Support is growing stronger to make both the Olympics and the World Cup of Basketball solely for players age 22 and under, one NBA GM tells Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, who bemoans an existing system that he believes to primarily benefit Mike Krzyzewski. The change would take effect for 2018 World Cup, Wojnarowski writes. SB Nation’s Tom Ziller argues that while the NBA could work with FIBA to implement an age limit, FIBA has shown hesitancy to cooperate, and that the players union would have a case that any league-imposed restriction should be collectively bargained. Nonetheless, it seems there’s a decent chance that even without so many A-level stars, this year’s World Cup champion Team USA squad will be significantly more talented than the next American entry into the competition. Here’s more from around the NBA:
- Shandong of China has jumped into the race for Gustavo Ayon as his European rights remain up in the air, tweets Shams Charania of RealGM. The Spurs are reportedly still in the mix, with Ayon needing to come up with $376K to pay FC Barcelona, which holds his European rights, if he’s to put pen to paper on a deal with Spanish rival Real Madrid.
- Mike Budenholzer has never held an NBA front-office job, but he played as much of a role in talent acquisition for the Spurs as anyone outside of Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford during his time in San Antonio, writes TNT’s David Aldridge amid his Morning Tip column for NBA.com. Budenholzer is in charge of player personnel for the Hawks while GM Danny Ferry is on indefinite leave.
- A group that included Grant Hill as well as billionaires Tony Ressler and Bruce Karsh made a strong impression on the league when they put up a $1.2 billion bid to purchase the Clippers this spring, Aldridge writes in the same piece. The TNT scribe speculates that they could resurface as contenders for the Hawks.