Nets GM Billy King and star free agent point guard Deron Williams both arrived in Istanbul, Turkey Thursday. King was there for business, while Deron for pleasure. King was there to scout Nets second round pick in the 2011 draft, Bojan Bogdanovic, and also possibly get a glimpse at NBA free agent-to-be Andrei Kirilenko. Kirilenko’s CSKA Moscow team made the semi-finals of the Euroleague championship, while Bogdanovic’s Fener team lost in the quarterfinals to D-Will’s former team, Besiktas. Mikhail Prokhorov may join the two in Turkey, as he used to be the owner of Moscow and is still a fan.
So what does this all mean for the Nets? Well, it can’t be a bad thing that King and Williams are spending time together. This shows that they get along well, even though we already knew that because Deron influenced many of King’s decisions over the last year or two (bringing in Gerald Wallace, for example, was likely Deron’s idea). Even though many writers in Dallas and really over the country think that Deron Williams to Dallas is a done deal, I don’t see it that way at all. He seems to like the Nets a lot and gets along well with their front office. He is definitely not ruling out Brooklyn as a possibility for next season.
Many people think that Deron wants to stay home and play in Dallas. But I’m going to bring up another possibility which I don’t think anybody has ever mentioned before. What if Deron doesn’t want to stay home? What if he actually wants to go as far away from home as possible, farther than Brooklyn? What if he wants to return to Istanbul and play for Besiktas? Even though it seems very far-fetched at first, tell me why that is not a possibility. Deron wants to make a “basketball decision”, and if he went to Besiktas, who knows how many Euroleague championships he could win (I don’t think anybody would question him if, at his press conference, he said “not 5, not 6, not 7, etc.” as the Miami Heat did after Lebron’s “decision”). He would probably be able to bring in other current or former NBA talent too and really build a dynasty.
Deron has also expressed his desire to play in a big market, and if he returned to Besiktas, all of Europe would be his. I don’t think there’s a much bigger market than that. He would be famous across the entire continent, and who knows how much money he would make from endorsements, jersey sales, commercials, etc. Deron has also expressed interest in being unique and a pioneer. He did this when he left his native Texas to play college basketball at Illinois, and he would definitely do this if he went to play in Europe in his prime. Usually, NBA players only go to Europe once there career in the states is winding down and no player has ever left in the prime of their career before.
Another reason why Europe is a great place for Deron is because he and his family loved living there. When Deron and his wife, Amy, arrived in Istanbul today, Amy tweeted out a picture of where they are staying and wrote, “Feel like I’m home…miss this place so much!” She clearly enjoyed her time in Turkey last fall and would not mind living there full time. Deron also tweeted out a picture and is clearly enjoying his time in Europe.
If Deron were to decide to play for Besiktas and ditch the NBA, it would surprise me as well as the rest of the NBA community, and I really don’t think there’s a good chance that this happens, but I don’t want to rule it out yet as a possibility. Expect Deron to be wearing some form of NBA jersey on opening night in October, but don’t be shocked if he surprises everyone and ends up in Europe.
Do you think there is any chance of Deron signing a contract overseas next season? Post your opinions in the comments section below.