According to the Sporting News, the Sixers #16 pick from this June's draft, Nikola Vucevic, is on the verge of signing a contract
to play in Montenegro this season. The Voose would be the first first-round pick taken in this year's draft to make the leap to Europe in anticipation of lost games, or a lost season, due to the lockout.
I have mixed feelings about Vucevic playing overseas. On one hand, playing is always better than sitting around doing nothing. On the other hand, I'm not really sure how much more Vucevic is going to learn from playing against non-NBA talent. The guy played three years in college against mediocre, at best, big men, and for me the question is how he's going to be able to handle playing with - and against - elite athletes on a daily basis. I have a feeling the Voose will be spending most of his time on the perimeter heaving jumpers, which isn't exactly an important skill for this team's center.
It's interesting that the insurance policy is holding up the completion of a deal because Vucevic hasn't signed a contract with the Sixers. In fact, if he blows out his knee in Montenegro, the Sixers can cut ties with him immediately when the lockout ends. Under the expired CBA, Vucevic would've been due about $1.4M in his first season. There's no telling if the rookie scale will be lowered in the new CBA.