As the NBA lockout drags out — and the two sides are not expected to talk seriously until August — the rumors about NBA players heading overseas continue.
All these rumors should be taken with a grain of salt — for one, international basketball governing body FIBA has yet to rule if an NBA player under contract can play overseas during the lockout. That said, we bring them to you.
• Kobe Bryant (or his people) apparently had conversations with Turkish team Besiktas (the team that signed Deron Williams), but it seems a real long shot they could get him now, as Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski explained. It stems from the match fixing scandal tied to Besiktas’ soccer team, which led to Besiktas’ assets being frozen.
Besiktas has credibility issues with soccer scandal, history of properly paying players. Makes it harder to get corporate sponsors for Kobe.
Reportedly, Kobe wanted $1 million a month in salary. Which sounds crazy but would still be more than $17 million less than he would make for a full NBA season.
• Maurice Evans, the vice president of the players union, has had conversations with European powers Real Madrid and Anadolu Efes (the club that just signed Sasha Vujacic), Hoopsworld reports. This could be Evans just being the good union soldier, trying to help gain leverage in the talks. But as a 32-year-old free agent, these deals might be as good or better than what he can get in the NBA next season. Evans has already played seasons in Greece and Italy.
• Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov said he is considering playing overseas and has had offers. Right now he is with the Russian national team preparing for Olympic qualifying.
• Marcin Gortat has not yet signed a deal with a team in Russia, but that is still on the table.
• Nets draftee Marshon Brooks said he is not going to sign overseas. This makes sense for a first round pick set to make guaranteed NBA money — if he got hurt overseas he’d never get his NBA deal. Big risk for first round picks like Brooks to play in Europe. Second round picks, who don’t get guaranteed deals, are a different story.