Childress bypasses Hawks again

Josh Childress tested the NBA waters again, gauging the possibility of returning to the United States to play basketball.

He decided to go back to Greece, instead.

Childress, a 6-8 swingman who played for four years with the Atlanta Hawks before taking the unusual step of jumping to play in Greece's top pro league last season, had his agent nose around to see what interest there was domestically, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

But despite inquiries from Milwaukee and Charlotte -- Childress even visited the Bucks -- nothing panned out, the newspaper reported.

"At the end of the day it's a business," Childress told the Journal-Constitution. "I was in basically the same situation last summer. Again, it's a business and you have to treat it as such."

Childress, 26, was a restricted free agent when he left for a three-year, $20 million deal with Olympiakos last summer. There is an opt-out clause for each season, and his representatives were in talks with the Hawks -- who still own Childress' NBA rights -- about working out a sign-and-trade deal, according to the report.

"When I left Greece to come back [here to the U.S.], I had it in my head that was going back to Greece no matter what," Childress told the Journal-Constitution. "Then when I got home and had my feet on the ground for a couple of days, I really wanted to explore my options and see what was out there. It was 50-50 from there."

Childress, facing a Wednesday deadline to let Olympiakos know of next season's plans, knew the Greek team wanted him back, especially after he helped it get to the Euroleague final four and a berth in the Greek league championship series. In addition, he missed some of the season because of a hernia.

Childress averaged 13.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.3 steals last season.

"My team did well, but there's no question, I didn't have the year I wanted to have," Childress said, according to the Journal-Constitution. "And with that being said, I have some serious work left to do in Athens. That was part of my decision to go back, as well."

"They let me know as soon as the season was over that they wanted me back. With me not having the best year I could have, it says a lot about the commitment they made to me that they didn't hesitate to let me know that. It shows me they have a lot of respect for their players."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.