Because Landen Lucas spent parts of his childhood in Japan where father Richard played pro basketball, he can speak the language fluently. Duran has already fielded offers for him to play in Japan, where he could make nearly $300,000, after taxes, compared to a guaranteed Development League contract of $50,000. Japan could be Plan B, but in these workouts, matched against potential first-round picks such as T.J. Leaf, John Collins and Ivan Rabb, Lucas was not thinking about playing overseas. He wants the NBA.
Some of these players take workouts with the hope of landing on a team’s summer league roster. Others are just warm bodies thrown into 3-on-3 games. “I think we know, we’re aware of it but at the same time it gives us an opportunity to be seen. Beggars can’t be choosers, I suppose,” said Emilio Duran, Lucas’s agent. “We may not be the top prize but the coaches are going to be there regardless. Every time he has an opportunity to show his talent in front of anybody, I think it’s a positive experience for everyone.”
Longtime NBA coach Bob Hill welcomed Yao Ming’s unanimous appointment this week as the Chinese Basketball Association’s new president. In fact, Hill, who has worked as a technical consultant for the Taiwan men’s national team in recent years, hailed the move. “Yao is an iconic figure here in China and rightfully so,” Hill told The Japan Times. “I believe he will be able to open doors for the CBA that have never even been approached throughout the history of the league.”
Yao plans to “sell his stake in the Shanghai Sharks before next season and pursue a reform agenda for the professional league, state media reported,” according to Reuters. What are Hill’s expectations for Yao in his new executive role? “He has the capabilities to upgrade the league like never before,” Hill said of Yao. “I’m confident there will be many, many people rooting for him as he is a quality person as well.”