NBA

Williams looks to Turkey as lockout sides squabble

Updated: 08 July 2011 18:48 IST

With NBA players reportedly starting to seek other places to play if the NBA lockout drags on, the dispute's first week ended with sides unable to agree even on the league's money problems.

Williams looks to Turkey as lockout sides squabble

New York:

With NBA players reportedly starting to seek other places to play if the NBA lockout drags on, the dispute's first week ended with sides unable to agree even on the league's money problems.


One week after team owners locked out players from club facilities following the expiration of their working agreement, New Jersey guard Deron Williams has made plans to take his talent to Turkey if the NBA remains shut down.

A sports channel reported that Williams has an agreement in principle to play for Besiktas, the team that briefly signed former NBA star Allen Iverson last season, and will not report before late next month or early September.

Williams has two years remaining on his contract with the Nets but is expected to opt out of the final season to test free agency next year, provided there is a new deal in place.

The NBA shutdown has prevented free agent signings or any trades, which typically begin in July.

Williams would have a clause in his Turkish contract allowing him to return to the NBA immediately should the league's owners and players reach a deal, ESPN reported.

While players typically need a clearance letter from world governing body FIBA to play for one team while contracted to another, the NBA Players Association said they will go to court to fight FIBA or the NBA if either tries to block a player from playing elsewhere during the NBA shutdown.

Insurance will be the major issue, since Williams would not have money guaranteed him from the Nets covered if he was to be hurt while playing in Turkey.

NBA players and club owners have not returned to the negotiating table since a last-ditch effort failed last Thursday and for now they cannot agree on the numbers involved.

The union says it will remain sceptical about NBA proclamations on how many teams are losing money and how bad the losses are because NBA management has made inaccurate projections of losses in past deals.

The NBA claims to have lost $340 million in the 2009-10 season, but the New York Times reported the league was profitable with an operating income of $183 m.

"We feel there is more than adequate basis for questioning their projections and financials," said NBA Players Association spokesman Dan Wasserman.

After the NBA projected a drop in salary cap figures for last season to $50.4m a club, the limit was set at $58m.

NBA spokesman Mike Bass said the financial information the league submitted to the union was audited and irrefutable and said comparing salary cap projections to the current financial facts was "absurd" and "a complete non-sequitur".

The NBA claims only eight of its 30 teams made a profit last season.



Topics : NBA
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