Saturday, August 20, 2011

Keith Benson Heads to Italy, Everybody Wins

The deal between Keith Benson and Dinamo Sassari reportedly contains a conditional opt-out clause. Take it away, Scott Schroeder:
Benson signed a contract with Dinamo Sassari for the upcoming season, according to a press release posted on the Italian team's website. The release notes that Benson has an opt-out clause to return stateside, but only for a guaranteed NBA contract with provisions keeping him in Italy if his American options are either signing a 10-day contract or being assigned to the NBA Development League.
I see no problems with those conditions. Given the lack of players under contract for 2011-12, the Hawks were likely both to sign him and keep him with the team (rather than assigning him to the D-League) whether he played regularly or not. In the mean time, Benson gets to play at a higher level than the Summit League and the Hawks get to evaluate him at a higher level. It could very well be in the team's best interest for him to play a full season in Serie A instead of sitting at the end of Atlanta's bench. And, if Benson can't beat out Othello Hunter for minutes, then the Hawks need not invest in Benson at all right now.

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