Tag Archives: Oklahoma City Thunder

Why do NBA Teams Draft-and-Stash International Players?

Ricky Rubio, who was drafted 5th overall by Minnesota in 2009, just recently signed a contract to play for the Timberwolves.

With the prospect of many international players being drafted in the 2011 NBA draft, I thought it would be useful to understand why some teams draft international players but do not sign them to contracts immediately. International players almost always play for another professional team whenever they are drafted by NBA teams. This fact sometimes causes snags in the process of bringing the international player to North America to play in the National Basketball Association. When these issues arise, a number of teams employ what is sometimes referred to as the “draft-and-stash” approach.

There are three main reasons for this strategy: 1) contractual issues; 2) developmental reasons; and 3) roster space. It is common for all three reasons to play into a team’s decision to “draft-and-stash.”

Contractual Issues

Because nearly all international players play for other professional teams when they are drafted, some contractual issues arise. Many player contracts, whether in the NBA or other professional leagues, are signed for multiple years. Just like teams are not allowed to skip out on paying a player’s salary, a player cannot leave the team and go play for another team (that would be a breach of contract). Therefore, international players commonly have a contractual obligation to their current professional teams. In order to get out of the contract, the player has to pay a “buyout.”
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NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement – Part One

Billy Hunter, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, and David Stern, NBA Commissioner, answer questions about the pending labor negotiations during the NBA Finals.

Introduction

“I heard the NBA is going to have a lockout, but I am not sure what that means or why it’s happening.”

A similar thought has probably crossed your mind throughout this season. However, if you are like me, you have tried to block out any thoughts of a lockout because of the Thunder’s amazing postseason run and overall awesomeness of the 2010-2011 NBA season. Now that the season has concluded, this will be the prevailing topic on which the media focuses this summer (certainly so after the NBA draft). The Thunder likely will not make any big splashes on draft night (although you never know with Mr. Presti running the show), so the big question hanging over the heads of Thunder fans is “will there even be a 2011-2012 season?!”

I wish I knew the answer to this question. My gut feeling is that there will be a lockout and it will last into training camp and pre-season, but a deal will get done before any regular season games are missed. However, your guess is as good as mine at this point. The purpose of this article is to give Thunder fans some context to collective bargaining negotiations, so that you can better understand the ever-evolving and complex situation. First, you must understand how we got to this point. Continue reading