Okay, so a week or so back, I wrote a long opinion article on my feelings about guys like James Posey, who was then in contract negotiations with his current team the New Orleans Hornets, and their journeymen like careers, playing for the highest bidder each year in order to rack up as many rings as possible without forming a bond with the fans in a single city they play in.

Well, in a strange twist, there’s a new bidder in town for role players like Posey, and he doesn’t just offer deals for MLE (Mid Level Exception) guys.

Enter European professional basketball.

As if the NBA free agent market wasn’t unpredictable enough, it just got more interesting with the recent signing of former Atlanta Hawks swingman Josh Childress to Euroleague powerhouse Olympiacos.

Yes, Josh Childress who was the drafted 6th overall in 2004 .

Yes, Josh Childress who was the 6th man on an Atlanta Hawks team who took the eventual NBA Champion Boston Celtics to seven games this year.

Yes, Josh Childress who is going on only his 4th year in the NBA, but has already developed into quite a important role player.

Yes, that guy just left the NBA for the Euroleague. Well, not just the Euroleague, but the Euroleague, the beautiful women of Greece, and an unprecedented 20 million dollar contract.

Wow. 20 million dollars after taxes. A three year deal, so roughly 6.5 million dollars a deal. All this for a guy who doesn’t even start. However, he’s exactly what the European teams are trying to attract; he’s young, tall, and extremely athletic, a rarity in the Euroleague.

While this may only seem like a minor loss in the eyes of the league, it can be looked as the beginning of something that potentially may be a big problem.

In the summer of 2010, the free agent will be buzzing louder than maybe ever before. Why? Because the heir to the basketball throne, LeBron James will be a free agent, should he not renegotiate with Cleveland between now and then, a move that most do not see him making, considering the favorable amount of attention he is getting from both the New York Knicks, and the now-New Jersey-but soon to be if Jay Z has any say-Brooklyn Nets. Now we all know LeBron is from Ohio, but it’s also well documented that he and Mr. Carter (Jay Z’s government name) have a very friendly relationship. Many think he will bolt for the big lights of NYC come 2010.

But imagine this. James, whose made it very well known he wants to be a billionaire, may have a new suitor in the form of any one of the Euroleague clubs. If a club can afford to give Josh Childress $20 million over three years, imagine the bidding war for James.

$75 million over two years?  $250 million over 4 years?  I know it seems crazy now, but this may soon be a reality. I’m not 100% positive, but I don’t think the Euroleague has a salary cap it must follow. Could you imagine the game’s youngest, most talented player, jumping ship and leaving the NBA for the one thing it can’t give him, more money?

If you don’t believe the Europeans won’t shell out for the goods, think again. In 2007, rap sensation 50 Cent went on a European tour that spanned nearly two months. His nightly salary? Anywhere between $500,000 to $1 million dollars a night. Yes, I said nightly, and yes, I said 1 million.

His average show fee in America?

Roughly $100,000.

Even current “best rapper alive” Louisiana native Lil Wayne went on his 1st European tour earlier this year. When asked about why he finally decided to cross the pond to headline his own tour and do promotion in Europe, he simply responded, “Money.”

So if they’re going to shell out big money to see a guy perform once, what makes you think they won’t shell out more to see someone who might the greatest performer of his craft for a year?

You don’t have to answer that. No, not you.

Well, not unless your name is David Stern.

Stern’s dream to have players from the NATIONAL (see definition of national) Basketball Association play home and away games in other countries might come true.

Problem is, they might not be playing for the NBA anymore.

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