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Winderman: Draftees wait until 2011, no checks until 2012

Mar 22, 2010, 10:58 AM EDT

As the field of 65 shrinks, expect the field of 60, namely the June 26 NBA Draft, to significantly expand.

While the preliminary results still favor the college game, with Greg Monroe vowing to return to Georgetown and Derrick Favors still undecided on another season at Georgia Tech, figure on plenty of influence from agents and their associates prior to the April 25 NBA early-entry deadline.

The pitch will be simple and to the point:

If you wait until 2011, you may not get paid until 2012.

Oh, there most certainly will be a 2011 NBA Draft. Players will be selected. Teams will introduce their selections.

But then, within days of that process, the league also might shut down.

The sense among NBA insiders is that the issue with a potential 2011-12 lockout is not whether it can be averted, but rather how long it might last. A full season certainly is not out of the question.

So underclassmen who bypass this June’s draft could find themselves without the opportunity to earn an NBA paycheck for two years.

Further, by not getting into the league next season, their “rookie clock” also could be reset for an additional season by a lockout, delaying the ability to move off the rookie scale and into free agency or an extension.

Generally, this is when prospects weigh their place in the draft, decide whether giving up a little in 2010 could result in far more in 2011.

Such, apparently, was Monroe’s thinking, after Georgetown’s unexpectedly swift NCAA Tournament demise.

But what underclassmen will have to consider is whether they can afford to go two years without a pro contract.

Next year, there might not even be an issue, unless overseas or minor-league paychecks will suffice. Staying in school in 2011-12 at least might provide a way to stay in shape.

But in terms of fiscal shape, figure on any player on the fence jumping into this year’s pool.

Sink-or-swim time otherwise might not come for two years.

Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

  1. Joey - Mar 22, 2010 at 1:09 PM

    I keep hearing a lockout is coming. Is this typical of the human condition or what? We refuse to act untill our heads are being mashed against the wall… and even then.
    There is over a year remaining to get a new deal hashed out. Time to act like grown ups and make a mutually beneficial pact PRIOR to the deadline. Not after its already past and it starts affecting everyones lives.

  2. Alan/Portsmouth RI - Mar 24, 2010 at 9:11 AM

    OWNER, by definition, is a proprietor, possessor, holder, landlord, da man….. not one “owner definition” does Webster’s Dictionary state prisoner, blackmailee, and/or Santa Claus. I have been both an owner and a serf working for an owner. Here is my both sided take on the situation.
    Solution to avert a basketball strike:
    Yes, the players are the stars in professional basketball.
    Yes, the team of stars make the owners, and the NBA entity, a whole bunch of money.
    But, in fairness to us fans, and in fairness to the “possessor owners”, make player contracts:
    1. Only last one year.
    2. Have a base conpensation.
    3. And have total incentive bonuses based solely on the individual player’s performance for the year’s contract.
    I, the fan (and I am sure the Owner’s will agree), am sick and tired of players signing a 5 year deal worth tens of millions of dollars, and UNDER-PERFORMING the entire length of their contract.
    It’s easy to fix…..
    **Each new contract year, player will tell the owner the stats that the player promises to accomplish in the next season. Player will need to state points per game, assists per game, rebounds per game, etc.
    **Those promises of stats will become the player’s “base compensation”, computed with/against other players “promised stats” at the same position. The average of those stats will be given a dollar value. On a Chinese Menu…… that is column “A”.
    Someone with Kobe’s or Lebron’s stats (promises) may add up to $15,000,000 for the season’s base compensation.
    Incentive: Do better…..get more money in bonuses. That is Chinese Menu column “B”.
    However, do less…… base comp is goes down.
    Fair is Fair on BOTH SIDES.
    Players want to be “owners” without any of the responsibilities that ownership entails.
    **As an owner….I would have no problem paying a player heaps of money for a stellar season performance.
    **As an owner….I would have no problem decreasing the base player comp if the player fails to perform up to his promises.
    **As a player….I stand to make a huge paycheck if I play to my ability and keep focused on the entire season….Rookie or not.
    I the fan, and I the owner are fed up with big contracts and under performing.
    And
    I the fan, and I the player are fed up with being underpaid for a top performance in a given season.
    Simplifies the process. No strike.

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