You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.
Advertisement

Potential NBA lockout shouldn't matter

There were 103 athletes, including interntional players, on the early entrant list for the NBA draft.

General consensus is that number is high because the NBA's collective bargaining agreement is up after next season, and prospects fear a lockout.

Actually, there were more players on the early entrant list -- 104 -- last season, NBA assistant director of scouting Ryan Blake said this week.

And this buzz about more prospects staying in the draft for fear of not landing on a team in 2011?

Blake doesn't like it.

"The players association is basically run by the agents and what the agents are trying to tell the kids is that you've got to go now because there's going to be a lockout. That is ridiculous because if you don't get drafted this year, that means you're not going to get paid this year or next year," Blake said. "But the agents are like, 'If they sign with me, I'm going to make probably more money if they're overseas. I still have them.' "

The NBA's collective bargaining agreement likely will expire July 1, 2011. There's an option to extend the current CBA through 2011-12 but that probably won't happen by a Dec. 15 deadline.

Owners want to cut salaries and have more of a hard salary cap rather than continue with the current cap, which has a luxury tax. That could mean the rookie wage scale goes down. Currently, first-round picks get a guaranteed two-year contract with club options for an additional year.

But even if there is a lockout, there still will be a draft, and the NBA has never gone a full season without playing a game.

In the last lockout in 1998-99, the league played a 50-game schedule.

Agent David Falk told USA Today earlier this year that prospects shouldn't "panic" at the threat of a lockout.

"You should come out when you're ready to make an impact," Falk told the paper.

If JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore decide to stay in the draft and go in the second round or undrafted, they could face an uphill challenge, Blake said.

"Second round is basically kind of a crapshoot," Blake said. "If you're not assured first round, that's a huge risk (to leave college early). When you've got a guy who is first round, you've got guaranteed money. When you go into the second round or undrafted -- those are almost the same because you're going to be in a spot where you're going to fight for a spot with other free agents, other guys on the summer league team, international early entries and guys who they may have under contract that might be overseas, and there's not really that many (roster) spots.

"It's really difficult (to make it), and I'm a percentage-numbers guy."

For more on Blake's thoughts on Johnson and Moore, check out the JG on Thursday.

Advertisement