to Williams' at "less than 10," according to multiple sources. Several teams from the Turkish League are spending lavishly because the country's economy is booming, but it is the exception thanks to, in part, not being a full member of the European Union. Not only are the days of the Greek government arranging tax-free concessions for its sports franchises over, but the cost of bailing out Greece has prompted other governments in the European Union to close tax loopholes for their country's teams as well. ESPN.com

"One of the biggest things guys will have to realize is that whatever offer you get, there's no guarantee you'll actually get all that money," Childress says. "If a guy isn't playing well or a team is out of the playoffs, they'll just stop paying you. I know tons and tons of players who just walked away because they didn't want to go through the hassle of going to court to get their money." And while Besiktas gave Williams an option to leave whenever the NBA lockout ends, the best teams in Europe are not inclined to do that. "They want to build a team, not just get guys for a few months of entertainment," Childress says. "Those teams don't look at themselves as a younger brother to the NBA or a feeder system or inferior level of competition," says one agent, who requested anonymity. "Their perception and pride is not what it was 10 years ago." ESPN.com

The chance of injury, or falling out of favor, is heightened by travel and training that is considerably more spartan as well. "I played for one of the biggest clubs in Europe," Childress says. "But there were still six- and seven-hour bus rides, we didn't stay at the best hotels and we flew commercial nine out of 10 times. And not all coaches care about your body. It's more military style. There's no getting tired. I'll be interested to see how guys' bodies respond." ESPN.com

July 12, 2011 Updates
July 1, 2011 Updates

Former Celtic Nenad Krstic recently signed a two-year deal to play in Europe for CSKA Moscow. Wojnarowski expects others to follow. “I think you’re going to see that,” he said. “The problem right now is that a few years ago overseas was a big threat and then the euro crashed. There aren’t as many teams in Europe as there were a few years ago. There was a couple years there where, you know, Josh Childress had a $6 million a year deal in Europe. Those deals aren’t there anymore for those kind of guys. If a front line NBA guy wants to go over there, he can get a good contract. The middle-of-the-road, the middle-class guys who were going over there and really getting paid well, getting paid more than they could get with say the veterans minimum here or even like a $1.8, $2.2 million deal, they could get a little better over there. That money isn’t really there anymore. So you will see more guys go over there. Now for Krstic it was easy because he’s from Europe and he has a comfort level there. But I think you’ll see a few more guys sign up like that, fringe guys, but the guys who are under contract and aren’t free agents right now, they’re going to have to ride it out.” WEEI.com

February 16, 2011 Updates
February 14, 2011 Updates

The union, I’m told, is also realistic about the overseas market and knows that only a limited numbers of players can reasonably expect decent offers. There are likewise very few teams, even in Europe’s biggest leagues, with the budget to come anywhere close to NBA money, which is why we never saw the once-feared exodus of NBA players after Josh Childress left for Greece in the summer of 2008 for two seasons with Olympiacos. So no one in the Players Association is prepared to suggest that Europe, even if its legal read proves correct, will be a legitimate option for more than a handful of locked-out NBAers. ESPN.com

February 7, 2011 Updates
December 19, 2010 Updates

Josh Childress does not regret one bit signing this summer with the Suns, who are overloaded with wing players, even though he has been removed from the rotation. As for his decision to play through a right index finger fracture with a splint, that is different. Childress, a training-camp-scrimmage star before the injury, slipped from the Suns rotation this week after playing in the first 23 games with averages of 17.0 minutes, 5.3 points and 3.0 rebounds - all are career lows. Arizona Republic

December 16, 2010 Updates

Forward Josh Childress is facing another week to two weeks with a splint on his right-index finger. The finger has been X-rayed regularly, but the bone's healing has been slower than expected since he fractured it Oct. 19, when Golden State's Jeff Adrien fouled him on a dunk attempt. Arizona Republic

December 3, 2010 Updates

Childress remained a restricted free agent when he sought to return last summer to the NBA. But after signing Joe Johnson to a maximum contract, the Hawks were cash- strapped and didn't want to pay Childress. So they worked out a deal with Phoenix to at least get a second-round pick and a $3.63 million trade exception for him. "Yeah, I was willing,'' Childress said about returning to the Hawks in the summer of 2008 rather than head to Greece. "Atlanta, honestly, they never offered me a contract. I took a lot of heat (for leaving), but they never offered a contract. When I went back to the game, when we played there (Nov. 7), I got booed up and down. People called me a 'traitor,' but I never got offered of a contract. Traitor or not, if I don't have a deal on the table, how is that a traitor?'' FanHouse.com

After averaging 11.1 points in his four Hawks seasons, Childress is averaging just 6.0 this season for the Suns. After signing a five-year, $33 million contract in a sign-and- trade between Atlanta and Phoenix, Childress is averaging just 18.2 minutes per game, down from the 31.3 he averaged in his Hawks tenure. "Heck, yeah,'' Childress, who averaged 15.2 points last season for Olympiakos, admitted about it being an adjustment back to the NBA. "This travel schedule and these back -to-backs, it really has taken its toll on my body right now since I've been out of it for two years... (But) I'm not going to make excuses for myself. I just have to play better. It's not on anybody else.'' FanHouse.com

November 2, 2010 Updates
October 26, 2010 Updates

Suns forward Josh Childress practiced Monday for the first time since fracturing his right index finger a week ago but his availability to play will be determined Tuesday. He said each bit of contact was painful and that he shot with his finger pulled off the ball. "If it does get worse, it would require surgery and that's what I don't want," Childress said. "That's where there is a little bit of hesitation." Arizona Republic

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