If you had to choose between living in Milwaukee or Turkey, what would you choose?
Ersan Ilyasova wants to choose Turkey, but may not get that option.
Ilyasova is playing for Anadolu Efes in Istanbul during the lockout, although the Bucks have an option on him for the upcoming season and his deal has an NBA opt-out. Which means if the lockout ends he is obligated to go stateside. But Ilyasova doesn’t want to opt out, according to Sportando.
“I want to stay with Anadolu Efes for the whole year. I hope there is a FIBA rule which would allow me to play the season in Turkey and Efes to keep me. We will fight for TBL and Euroleague. Our goal for the season is to reach the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four in Istanbul. We know we are in a very tough group in Euroleague but we have to go step-by-step” said Ilyasova, as reported by Salsabasket.
Ilyasova was a spot starter for the Bucks last season, averaging 25 minutes and 9.5 points per game. He is a solid backup forward that the Bucks could use. And at a very affordable $2.5 million next season the Bucks likely want him back.
Rumors of players going overseas to play during a possible lockout have been constant this off-season, but Nets guard Deron Williams is the highest-profile player so far to have actually signed a contract with an overseas team, Turkey’s Beskitas.
The video itself isn’t all that riveting, but it does show that Williams is actually going to follow through with his Turkish contract, which is the kind of thing that suggests the players might hold firm and sacrifice the 2011-12 NBA season before they acquiesce to the demands the owners are making during the CBA talks.
By the way, Deron Williams still is not in Turkey. Yet.
Deron Williams was supposed to arrive in Turkey on Tuesday afternoon, but experienced “passport troubles” that caused a slight change of plans. If all goes as planned, he’ll leave for Istanbul today.
There are still a lot of agents and league executives that think Williams will bail on this adventure early, even though he has said nothing of the sort. Those doubters see the millions Williams would get in his new contract next summer and wonder why he would risk injury. Williams has said his wrist is not 100 percent. But Williams had had nothing but positive things to say, and as of today he will set foot in Turkey, which is more than some doubters ever expected.