Not sure what more I could say over the phone that I haven't already posted here in the past. Feel free to email me if you'd like to trade versions!
The facts as I understand them are roughly:
There was at some stage, what was believed by the club, to be a verbal agreement that Joe would play for the 36ers. But never a signature. Best case from the club's perspective is that they almost had him on a cheap-arse deal (bargain) but when he saw that other clubs were interested, went back on his word. That's the best case for the club and it still implies that they didn't recognise the full extent of his talent.
The coaches never offered the player a spot in the ten man roster. The best that was offered was a spot in the 13. When players consider offers, especially younger players, where they fit into the rotation is an absolutely crucial component. You've implied that they made a solid pitch for Ingles and even with this point alone, I think that implication is incorrect.
Five years ago, I can remember pages of notes looking at the probable 36ers rosters and looking at Oscar's competition at PF to see what opportunities he might get. And that was in the ten. And he still ummed and aahed between a college offer and a four-year deal from the 36ers!
The club and head coach claimed (see past thread re Q&A with Daws and Smyth) to have offered Ingles a maximum rookie contract (two years, $40,000 per year). They offered him half of the maximum at best (I'm guessing $40,000 for two years, so $20,000 per year) - either they honestly didn't know what the maximum was (embarrassing) or lied at that point. Either is pretty bad, so take your pick. I don't know which I'd rather it was, to be honest!
I don't know for sure, but I think that the offer might have even been less than the minimum player contract for players on a ten-man roster because the offer was to be in the 13 which doesn't need to be $22-25,000 or whatever the minimum is exactly these days.
At some point, (see anonymous post above), a representative of the club (can't remember who and won't name them here if I do remember) implied that he was a centre - that does not instill confidence in the player and those advising him (family, agent, etc) at all. I think I remember who might have said this, but they're good to deal with, so I'll let them go on this one.
When they finally came up with a paper contract, his name was spelt incorrectly.
Is there anything here that you would dispute? I've talked with the CEO at the time and he certainly put forward the club's case, but didn't dispute the contract typo (even raised it himself, from memory), the roster-spot offer or that the offer wasn't the maximum. Those are three key things, IMO.
An excellent offer to a rookie is the maximum contract, the assertion that they'll play in an eight-man rotation, vehicle, educational support, constant personal contact leading up to the offer, showing a direct interest, etc. Something like this happened with both Holmes and Forman. The majority of people in the know have consistently claimed that Ingles is a superior prospect to both.
A standard offer to a rookie with potential is a normal-to-max offer, spot in the ten, and a bit of interest.
You save the minimum contract for a Hambour or Gower-type player - useful, but not coming from the AIS and not a strong bet to eke out a 10 year NBL career. You save the sub-par offers for development players who might make it (Sutton) or are training bait for the time being (Burdon). You certainly don't risk making that type of offer to a guy touted as "NBA-potential" by the AIS and talked up by everyone everywhere.
Like I said, best case scenario from the club's perspective is that they made a sub-par pitch to Ingles and had him on a verbal agreement. He went back on that, going by their version of events, and I, for one, don't blame him at all.
If you want a player, you pursue them and you contract them before the marketplace catches wind. If the club had got a signature in the first place, Ingles would probably be playing for the 36ers. If they had negotiated with Holmes and Forman during the season or as soon as it was finished, neither would have started getting interest from other clubs. (I don't think they could've retained Dusty without losing at least one of Holmes or Forman, but with Horvath I don't know that many people are too bothered by that now.)