Kevin Huerter and his family are all class, so they don’t have this problem.
Me? I don’t have the luxury of that claim, which is why it’s still gnawing a little that a spirited Twitter competition between NBA beat writers -- just doing their jobs, mind you -- appears to have cost Huerter an average of $215,400 per year for what will be a three-year contract with the Atlanta Hawks.
Sorry, but I can’t help thinking about stuff like that.
Weep not for Huerter, of course.
The former Shenendehowa and University of Maryland star is now a soon-to-be rich 19-year-old, having been picked 19th in last week’s NBA draft by the Atlanta Hawks after just two seasons of college ball.
Because the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NBA and the players union has locked in a scale for first-round draftees, the 19th pick in 2018 is scheduled to make $1,859,200 as a rookie and $2,178,200 next season. (The first two years of what is typically a three-year contract are guaranteed.)
That’ll buy more than a few slices at Pizza Works on Route 50, where Huerter and his Shen teammates used to meet with players from Scotia-Glenville for snacks not too many years ago.
One thing interesting about his draft night experience is that responsible and professional reporting through social media had a direct effect on Huerter’s position, and by extension his upcoming contract.
That’s based on what Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk told the radio station 95.7 The Game in San Francisco last week.
Atlanta was prepared to pick Huerter at 19, but liked him enough to talk to the Milwaukee Bucks about a trade up to 17 as insurance against the possibility that Huerter wouldn’t be available at 19. The trade would’ve cost Atlanta a package of picks just to move up two lousy spots.
Then Schlenk, astutely following the Twitter feeds of ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania, decided the Hawks didn’t need to make any extra sacrifice, since Huerter’s availibility at 19 wasn’t actually in jeopardy.
Before the Bucks’ pick was official — and while the trade prospect still breathed life — Charania correctly reported on Twitter that the Bucks would take Villanova’s Donte DiVincenzo at 17, and Schlenk backed off the trade and walked away like a gunfighter suddenly realizing that his opponent had no bullet.
“. . . It leaked who Milwaukee was going to take. So, all of a sudden, we were able to pull back out of that deal and keep the draft pick instead of packaging picks to move up because we knew two guys on the board we felt really good about and only one team in between us, so that was beneficial to us last night,” Schlenk told the radio station last Friday.
Leaks feed events like pro sports draft coverage, as much as the networks licensed to show them live try to prevent it.
L’Affaire Huerter entered a new realm, though, as an instance where a leak quickly entered a very public feedback loop and had impact on a real-time decision.
It makes you wonder what measures teams will take to keep their information even closer to the vest, but to paraphrase Dr. Ian Malcolm in “Jurassic Park,” leaks . . . find a way.
By the way, I didn’t see Kevin play a lot when he was in high school, but certainly remember watching a game at Mohonasen when he was a sophomore or junior and thinking, ‘That’s the little red-haired kid who used to be a ballboy for Siena.”
Similarly, when he was drafted in the first round, the thought was, “That’s the skinny kid I saw play in high school.”
Nobody, of course, could envision this future when he was pushing a mop in the paint at the Times Union Center, and I surely could not see it when he was at Shen.
Sometimes the ceiling is hard to see, even when you’re looking up.