Ian Thomsen reports that if NBA players are going to Europe, don't expect many to wind up with top teams. The Euroleague, the continent's top 24 teams, doesn't want players who may not finish the season. Instead, for the most part, they'll wind up with second-rank teams like Besiktas of Turkey, clubs with marginal reputations and gyms that barely rival Division II college teams.
"Our clubs need to have stable rosters," Euroleague President Jordi Bertomeu told Thomsen. "They need to know how long they will be able to employ the player. No team will sign a player for only two or three months, or for an uncertain period of time. This is our forecast."
Thomsen writes that Deron Williams is typical, signing with Besiktas "a second-tier organization" more interested in publicity. Besiktas is also in talks with both Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant. The only real exception to the rule, he adds, is Jordan Farmar, who signed with Maccabi Tel Aviv, last year's Euroleague runner-up. Farmar, he intimates, isn't so good that a mid-season departure would affect Maccabi's chances for a title.
- Euroleague wary of signing NBA players with existing contracts - Ian Thomsen - Sports Illustrated
- Agent: Kevin Durant in negotiations - Marc Stein - ESPN
Ten reasons NBA stars aren't following Deron Williams' lead and heading overseas during lockout - Mitch Lawrence - New York Daily News
NBA Lockout Power Rankings: Besiktas, Brandon Jennings Dominate Season Of Nothingness - Tom Ziller - SB Nation