After the game, we managed to catch up with Andersen in the VIP area, which gave us an opportunity to pick his brain on where he stands in terms of the NBA.One of these days I'll get to quote something that encourages optimism.
Andersen didn’t hesitate to indicate his interest in playing for the Atlanta Hawks, or any other team that might be interested in his services. He did seem a bit frustrated by the predicament he’s in, thought, with his NBA rights essentially being held hostage by the Atlanta Hawks.
“I just wish they would give me a straight answer either way. Every year it’s the same thing. If they want me, great, but if not, I would like to go play somewhere else. I can’t force the tender and go play on a non-guaranteed minimum contract, but I don’t think I’m asking for crazy money either.”
Andersen has another year on his deal with Barcelona, but has a clear NBA escape clause in his contract that that he can exercise until July 15th. That is a difficult situation for Barcelona, as they will be in serious limbo until that point—essentially the very tail end of the signing period for elite European clubs, where there will likely be few if any big men of Andersen’s caliber on the market. Barcelona has an option to buy out Andersen’s contract, and may be forced to do so if they feel like they cannot wait on the NBA to act.
What’s most unfortunate for Andersen is that he had already received assurances from former Hawks GM Billy Knight that they would bring him over to the NBA last summer, but that plan went to naught once he was fired and replaced by Rick Sund, who said he needed another year to evaluate him. The Hawks have apparently had multiple teams try to acquire Andersen in a trade, but have been reluctant to deal him for fear that he may make them look foolish in another team’s uniform. Based on the way Andersen has looked here in Berlin, that’s a legitimate possibility.
Friday, May 08, 2009
David Andersen Update
I missed this blog post by Jonathan Givony from the Euroleague Final Four a couple of days ago, but better late than never.