It would be wrong to draw early conclusions from the 2009 offseason in Euroleague basketball with more than two months to go before most domestic leagues start. Which is exactly why I’ll do it.
There is usually a topic, a tag which you can assign to a summer of basketball transfers. Last year’s was “the shockwave summer”, “the message to the NBA”, “the beginning of a new era”. Well, the era ended before it had begun. Clearly the signings of Atlanta Hawks sixth man Josh Childress, a wanted man on the free agent market at that point, and high-school star Brandon Jennings were signals that Europe might become a consistent option in the future for NBA roleplayers and high school boys that for various reasons do not want to attend college, however, just when European basketball reached an all time high in media attention, the financial crisis struck the economy badly. Basketball clubs weren’t spared. Dynamo crashed badly. Even CSKA was late on salaries, a scenario you would have been laughed at, had you predicted it three months earlier. The stories of Pargo, Nachbar and others not getting paid will make some players think twice before they come over. Stars are always getting paid? Exceptions? A non-recurring situation? They won’t care.