Jeff Schwartz, the All-Star's agent, confirmed that Williams fully intends to play for Besiktas, the club that briefly featured Allen Iverson last year. NTV Spor reported that Besiktas is also close to an agreement with Atlanta Hawks center Zaza Pachulia.
Only a week into the lockout, Williams is the first player to announce that he will seek work elsewhere. Other players, most notably Kevin Durant, have stated that they are okay with missing games if an agreement is not reached and will stick together with their respective teams until play resumes.
Deron Williams apparently has other plans. This is most definitely not comforting news for the Nets' front office, which has been under pressure to convince their star point guard to sign an extension with the team.
Williams' announcement comes only days after the Nets released a statement confirming their intentions to fully pursue soon-to-be free agent Dwight Howard. Howard is a close friend of Williams and is seen as vital to the Nets' ability to retain their point guard.
In short, hours after the Nets ensured their commitment to Deron's future with the club, the All-Star displayed a complete lack of commitment.
For one, Williams will not be around to bond with his teammates and hold workouts during the lockout if he plays in Turkey. Such unwillingness to provide leadership during uncertain times does not bode well for the Nets.
Many naysayers argue that Deron will not waste valuable years of his prime on a rebuilding Nets squad when he can be winning elsewhere. Deron's impatience with the lockout only proves this mindset.
Williams also risks injury if he spends the season overseas. After missing the final eight games of the season with a nagging wrist injury, Williams had surgery to repair it in the offseason. Any significant injury to Williams would be a huge blow to the Nets, who would no longer owe him the $34 million left on his contract.
Yet, Deron taking the initiative and signing overseas may not hurt the Nets as much as it seems. If a decent amount of players can follow suit and find work in European and Asian leagues, the NBA will be pressured to resolve the CBA and lift the lockout as soon as possible.
There is competitive, high profile basketball to be played in plenty of places around the world, and there is no saying how many players might stay overseas if the lockout continues for too long.
For all we know, Deron has just done his part to save the NBA season and the Nets' chances of signing him to a long term deal.