Price dangles as free agent, willing to play abroad

Price dangles as free agent, willing to play abroad
August 10, 2013, 7:00 am
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When the Wizards locked up Eric Maynor at the start of free agency more than a month ago, it was a given that A.J. Price wouldn't return.

Price, who had the best statistical season of his four-year career with 7.7 pints, 3.6 assists and 35% three-point shooting in Washington, surprisingly still is a free agent.

Reached this weekend by CSN Washington, Price concedes that he was prepared to linger on the market and said he wouldn't rule out jumping abroad if the money is there. He made just less than $900,000 under the veteran minimum after spending his first three with the Indiana Pacers. He thinks his value should be greater.

"No, I'm not surprised," he said of the Wizards not bringing him back after his only season here. "I know it's a business. They went a different direction."

The league and players association negotiated another collective bargaining agreement in 2011. One of the key provisions is a more punitive luxury tax that recently kicked in that penalizes teams for exceeding the threshold. Price believes that has been the hangup.

"Things are different now with this CBA. Things are not what they used to be. It takes a little bit longer than what we're accustomed to," he said. "All you can do is wait. I'm doing my job, doing what I need to do, staying in shape."

Price started a career-high 22 games when John Wall was out for the first 33 of the season with a knee injury. He was bothered by a groin strain late that forced him out of the lineup. He has been training in Long Island.

"No hard feelings towards the Wizards. They gave me the opportunity to showcase myself. I wish them the best of luck, regardless of whether I play in the league this year or not," Price said.

Training camp is more than a month a way. It's a good bet that some NBA team will at least attempt to secure Price's services. If not, he has other options outside the NBA. 

"If need be. If I have to," he said of playing overseas. "Whatever's the best situation, that's what I'll have to do."