International play is a tricky thing for NBA players. The drive to represent one's country is always strong. But injuries such as the recent ACL tear suffered by Utah Jazz point guard Dante Exum reinforce the risks. For Phoenix Suns center Alex Len, that risk-reward ratio has led to the decision not to participate for the Ukrainian national team at EuroBasket 2015, according to a report from Ukrainian news site 7city.org:
"According to the president of the Basketball Federation of Ukraine, Mikhail Brodsky, Len has promised to defend the colors of the team next year, but now it is important to approach the new season without injury and in good shape because of its games will depend on the signing of a new five-year contract with the (Suns)."
Len becomes eligible for a contract extension after the 2015-16 season. His future with Phoenix became somewhat less clear after the Suns' signing of Tyson Chandler this offseason, but Chandler's career is winding down. If anything, his role will be mentor to Len as much it will be to start at center.
And if Len's growth takes a step forward with Chandler's help, that "five-year contract" he reportedly is after could be in his future.