For second round draft picks and rookie free agents, the NBA lockout means contract limbo. Instead of playing in the NBA summer league, getting invited to training camps, maintaining contact with coaches and trying to play their way into an NBA contract, rookies who were not selected in this year’s first round are currently on hold—at least as it pertains to the NBA. Players are still free to seek employment overseas, as Pittsburgh’s Gilbert Brown did by signing with the Germany-based team S. Oliver Wurzburg.
Brown, a 6’6 wing with a defensive-minded pedigree and athleticism to spare, had been targeted by the Boston Celtics before the lockout halted communication. If the Celtics still want to sign Brown when the lockout ends (in, oh, a couple decades or so), his new contract in Germany will not stop them. His contract includes a clause that will allow him to leave Germany whenever the lockout ends. (Pittsburgh Tribune Review, via ESPN)
The 6-foot-6, 210-pound Brown said he won’t leave for Europe until August, and that depends on the status of the NBA lockout.
“If the lockout ends early, I probably won’t even go,” he said. “It’s basically an insurance policy so I’m not waiting around for the lockout to end.”
Brown, who said a clause in his contract allows him to leave Germany after the lockout ends without penalty, worked out with the Boston Celtics last week.
Before I go I’ll leave you with a few Fourth of July fireworks, Gilbert Brown style. Happy Independence Day, and may teams learn to stop giving Brown the baseline. Unless he signs with the Celtics, of course, in which case teams should olé him baseline all day long.