Panathinaikos of Athens has already made an offer to Luol Deng.
He might follow Josh Childress' path to Europe.
If I got offered tons of money to play a game in another country, I'd have to seriously think about it. Basketball every year is becoming more of a world sport, evidenced by the Olympics. The NBA might be the grand daddy, and hopefully it will always be the premiere option, but I doubt it. Hockey is the same way. A few NHLers have left for foreign leagues that are big names.
He was hurt last year and is reportedly 100% now. If he plays to his pre-injury form, he will get at least $55 million next year when he is an unrestricted free agent. Also, the Bulls seem to be going nowhere fast and he will be able to have more options about where to play.
So other than delaying the big payday for one year, I don't see much wrong with his decision.
Fwiw, I don't understand the tax-free analysis. Many countries, including the US, tax their citizens on worldwide income. I think Deng is a UK citizen and I would be surprised if the UK did not have a similar provision. UK and European income tax rates are generally even higher than the US income tax rates. Also, my understanding is that Greece taxes foreign residents on all income they earn in Greece.
It would be interesting to hear more about what life for a player in Greece is like. I am sure that the facilities are not on par with those in the US, either for training or playing or probably travel. On the other hand, the schedule and travel might be far less grueling, and life in general might be much more pleasant if a player is curious and bright, which Luel seems like he might be--he went to Duke, right.
It struck me that Childress, when he signed, was in for a wonderful adventure, in contrast to the grind and glitz of the NBA, but I really don't know. Would be a great piece for a journalist to do. ESPN and the other talking head stations won't do it because they make their dough showing high lights from the NBA, not Greece.
Where's Jumbo when we need him!
My Quick Smells Like French Toast.
Grossing up to cover taxes is insanely expensive in the US, since the amount of the gross up is itself taxable, and the obligation to pay all taxes means the provider pays the tax on that amount, as well, which payment is then itself taxable. The calculation rises to absurd levels before the last of it is paid, and it is one of the bigger problems in a number of the golden parachutes corporate executives received in the 80s and 90s.
No idea how the gross up would be treated in Greece.
Oh that Shirley Paul. I just checked out his book on the web and it sounds interesting.
His agent, Keith Glass, is an old acquaintance of mine. His older brother and I played high school ball together. Keith was a pretty good ballplayer himself. Was on the freshman team at UNC. He knew the coach, whom he ended up representing for years. Small world.
Not too bad. Not too bad at all.
Knowing Luol, he'll probably blow a bunch of it on charitable and humanitarian efforts.