This year the CBA intended to play with just five teams, but it looks like the Pittsburgh Xplosion are out and the league itself is at risk. The rumours are that there was a conference call between league and team officials with another one tomorrow to try to determine how to proceed. Ideas including travel teams and playing against opponents from outside the CBA have been floating around, but there is a very, very small chance the league could take the year off. It’s unlikely, but it is possible.
It would be terrible for fans, players and team officials if the league did go on hiatus. I certainly hope that it remains active and finds a sustainable option to get through the year and still play games. But the Rainmen should be doing their research and getting ready just in case the league does decide to go dark for 08/09. Due to tradition and a few very good franchises, the CBA is the premier North American minor league after the D-League in terms of player quality. If the league shuts down that means that there will be roughly 40 high calibre minor league players looking for work after the European leagues have already started play. That means Halifax could flesh its roster out with not just impact players, but players who could be the best player on the team.
Nat Burton on the Albany Patroons is an attractive player to pursue at 2-guard if the opportunity were to come up – he averaged 22 ppg last year and is a solid veteran who scores by getting to the rim and would be a definite upgrade in the back court. Ronnie fields who is with Minot is also a player worth chasing if things go south for the CBA. Galen Young who signed with the East Kentucky Miners is a former NBA draft pick and CBA player of the year and is a big, powerful (6’6) shooting guard. Jermaine Blackburn would give the team a designated defensive stopper. Any of these players turn Halifax into potential favourites to win the PBL – they’re savy vets who would push Halifax to the next level. Most of the training camp rosters can be found here.
Again: I really hope that the CBA does not fold or take a year off. But if it does then the Rainmen need to take advantage before other PBL teams do.