Sassari Rumors

Keith Benson, the Hawks’ second-round draft pick in June, has signed to to play for Sassari in the top Italian league. Benson’s mother, Janice Hale, said Benson’s contract includes an opt-out clause that would allow him to return to Atlanta if/when the NBA lockout ends. “Keith feels that having an opportunity to play professionally during the lockout will enable him to maintain his conditioning and prepare him for the Atlanta Hawks training camp when the lockout ends,” Hale wrote in an e-mail. “He has received numerous offers to play in Europe and Asia. In fact, there were offers that were close to double the offer he accepted. Many of the teams that offered him wanted to build their teams around him as the starting center and would not provide the opt out clause. He agreed to play for Sassari because they were willing to include the opt out clause in his contract.”