"Bulls second-round draft picks Mario Austin of Mississippi State (35th overall) and Tommy Smith of Arizona State (53rd) will play overseas rather than try to win a spot on the team's roster during training camp, which opens Tuesday. ''This way, they get the playing time and experience to help them develop, and we keep our NBA rights on them for the next year,'' Bulls general manager John Paxson said. ''Mario is playing for CSKA [a first-division team in Moscow], and Tommy is playing for Split [in Croatia]. It's a situation that helps both sides. Had we brought them to camp, we probably would have had to cut them.''"This has been speculated for some time, but I think this is the first time they mentioned what teams Austin and Smith will be going to. Just in case you wanted to buy your CSKA jersey right away.
So instead of Austin and Smith, look for the Bulls to bring in a bunch of non-roster basketball nomads to be sacrificed to Curry and Chandler in camp. This is a smart move by Paxson, yet it makes me pine even more for a true developmental league in the U.S......But that's a discussion for another day.