We knew from the start that one of the reasons the Pistons drafted Trent Plaisted and Deron Washington was because they were willing to start their professional careers overseas. Well, it's happening. Plaisted will spend 2007-08 in Italy. From Daily Herald, a newspaper in Provo, UT:
The former BYU center, who forfeited his final year of college eligibility, has signed a one-year contract with a top-level Italian team, Angelico Biella (also known as Pallacanestro Biella.)
The industrial town of Biella, which has about 40,000 residents, sits at the base of the Alps and has no soccer team.
"So they're into their basketball," Plaisted told the Daily Herald on Wednesday while vacationing in Idaho. "I guess I don't know for sure, but the plan right now is that I will play a lot."
[...] "I was on board (with going to Europe)," Plaisted said. "I'm lucky. The team I'm going to is a Division I (also known as Serie A) team that knows my situation and they're going to allow me to develop and do those things I need to do to improve so I can go back to the Pistons. There's great competition, and I'm really excited."
Exact terms of the deal weren't reported, but I'm guessing he'll actually end up making more than if he stayed in the states.
Plaisted said the contract details look even better when considering the tax credit and exchange rate.
"I'm not breaking the bank," he said. "But it's a good contract."
All Plaisted will be responsible for is food, gas and cell phone. The rest is taken care of by the team, plus he'll be given six round-trip airline tickets.
Washington has yet to sign a contract, but the Pistons are helping him find a team. From Pistons.com:
The Pistons have been working with Washington’s agent and using their network of European contacts to secure the best situation possible for him and hope to land him with a team in either Italy or Spain soon. Before Washington has to leave for abroad, they hope can take part in some or all of the three weeks of voluntary workouts Michael Curry has scheduled in Auburn Hills for August.
"We sit down (with his European coaches) and say these are the things we think he needs to develop so in time he can come back – that’s the idea," Perry said. "And it’s important that he has coaches who have shown the willingness and the ability to develop guys. It’s also important that he has the opportunity to play. It makes no sense if he’s not going to get minutes on the floor. That will be an integral part of where he’s going as will the living situation. You want him to have the opportunity to be in a place where he’ll enjoy living a little bit because that will be a part of the adjustment."