The dominoes are beginning to fall, as New Jersey Nets guard Deron Williams became the first NBA superstar to reach an agreement to play overseas if the NBA Lockout does not come to an end before the start of the 2011-12 season. Williams reached an agreement to play for Besiktas, a Turkish basketball team.
"We confirm" the contract with Williams, said Ergin Ataman, the coach of the Turkish team Besiktas, in a telephone interview Thursday. (via New York Times)
The lockout indefinitely suspends all current contracts, which means Williams' new contract with Besiktas is not a violation, according to NBA commisioner David Stern. Williams has two years and $34 million left on his current deal with the Nets.
"If there's a lockout, the players are free; their contracts are suspended," Stern said during All-Star weekend in February. "It's that simple." (via New York Times)
Williams has played six seasons in the NBA, beginning his career with the Utah Jazz, who drafted him No. 3 overall in the 2005 NBA Draft. Williams' breakout season came in 2006-07, when he averaged 15.8 points and 9.1 assists.
In 65 games last season, Williams posted a career high 20.2 points per game average and had 9.2 assists per game between Utah and New Jersey.
Williams won't be the only NBA star to take their game overseas, as rumors have many of the league's best players considering a change in venue next year, such as the rumor that Kobe Bryant is considering playing in China.