I won’t even pretend to understand the origins and details of America’s economic crisis, but I do know it’s hitting the NBA and doing some significant damage. The fact that there’s even the slightest validity to rumors that New Orleans could trade Chris Paul simply to save money is proof enough.
Today, on the tail-end of a story in the Charlotte Observer about the Bobcats’ draft plans, we see another example of the economy directly impacting a team’s potential success/failure on the court. The team was already losing money before the economy was in bad shape, and majority owner Bob Johnson is reportedly looking to sell, and now this:
The Bobcats are skipping summer league this year to save money. (Larry) Brown is looking at alternatives to get the young players some experience. Point guard D.J. Augustin will be participating in a USA basketball camp during July.
Brown said they might place (Alexis) Ajinca, Sean Singletary and one or more draft picks on another franchise’s summer-league team. The downside, he said, is that complicates minute distribution for the other franchise’s summer team.
Brown also might hold a summer camp in Charlotte for the young players, draft picks and some free agents.
Granted, summer league isn’t going to prove the difference in whether the Bobcats make the 2010 playoffs or not. (Especially if they do what I think they’re gonna do and sign Allen Iverson in free agency.) But for a young team that has some key players still in need of crucial offseason development, it’s kind of a big deal. While every other ’09 Lottery team will be able to get their prized rookie indoctrinated into their system before training camp, Charlotte will have to be creative just to get their #12 pick on the court with other NBA players. It’s not as bad as a top NFL pick holding out and missing a chunk of training camp, but it has the same effect.
Photo. Charlotte Observer