Josh Childress Chooses Greece Over NBA
That headline deserves a few !s, if you ask me. It really happened, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Sekou Smith: Atlanta restricted free agent Josh Childress signed a fat contract with Olympiakos of Greece -- bigger than the previously reported three-year, $20 million offer.
To say this signing is a major coup for Olympiakos and the Euroleague is a massive, massive understatement. Childress, a 25-year-old stud just entering his prime, reported turned down a five-year, $33 million contract from Atlanta this summer. Are things in the Hawks franchise that bad? (Probably.) Is the Greek offer that much better? (Probably.) Did anyone ever think a signing like this could happen so soon? (Definitely not.)
This is much bigger news than the Brandon Jennings signing with Virtus Roma. Jennings is biding his time before an NBA entrance because he actually cannot play in the NBA next year. Childress, a former top-10 pick and a would-be perennial Sixth Man of the Year contender, is entering his prime and could have secured millions in the NBA. But he chose to go elsewhere.
If revenue continues to grow in Europe for the top clubs, teams like Olympiakos can continue to offer these mammoth contracts to yank studs away from the NBA. Europe will likely never pull a LeBron or Dwight Howard cornerstone type. But Childress is only the beginning. (Maybe the Lakers ought to give Andrew Bynum his contract, lest they find themselves in a contract battle with BC Kiev or something.)
Previously on FanHouse:
Is ATL Good Enough to Let Childress Flee?