One might be the first domino to fall in what could be a massive exodus of players heading overseas during the NBA lockout. The other was just looking for a chance to play professionally after not being selected in last month’s NBA Draft. Regardless of the circumstances, former Illinois Fighting Illini point guards Deron Williams and Demetri McCamey are heading to Turkey for the 2011-2012 season and could go head-to-head against each other.
Friday night after playing at the America Century Championship golf tournament, Deron Williams confirmed what had been reported since the NBA Lockout began on July 1st. “Just made it official, headed to Turkey …signed with Be?ikta? & @BJK_Basketbol” Williams tweeted. The New Jersey Nets point guard also tweeted an image of his signature on the contract that is reportedly a one-year deal worth five-million dollars.
This announcement could be monumental and possibly set a precedent for established NBA superstars looking to head overseas, assuming the lockout is prolonged as many expect. Many marquee players have said they are open to the possibility of heading across the Atlantic if the negotiations of a new CBA are dragged out. That decision also comes with many concerns though.
What happens if Williams suffers a season ending injury while playing for Besiktas and is unable to play for the Nets once the lockout ends? Will the NBA players union even allow Williams or any other big name players currently under contract to play in Europe?
If Williams does suit up for Besiktas, he will likely go head-to-head at some point with fellow former Illini point guard Demetri McCamey. Mersin of the Turkish Basketball League has signed McCamey to a one-year contract. After going undrafted last month, McCamey decided to play professionally in Europe rather than waiting for the lockout to end and hoping to catch on with a NBA team during training camp.
Now all the other Turkish Basketball League teams should make runs at Dee Brown, Luther Head, and Chester Frazier. Anybody know what Frank Williams is up to? Maybe Derek Harper still has some spring in his step…
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a fomer contributor at The Washington Times Communities.
You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.Follow paulmbanks