Last night, Brandon Jennings' attorney told ESPN that Jennings will be heading to Europe to play professional basketball. Jennings, a McDonald's All-American had signed with Arizona, but he had not qualified to attend the university because of low standardized test scores. Jennings is set to receive his latest round of test scores this week, but no matter the results, Jennings is committed to go to Europe.
The bold move by Jennings brings about many interesting and unique questions.
Who will sign Jennings and for how much?
Will a European team be willing to take on an 18-year old who's not yet physically matured that they know they will have for just one season? How much are they willing to pay for a short-term investment? ESPN notes an interesting scenario in which a team might take Jennings because the NBA team that drafts him will have to buy him out of his contract and that could be as much as $500,000.
Can Jennings adjust to the European game?
Their play is much more intricate and can take awhile to learn. Thus, they value experience more than raw athleticism. Can Jennings learn the system and thrive?
How will he be accepted by his teammates?
Will they be upset at the added attention a teenager is getting? This probably depends on Jennings attitude. Will he be a team player or be looking to impress scouts every chance he gets? (I really hope he blogs about all of this.)
What type of attention will Jennings receive?
Scouts will, of course be watching Jennings. But, how much exposure will he get from the media? Players that go to college are on TV all the time and become stars before they enter the NBA. Could Jennings decision to go pro cost him initially in endorsement deals?
This will be an intriguing story I'm very interested to follow over the next year.