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Saturday, November 15, 2008
Brandon Jennings Update and NBA's Age Limit

Luis Fernández and Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress have an update on Brandon Jennings--the 19-year-old American basketball star who opted to play professionally Italy while waiting to become eligible for the 2009 NBA Draft. In addition to living in a rent-free luxury apartment in downtown Rome, among enjoying many other perks, Jennings is earning around $1 million this year, after tax, between basketball and endorsement income (in fact, he stands to earn more in endorsement income this year than any pick from the 2008 NBA Draft, save for the top three players selected, Michael Beasely, Derrick Rose, and O.J. Mayo).

According to
Fernández and Givony, Jennings has played generally well thus far. And according to the very early predictions of both DraftExpress and, Jennings projects to go 7th overall in the 2009 NBA Draft. If those predictions prove accurate, Jennings stands to earn about $8 million in salary in his three NBA seasons, plus whatever endorsement income he earns.

Jennings' eligibility to play college basketball this season was undetermined at the time he signed a contract to play in Italy (he was waiting for the results on his SAT exam), so it remains to be seen whether he proves to be a test case for star high school basektball players skipping college and going to Europe while waiting to satisfy the NBA's one-and-done rule, which requires that a player be 19 years of age plus one year removed from high school in order to be eligible for the draft.

But it will be interesting to follow.

Related Recent Post: NY Times Examines NBA's Age Limit and Youth Basketball (story on Renardo Sidney, the basketball phenom thinking of skipping college and going to Europe).