Agent Aaron Goodwin told ESPN.com on Tuesday night that he has met with officials from Turkish club Besiktas and has likewise begun exploring opportunities for Durant in Spain and Russia. Goodwin added that playing in China is not something Durant is considering at this time.
The Turkish newspaper VATAN has reported that Besiktas, if ultimately rejected by Bryant after weeks of trying to get the Los Angeles Lakers' star swingman to commit to join New Jersey's Williams at the Istanbul club, would then shift its focus to trying to sign Durant to play with Williams in the event of an extended lockout.
As we enter mid-August, the Rumor mill is beginning to churn again. Players are seeing the reality of the lock-out, and the latest player to look at contact offers is the Thunder's own Kevin Durant. Right now he's looking at an offer from Turkish club Besiktas. Yes, this is the same club that has signed Deron Williams and has been constantly hassling Kobe Bryant to sign.
How seriously can we take Besiktas? Well, it depends. Besiktas is probably the shadiest team in Europe when it comes to money. Recently, the soccer side of their club (which is run by the same people) was involved in a match-fixing scandal, forcing the club to freeze it's assets on both sides of the ball. Furthermore, according to HoopsHype, the team hasn't payed any of its' players on time in the past three years, and that three players currently under contract with Besiktas are trying to be forcibly waived. Of course, Deron Williams and Kevin Durant (should he sign) will get paid, just as Allen Iverson did. The question is whether the team will have the money to pay the other 13 players on the team.
Of course, Durant is just talking to Besiktas, and nothing is finalized. But if he wants to keep his image as a team player, I'd advise him to stay the heck away from that club. There are other shady clubs in Europe, but Besiktas is the shadiest of the shady, and they aren't even competing for the Euroleague championship this year. He'd be better served to follow a team that already has a history of success, rather than a team that offers him the big bucks.
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