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The Downbeat #1446- Developing in the FIBA World Cup

Jonathan Daniel

Our very own draft and stash point guard, Raul Neto had himself a game against one of the better teams in the FIBA World Cup. Moni posted the highlight reel this morning, so go check this out. Some people are claiming this is proof that Raulzinho is ready to make the jump to the NBA. What do you think?

Dennis Lindsey thinks that the experience that players like Neto, Gobert, and Exum are getting in the World Cup, is valuable to their development. From Tony Jones of the SL Trib:

At the time of that conversation, Exum had been on the road for 31 consecutive days.

"I guess there’s not a better way for him to prepare for what’s about to come," Lindsey said.

Of course the fear of injury lingers, but these guys are playing 3-4 games in a row for the World Cup. Certainly a trial by fire for Exum, who is not used to the rigors of professional basketball.

Naturally, as people laud Raulzinho's play, there are those that have determined that Exum isn't ready for the NBA. From Sean Deveney at Sporting News:

What have we learned?

"Not much," said an Eastern Conference scouting director, laughing. "He’s not ready for the NBA, that is for sure. But a lot of guys are not ready for the NBA and they have got to learn on the fly. He is no different. But he is not going to jump into the league and all of a sudden average 20 points a game. There’s just no way."

Does how a player's performance in an international tournament indicate how they'll perform at the highest level? Deveney's post lists Exum's unflattering statistics, but casually addresses that he "essentially fell out of the rotation in games against Lithuania and Mexico." Before that? 11 and 13 minutes in Australia's first two games.

Here's another point of view on these tournaments:

When the Hayward deal was announced, there was a large contingency that decried the deal as an albatross that would hurt the Jazz's financial flexibility into the future. There was push-back from the another group that saw the deal from the "big picture" and argued that it wouldn't hurt. The reason for it wouldn't have as big of an impact, the latter side argued, was due to the forthcoming tv contract negotiations that the league would soon be entering. From, this morning (h/t @kevindraper):

The NBA and its network partners expect to reach an agreement in principle on new long-term media deals by the start of the regular season, according to sources on all sides of the discussions.

So what does that mean for the league? Here are some numbers being reported:

Talks have progressed so rapidly that details are emerging on a massive agreement that would see the league’s annual rights fee more than double, with ESPN and Turner combining to pay more than $2 billion per year on average. One source said ESPN already has committed to pay "well over" $1 billion per year, and Turner is not far behind for a media rights extension that would kick in with the 2016-17 season.

Since league revenue is what sets the salary cap, this would mean that there will be a jump in the cap figure for next offseason. From Dan Feldman of Pro Basketball Talk:

Using those figures – including a flat $2 billion for the new contracts – the salary cap, which is determined by the NBA’s Basketball Related Income, would rise by $15,960,833.

ESPN is, reportedly, pushing hard to keep Fox Sports from getting access to games. This could turn into a bidding war between the two behemoths and their respective (and even larger) parent corporations (Disney and News Corp, respectively).

That $16 mil would be just enough to effectively cancel out the Hayward contract.

Yesterday and today have been bad days for NBA owners. With information coming to light on some very unfortunate emails from the Atlanta Hawks, it makes you consider what being a fan means. Would you support a team no matter what? Would you consider yourself enabling such behavior if you continued to support a team or league whose actions are considered morally reprehensible by the majority of the country?

For me, if information came out about the Miller's that was similar to what has come out from the Hawks, that would be it for me. I would boycott the Jazz completely. I would sell my season tickets. I would avoid games. I wouldn't feel too complicit in the situation if I continued the support.