From the desk of Windhorst:
A Spanish Web site reported Wednesday that Cavaliers’ first-round draft pick Christian Eyenga has signed a new contract with DKV Joventut in Spain.
Sportando.net, which tracks basketball in Europe, said the 6-5 shooting guard signed a three-year contract less than a week after completing summer league with the Cavs.
The Plain Dealer was unable to independenly confirm the report Wednesday night. In an interview last week, Eyenga declined to discuss his contract situation. The Cavs will maintain his rights but it is still unclear whether the contract has opt-out clauses or a significant buyout to come to the NBA.
After drafting him with the 30th overall pick in the first round on June 25, the Cavs seemed content to let Eyenga develop over in Europe for at least a year. After seeing him perform in the Vegas Summer League, where he averaged 8.8 points and shot 47 percent, a source said the Cavs wanted to sign him to his slotted two-year, $2 million contract so he could work on his game spliting time between Cleveland and Erie, Pa., in the NBA Development League.
Eyenga, 20, was a free agent in Europe after spending most of last year with Prat Joventut, the Spanish franchise’s junior team. NBA teams are allowed to contribute up tp $500,000 for a buyout but sometimes players sign deals with massive buyouts in exchange for more salary. As a result, numerous former picks are stuck in Europe because they can’t afford to pay their buyouts with the slotted salaries NBA teams can pay.
This is a major issue for another DKV Joventut player, Minnesota Timberwolves’ first-round pick Ricky Rubio. His contract with Joventut contains a buyout around $6 million and it is proving to be a significant stumbling block for him to get to the NBA. Wednesday, Rubio announced he was leaving Joventut but may not be coming to the NBA.
Because Eyenga knew he was a first-round pick when before entering the deal — unlike Rubio, who signed with the franchise as a young teen — he may have been able to insert a more-favorable buyout clause if the report is accurate.
Cleveland.com link here
I thought this was the dumbest draft pick ever, then I was getting all excited about him because he was raising eyebrows in the summer league… now I don’t know how to feel.