Everyone, including myself, has been all gung-ho Brandon Jennings going overseas for a year before playing in the NBA. He will be sticking his middle finger up towards the NBA and its silly one-and-done rule and will have an opportunity to make a six-figure salary while his colleagues are playing for universities bound by rules of amateurism, which do not allow student-athletes to make any money, receive rides around campus, or earn a free dinner at the campus Hillel house. If all works out according to Brandon’s plans, it truly will be a groundbreaking, bold move and Jennings will be remembered as being the pioneer who helped bring about needed change. But what if this whole experiment turns into one big bust?
A big misconception that many people have is that they believe going overseas is going overseas just like playing in the NBA is playing in the NBA. What I mean is that if you play in the NBA, you are in a league with the best of the best, all in two conferences with inter-conference play. Overseas, there are tons of different leagues and many countries have more than one league, ranked by the talent of its players. Luis Fernández, Director of International Scouting for DraftExpress.com believes that Jennings has a very tough choice to make and that if he were smart, he would choose a lower-level league that will allow him great exposure even if it were to mean that Brandon would not be making the $300,000+ he thinks he deserves.
Fernández feels that Jennings would be smart to choose between an Italian league (smaller amount of options), France, Israel, or Turkey (where they are prone to default on payments). If he chooses to chase the money, Jennings may be eaten up alive in Spain. Let’s see what route Jennings and his advisors decide to take. His decision will not only affect his development and future earning earning potential, but will shape the NBA and its one-and-done rule for the foreseeable future.