After the old labor agreement ended, the fourth National Basketball Association Lockout began July 1, 2011. Teams cannot trade, sign or contact players, and the players also cannot access the facilities, trainers and staff of NBA. Until a deal will be reached between the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) and NBA Owners, the lockout will continue.
During the lockout period the players union have encouraged the players to find work overseas. According to International Basketball Federation (FIBA) during the lockout NBA players who continue to have a contract with the NBA are allowed to play anywhere they want, and permission has already been granted for the players to sign with any overseas team. Currently more than 60 players have already decided to sign with foreign teams.
Union and owners met again in September 13 to negotiate but unfortunately salary cap structure was still an issue. Mutual agreement was still not attained.
With the 43 preseason games cancelled some of the Detroit Pistons players considered other alternatives and have decided to sign up and play overseas. Pistons guard Will Bynum who previously played for Israeli Maccabi Tel Aviv was waiting for a decent contract to play overseas however his agent Bartelstein stated his client has no foreign assignment up yet.
Meanwhile, guard Ben Gordon had intended to work for Great Britain in the Eurobasket championships but failed to come into terms with a satisfying insurance plan.Owners wanted to overhaul the system while the union wanted to keep the current structure intact. Players were willing to cut their salary only if owners compromise on the salary cap but the latter did not give in.
Austin Darren Daye currently heads to Russia to play for the BC Khimki Moscow, while Kyle Single also signed up with Spanish team CB Lucentum Alicante. Both have signed overseas contracts with a specific out clause to return to the NBA once lockout is over.
In July 2011, DaJuan Michael Summers signed and overseas contract for the next two seasons with Italy’s Montepaschi Siena. However, many players have not elected to play in international championships with the risks involved, knowing that when injury is incurred during the competition, without the NBA’s health insurance it could cause a crucial blow to their NBA contract as emphasized by Commissioner David Stern.