NBA Saturday: Maggette Signing in Greece?
Corey Maggette traveled to Greece this week to meet with team officials from the Thessaloniki-based club PAOK. As Maggette stepped off of the plane in Greece, he was welcomed by hundreds of screaming fans. The group surrounded his car, chanted his name and launched fireworks to show their support.
Not only did Maggette witness just how passionate PAOK’s fans can be, he also toured the team’s facilities and met with members of the organization. Maggette enjoyed his trip to Greece and the contract talks between his camp and PAOK are ongoing and serious.
The offer currently on the table is a one-year, $5 million deal that would include an NBA opt-out clause for Maggette to return to the United States once a new collective bargaining agreement is ratified. Not only will Maggette make roughly $415,000 per month with PAOK, he’ll also receive a portion of jersey and memorabilia sales from the products that are sold as a result of his arrival.
The only holdup at this point is whether or not Maggette can insure the remaining two years and $21,186,207 on his NBA contract. If Maggette is able to obtain insurance, he will sign and finalize the deal, according to sources close to the situation.
As excited as Maggette is to play in Greece, he’s also looking forward to a fresh start in Charlotte. He was traded to the Bobcats on draft night, and believes this is a much better situation than Milwaukee.
“I think it’s really going to rejuvenate me, being able to play with these young guys,” Maggette told HOOPSWORLD in July. “It’s a young feel and the sky is the limit. I’m just looking forward to playing with them. I can’t wait to help them out and then have them help me out as a player as well.”
“Who wouldn’t want to play for Michael Jordan?” he added. “He’s one of the greatest players ever. I mean, when I heard about it, I was ecstatic about this. I think Mike is going to do a great job.”
Before he plays for Jordan, he’ll likely suit up for PAOK’s president Branislav Prelević, much to the joy of his cheering, firework-wielding fans.
Caracter Working Hard: Derrick Caracter is training hard at the famed IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL. He is on a customized plan to keep him in shape during the lockout, and he’s working out daily with top trainer Dan Barto. HOOPSWORLD caught up with Caracter recently to chat about his rookie season, offseason plans and future with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Blair Heading to Russia: On Friday afternoon, DeJuan Blair signed a one-year deal with the Russian club Krasnye Krylya, according to sources close to the situation.
Blair will make between $80,000 and $90,000 per month, and his deal will include an NBA opt-out clause that will allow him to return to the San Antonio Spurs after the lockout ends.
Happy Walters, Blair’s agent, confirmed the reports regarding his client.
“He will be playing against some great teams and will use the extra minutes to get ready for the season, stay in shape and work on new areas of his game,” Walters tweeted on Friday night. “For some players it makes sense to go overseas and play. Others, (RFA about to get paid/high level FA), it’s silly and risky – insurance or not.”
Blair has two years and $2,040,000 remaining on his NBA contract, but he has obtained insurance to protect himself from injury.
Last season, Blair averaged 8.3 points and 7.0 rebounds in 81 games with the Spurs.
Star-Studded Charity Game in Atlanta: A number of NBA stars are in Atlanta to play in a charity game that will take place on Sunday.
Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant and Brandon Jennings are among the players who are expected to participate in the star-studded game.
The event is part of Ludacris’ annual “Luda Weekend” in Atlanta. The rapper will coach Team Luda and Justin Bieber will coach Team Bieber.
Other NBA players expected to be in attendance include Lou Williams, Josh Powell, Iman Shumpert, Raymond Felton, Jarrett Jack, Andrew Goudelock and Chris Singleton. Kyrie Irving will try to fly in to Atlanta today so that he can play in the game.
The game will take place at Morehouse Forbes Arena. Tickets, priced at $10, are still on sale.
HOOPSWORLD Chats: There are no chats on today’s schedule, but you can view all of HOOPSWORLD”s upcoming chats here.