I can’t help but think there will be a point in this lockout when lower-tier NBA free agents and second round draft picks collectively blink, agree to waive any form of the out-clause that Deron Williams received in Turkey, and sign to terms with European clubs for the entire season regardless of when the NBA lockout comes to an end. If that happens, and there is a race to secure the best opportunities that the Euroleague has to offer in the meantime, the first guys to completely jump may find themselves in an envious position come December if NBA doors are still locked.
Then again, if a bargaining agreement is worked out just after a player is done inking a year of their NBA life away overseas, they might also be in a position where they are pulling hamstrings from kicking themselves repeatedly as hard as they can, firing their agents, and bored out of their minds in a foreign country for twelve months wishing they would’ve just waited things out back in the states. Tough call to be sure, but it does appear that E’Twaun Moore may be one of the first players close to agreeing to either forego, or limit, much of that escape clause which has come to be a main stipulation involved with overseas signings so far this summer.
This from a couple reports over the weekend that Moore is finalizing a deal with Cimberio Varese of Italy; the first being from Sportadano.com:
“The guard spot in Varese will be filled by E’Twuan Moore. The product of Purdue averaged 18ppg, 5.2rpg and 3.1apg in his senior year with Boilmakers and then was drafted by Boston Celtics with the 55th overall pick. The two parts are finalizing the deal who will be with an NBA escape but just for few days when the lockout ends. It is very unlikely that Boston Celtics will need him from the season 2011-12.”
If that NBA escape does end up being ”just for a few days”, that would seem to mean the Celtics would have the option to come to terms with Moore but he wouldn’t necessarily be afforded the opportunity to spend any significant time in Boston in order for Danny Ainge and company to evaluate whether or not they wanted to sign the 55th pick overall for next season in the first place. I’d have to imagine that forcing any NBA team to decide in a “few days” whether or not they want to sign a second round pick would probably result in them not signing him at all in most cases, and I’d have to also imagine both he and his agent are well aware of that possibility. But it still might be the best move for a guy like Moore to make that jump based on the current climate of the NBA, and his agent Mark Bartelstein did confirm that these types of conversations are being had.
This according to Boston.com over the weekend, in response to the Sportando reports:
“We’re looking at some thing right now,” Bartelstein said. “We haven’t made a final decision but we’re certainly having conversation. I wouldn’t deny that at all but we haven’t made a final decision on what we’re doing. We’re looking at some different things. We’ll make a decision if not today, the first couple of days of next week.”
Bartelstein would not say if an overseas contract included an opt-out close for returning to the Celtics in case the lockout concludes and there is a 2011-12 NBA season.
“There are many different things that are being bandied about,” he said. “We’re working towards making a decision pretty soon.”
There’s a lot to consider here for second round guys and unsigned free agents like E’Twaun Moore at the moment. Will the lockout end? When will the lockout end? If the lockout ends will I make the team, how much will I sign for if I did make the team? How much could I sign for overseas now? How much would I sign for overseas later if I got cut? What is for sure, however, is there will only be a finite number of quality opportunities that will exist overseas in the meantime. Cimberio Varese is one of those quality opportunities, and if E’Twaun Moore ends up making a full year commitment I think others will be close behind him doing the same thing. Only time will tell if that decision ends up being the right one.