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D-Will Could Get Rich(er) Overseas

Beşiktaş Basketball
Beşiktaş Basketball

Kevin Durant is still thinking about joining Deron Williams in Turkey. The money wasn't good enough for Kobe Bryant to move 5,000 miles. But Durant's agent says don't dismiss the profit making potential for both Durant and Williams at Beşiktaş...and it goes beyond the salary. It's about the sales of "signature items": jerseys. sneakers, posters, etc.

First, as Sam Amick wrote three weeks ago, that $5 million figure reported as D-Will's Turkish salary is probably closer to $10 million in real money. European clubs traditionally pay taxes upfront and provide all manner of amenities NBA players normally have to pay out of pocket: cars and drivers, housing, security, etc. NBA salary figures are gross pay; European figures net.

And Durant's agent, Aaron Goodwin, tells ESPN's Henry Abbott that when all factors are taken into account, NBA players like Williams can "absolutely," make as much money playing overseas as they do in the NBA. Here's why: Williams doesn't get a cent directly from the sales of his NBA jersey. It all goes to the league which distributes a small amount to the union. In Europe, that can be negotiated. Same with other "signature items". That picture of D-Will in a Beşiktaş jersey? Consider it marketing.