Multiple news outlets in Turkey and the US are reporting that Deron Williams has come to an agreement with Turkish basketball club Besiktas, the club known for signing Allen Iverson last season. Atlanta Hawks center Zaza Pachulia will also join the team.
There is still no guarantee that he’ll play there, as he needs a letter of clearance from the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). However, Deron shouldn’t have any issues getting that letter. The contract also comes with a guaranteed opt-out clause once the lockout has ended, another FIBA staple.
You guys up for Besiktas Are Scorching?
But seriously, am I supposed to be mad? I’m a big fan of this move. This means Deron will be spending his lockout time practicing and playing basketball, instead of sitting on his ass waiting for millionaires and billionaires to compromise on splitting a pot of BRI gold. A novel concept, I know. Plus, this gives us added incentive to watch Euroleague ball, now that two Nets players (D-Will and rookie Bojan Bogdanovic) will be lighting up scoreboards.
Could he get injured? Sure, but rust is an injury, too. Once the NBA is ready to go, Deron will be in tip-top shape, while Lamar Odom will be working off the effects of his candy addiction.
As Henry Abbott notes, it’s also a power move; there’s a lot of pressure on Mikhail Prokhorov to convince the owners to get this season rearing up as soon as possible. To Prokhorov, Williams is a valuable commodity – the most valuable Prokhorov has now – and now he’s one that’s put itself in immediate risk without any repercussions.
The lockout’s probably going to last through the beginning of the season. Most players have been gearing up for that possibility for months now. It’s nice to see one take the risk and go to Europe; it’s even nicer to see that the Nets’ superstar is the one leading the pack. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s not the only superstar to make the switch.