As the lockout has entered its third day information has surfaced that University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball Coach John Calipari is offering the facilities at Kentucky to former Kentucky players who find themselves currently without, well, work. He has also offered to help enroll former players into classes if they wish to pursue their degrees as they seem to have an increasing amount of time on their hands. This is a very generous offer from Calipari but it seems that this is his latest recruiting scheme.
Why not have a bunch of NBA players wondering the facilities at Kentucky? What prospective high school player would not be heavily swayed when weighing their options when they know that they could potentially be rubbing elbows with NBA players on a regular basis? However, the offer to get players re-enrolled in classes is good.
It would not be surprising if more schools followed suit and extended offers to former students/players to use their facilities. Yet, one has to imagine that the NCAA might intervene at some point.
Although this is a potentially beneficial step for players who attended college in the United States what are the options for foreign players or those that came directly from high school? Rudy Fernandez may have found an answer.
Fernandez, who was traded to the Dallas Mavericks during the draft, has been offered a contract to play in Spain. Struggling Spanish club Real Madrid has extended a six-year deal to Fernandez that would make him the highest paid player in Spanish ACB history. If he accepts the offer he would receive an estimated $4.35 million a year. If he were to remain in the NBA for the coming season, if there is a season, he would earn $2.2 million with the Mavericks with a qualifying offer of $3.2 million for the following season when he becomes a restricted free agent.
That is certainly a lot of dinero and more than he would likely earn throughout his career in the NBA. Judging by Fernandez’s past sentiments towards the NBA it may be just the offer he has been looking for. If he does sign with Real Madrid he would return to the Mavericks for the 2011-12 season, whenever it begins, before leaving the NBA for Spain.
With all the interest in Europe among NBA players right now Rick Steves should be raking in the dough with a spike in travel guide sales. At least someone is making money off this lockout.