NBA Lockout: Tracking the Players Heading Overseas

Ethan Norof@ethan_norofCorrespondent ISeptember 27, 2011

NBA Lockout: Tracking the Players Heading Overseas

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    The NBA lockout has caused several players to pursue a job overseas with an international basketball team.

    Deron Williams made a splash when he was one of the first to sign abroad, and since that time, others have since followed in his footsteps and explored the waters overseas.

    As more time progresses without a resolution, there's no doubt that others will look to see what's possible in the pursuit of hoop dreams.

    Note: All players currently under contract in the NBA are required to have an "out" clause in their contract to return to the league after the lockout.

Nenad Krstic: CSKA Moscow, Russia

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    Krstic was quick in acting in the pursuit of his next contract.

    After the big man fizzled down the stretch of the season for the Celtics, he was thought to be on the fence about his NBA future.

    He received a lucrative contract in Russia from CSKA Moscow, but it was later revealed that he has an out clause to return to the league, just in case he gets the itch to come stateside again.

David Andersen: Montepaschi Siena, Italy

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    A second-round pick originally from Australia, Andersen spent the last two seasons between three teams: Houston, Toronto and New Orleans.

    Now, he'll be taking his game abroad to Italy.

    Andersen signed a one-year deal with Montepaschi Siena, and it'll be a good chance for him to work on further developing his game.

Hilton Armstrong: ASVEL Villeurbanne

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    As a former lottery pick (No. 12 overall in 2006), Armstrong simply hasn't flashed the potential that was expected from him coming out of UConn.

    After playing for five teams in as many professional seasons, Armstrong decided that he wasn't going to wait around for the labor dispute to be resolved.

    The unrestricted free agent center inked a one-year deal in France.

DaJuan Summers: Montepaschi Siena, Italy

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    Summers barely got off the bench during his tenure in Detroit, so it wasn't surprising to see him non-tendered at the beginning of the offseason.

    After playing in just 66 regular season games over the last two seasons, the former second-round pick decided to sign in Italy on a two-year contract.

    If Summers still holds hoop dreams of playing in the NBA, it's imperative that he develops his game overseas.

Deron Williams: Besiktas, Turkey

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    Williams was the first notable name to sign overseas, and Besiktas landed a big fish with this signing.

    The same team that gave Allen Iverson a go-around at point guard last season will undoubtedly enjoy its upgrade at the position for as long as the lockout drags forward.

    It may not be NBA money, but Williams signed a one-year, $5 million contract to play for the team.

Sonny Weems: Zalgiris Kaunas, Lithuania

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    As a restricted free agent, Weems didn't need to have an out clause in his contract to return stateside, and that really opened up his options.

    Weems signed a one-year deal with Zalgiris Kaunas, and at the time of the signing believed that it was in his "best interest" to stay for a full season.

    His agent, Roger Montgomery, expressed little optimism about the progress of labor talks at the time of the deal, and the signing was a way for Weems, 25, to continue and improve his game.

Darius Songaila: Galatasaray, Turkey

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    Songaila clearly wasn't a part of Philadelphia's plans in 2010-11, and heading into unrestricted free agency, the lack of playing time was almost certain to hurt his value on the open market.

    As a result, he chose to not test it and instead head elsewhere where he knew his talents would be valued.

    The power forward signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal in Turkey that will keep him out of the NBA until at least 2012-13.

LaVoy Allen: Strasbourg, France

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    Allen was a surprise to some as the No. 50 overall pick in the 2011 draft, but the Sixers pulled the trigger on the local talent.

    However, as a second-round selection, Allen isn't guaranteed a roster spot on the team even when the NBA season picks back up.

    Without the benefit of a training camp, Allen made the wise move of going overseas to France on a one-year deal that includes an opt-out clause to be exercised by the end of January.

Sasha Vujacic: Anadolu Efes, Turkey

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    Vujacic is another player that didn't wait around long to see what was going to happen with the lockout.

    After finishing the season with the New Jersey Nets, Maria Sharpova's husband signed a one-year contract in Turkey.

    The international game should be a good one for Vujacic as he attempts to rebuild his NBA stock.

Chris Quinn: Khimki, Russia

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    Quinn barely got off of the San Antonio bench last season, and that has been a trend that has followed him throughout his NBA career.

    He decided to take advantage of a really nice offer from Khimki in Russia, as his one-year deal will pay him a cool $1 million for the upcoming campaign.

    It sounds like he made the right move.

Timofey Mozgov: BC Khimki, Russia

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    It was rather unsurprising to hear that Mozgov had signed in Russia during the lockout, as that's where he was playing professionally prior to coming into the NBA.

    Mozgov played for Khimki for four seasons from 2006-10, so the "transition period" that may exist with other players doesn't apply to the big man.

    The center will return to the Denver Nuggets when the lockout lifts.

Garrett Temple: Casale, Italy

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    Temple is a marginal NBA player, and he is another one who wasn't going to wait around to see whether or not the season would start on time.

    The point guard agreed to a one-year contract in Italy, and cited the ability to achieve steady playing time in the process as a major selling point.

    It's a smart move for a player angling to improve his game in the hopes of carving out a career in the NBA.

Mustafa Shakur: Pau Orthez, France

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    Like Temple, Shakur isn't a player who can bank on a future in the league as a sure thing.

    After showing some potential in the NBDL prior to earning a call-up to the Wizards, Shakur is capitalizing on the chance to earn a paycheck by agreeing to a one-year contract in France.

    At 27 years old and as an undrafted free agent, he faces an uphill battle to return to the NBA.

E'Twaun Moore: Benetton Treviso, Italy

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    Moore was the second Purdue product of Boston's draft in 2011, but fresh out of college and without a contract, something had to give.

    The second-round selection was signed to a deal worth $200,000, and it does give him the opportunity to return to the team at the conclusion of the lockout.

    Any additional burn should be good for both Moore and the Celtics, as the team will be looking for creative ways to utilize him.

Acie Law: Partizan Belgrade, Serbia

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    Acie Law was the No. 11 overall selection in 2007 by the Atlanta Hawks, but he quickly showed that he wasn't the long-term solution at the point guard position.

    Law has played with six different squads in just four seasons, and he really needs to find a way to boost his stock after flailing in the wind thus far.

    His one-year deal in Serbia will pay him $500,000 and will not include an out clause.

Jeff Adrien: Benetton Treviso, Italy

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    Jeff Adrien still has his sights set on the NBA despite agreeing to a one-year deal in Italy.

    Despite not currently being under contract in the league, Adrien's contract includes an out clause that will allow him to earn a roster spot stateside.

    The UConn product went undrafted before making his debut with Golden State.

Nicolas Batum: Nancy, France

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    Batum's return to France is another one that didn't really surprise, as he is originally from Lisieux.

    When Batum's agent, Bouna Ndiaye, confirmed that the deal was going down, he cited the fact that as a young player, Batum needed to play to further work on his game.

    The highly talented forward is a big piece of the Portland puzzle going forward, and the extra burn could serve to benefit his development.

Mario West: Tezenis Verona, Italy

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    West has been in and out of the league over the last few seasons, and it's not surprising to see him sign overseas in the pursuit of employment.

    After finishing the 2010-11 regular season with New Jersey, West will play in Italy on a one-year deal.

Jordan Farmar: Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel

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    It's fair to say that the people of Israel were excited for Farmar's arrival.

    Just take a look at this video.

    Farmar is the only Jewish player in the NBA other than Israel's Omri Casspi, and according to ESPN's Marc Stein, he was "eager to play" upon his arrival.

    There's no doubt that the fans already love him.

Ersan Ilaysova: Anadolu Efes, Turkey

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    Ilaysova didn't waste much time in admitting that he was unhappy in Milwaukee with the Bucks.

    After agreeing in principle with the Turkish team Fenerbahce Ulker, Ilyasova finally got his wish and returned to Turkey, but his contract is with Anadolu Efes.

    He has a non-guaranteed team option in Milwaukee for 2011-12, so the team could choose to simply release him.

Von Wafer: Cremona, Italy

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    Von Wafer is heading back to the international ranks.

    After he flamed out upon agreeing to a deal with the Greek team Olympiakos back in 2009, he's decided to test the waters once again—this time, he'll be heading to Italy.

    Wafer's attitude has followed him since college and into the NBA, and it's possible that it's kept him from earning an increased role in the league.

Jon Leuer: Skyliners Frankfurt, Germany

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    Leuer was a second-round pick out of Wisconsin, and without an NBA season right now, he's another player that needs to earn a paycheck.

    He signed a one-year deal to play in Germany, but he's not giving up his hope to make an impact during his rookie season, as his deal includes an out clause to return as soon as the lockout is settled.

Jon Diebler: Panionios, Greece

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    Diebler is another second-round pick who was in search of a paycheck after being drafted, but unlike Leuer, he won't be returning in 2011-12 to the NBA.

    His one-year contract in Greece is reportedly worth "well over" $100,000, but the earliest we'll see him in the league is 2012-13 as Diebler does not have an out clause in his deal.

Earl Clark: Zhejiang Lions, China

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    Clark was held captive on the Phoenix bench during his tenure with the Suns, but he flashed his solid potential upon being traded to the Orlando Magic.

    Now, he's seeking to make an international name for himself.

    Clark agreed to a one-year contract with the Zhejiang Lions, and the deal will have no out clause as Clark was an unrestricted free agent.

    He'll seek a bigger role for himself upon his return stateside.

    UPDATE: Clark has left the team and his contract will be voided because he is going back to the states to be with his pregnant girlfriend, agent Happy Walters confirmed.

Nikola Pekovic: Partizan Belgrade, Serbia

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    Pekovic comes from the European ranks, so his overseas play is another one that comes with very little surprise.

    The Minnesota big man will head back to the "Serbian powerhouse" where he'll play alongside Acie Law until the lockout concludes.

Danny Green: Union Olimpija, Slovenia

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    Green was as second-round pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he played for San Antonio in 2010-11.

    Now, he'll be on a new team once again—but this time, it'll be in Slovenia.

    It should be a good opportunity for him to show NBA teams that he can contribute as a reliable reserve off of the bench.

Rudy Fernandez: Real Madrid, Spain

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    Fernandez has flirted with a European return long before the lockout became official, and his deal is one of the most interesting signed to date.

    Unlike others, Fernandez's recently inked deal with Real Madrid is actually for multiple seasons, and the 2011-12 season could be his last in the NBA.

    Fernandez will play for Real Madrid until the lockout is settled, will suit up for the Dallas Mavericks and then will return to his European club following that time.

Ty Lawson: Zalgiris Kaunas, Lithuania

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    There's no doubting that Lawson has been enjoying his time abroad—just look at that whip, it's got his signature on the side of it.

    Lawson was keeping his "overseas options open" during the early stages of the work stoppage, and eventually put pen to paper and signed with Zalgiris Kaunas.

    He will join his old teammate in Weems, who signed with the club approximately five weeks prior to Lawson announcing his decision.

Justin Harper: Strasbourg, France

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    Harper was originally not expected to go overseas during the lockout, but as a second-round pick, it didn't take long for him to change his tune on that stance.

    Less than six weeks after the initial report, Harper agreed to a contract in France.

    Orlando got a very nice piece in the stretch power forward, and he should certainly be benefited by the competition he'll face in Europe.

Leandro Barbosa: Flamengo, Brazil

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    Barbosa, who played professionally in Brazil before entering the NBA, signed a one-year deal with Flamengo in his native country.

    Prior to the lockout commencing in July, Barbosa had picked up the $7.6 million player option for the final year of his contract with the Raptors, so his deal in Brazil includes an out clause to return to the team.

    Hopefully, Barbosa can put a nagging wrist injury in the rear view mirror and prove that he's worth his scheduled income.

Keith Benson: Dinamo Sassari, Italy

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    Benson was an undervalued big man coming out of Oakland University, and the Atlanta Hawks got a steal when the team selected him in the second round.

    However, he needs to face some stiff competition to prepare for his stint in the NBA, and that's why his signing in Italy should bode well for his development.

    He showed intriguing potential after averaging a double-double during his final season in the collegiate ranks.

Pooh Jeter: Joventut Badalona, Spain

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    Jeter is certainly not unaccustomed to the European ranks, and now that's where he'll return.

    He'll head back to Spain with Joventut Badalona on a one-year contract, and after flashing some serious skills during his stint in Sacramento, he should be back stateside sooner rather than later.

    He proved to be a lot more talented than many backup point guards that serve as bench depth in the league currently.

Kyle Singler: Lucentum Alicante, Spain

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    Singler was a favorite of Duke during his time in college, but now he's facing a very different game at the NBA level.

    He's signed a one-year contract in Spain, and he'll have an out clause to return stateside and be granted an opportunity to prove that he can play at the professional level.

    It's still to be determined as to whether or not he'll carve out a sizable career in the NBA.

Nikola Vucevic: Buducnost, Montenegro

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    Vucevic was one of the draft's fastest rising prospects, and it's fairly easy to see why.

    With legitimate size, skill and a perimeter game that most of his size simply don't have, Vucevic has the ability to be a contributor from the early onset for a Sixers team that could really use him.

    Until he gets the chance to prove himself in Philadelphia, he'll be playing in Montenegro.

Reggie Williams: Caja Laboral, Spain

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    As a restricted free agent, Williams was set to test the waters and see what he was really worth on the open market.

    Apparently, his value translated to a fairly nice figure overseas.

    Williams signed a one-year, $1.5 million in Spain, but if he wants to return to the NBA after the lockout, he'll have to pay a $1 million buyout.

Alonzo Gee: Asseco Prokom, Poland

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    Gee should receive a hefty benefit from playing overseas, as he can further develop his skill set during the work stoppage.

    He signed a one-year deal in Poland, but there should be a place for him on an NBA bench when the time is right.

Craig Brackins: Maccabi Ashdod, Israel

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    Brackins rarely saw the court for Philadelphia last season, but if he's going to contribute into the future for the team, the Sixers are going to need him to become more consistent.

    Signed to one of the more interesting contracts that we've seen thus far during the lockout, Brackins inked a contract with Maccabi Ashdod.

    After spending the majority of his initial NBA season in the NBDL, he should be able to gain some much-needed confidence overseas.

Pape Sy: Gravelines, France

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    Atlanta opted to take Sy in the second round of the 2010 NBA draft, but he saw just three regular season games on the court during his rookie season.

    Now, he'll return to his native country.

    Sy signed a contract with Gravelines-Dunkerque that includes an out clause to return to the Hawks after the lockout.

Patty Mills: Melbourne Tigers, Australia

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    Mills had failed to make a considerable impact at the NBA level to this point in his career, so any extra run that he can get is likely to his benefit.

    The point guard will be taking his game down under as he's agreed to a one-year contract in Australia's NBL, and he'll be looking to prove that he deserves a spot on a team that needs a boost at the point guard position.

Wilson Chandler: Zhejiang Guangsha, China

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    ESPN's J.A. Adande brought us the news of Chandler signing in the CBA, a move that surprised many.

    Chandler, coming off of a breakout season and a restricted free agent, had been viewed as one of the better free-agent options for teams in a mediocre group.

    As Chandler admits, "I'm just taking a risk, at the end of the day."

    It's one that could pan out for Chandler, assuming that he remains in good health.

Josh Powell: Liaoning Panpan, China

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    Powell has proven to be an affordable and valuable big man off the bench at the NBA level, but he didn't want to risk sitting out an entire season.

    The power forward agreed to a one-year contract in the Chinese Basketball Association, and if he fulfills his entire contract, the earliest he'll be eligible to return (to the NBA) is at the conclusion of their season in March.

    After winning two championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, Powell played for the Atlanta Hawks last season.

DeJuan Blair: Krasnye Krylya Samara, Russia

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    Blair's recently signed a one-year deal to play with the Russian team Krasnye Krylya Samara, and he's had some very interesting tweets about his experience along the way.

    Agent Happy Walters expressed that the opportunity would allow for Blair "to stay in shape and work on new areas of his game," both things that should certainly benefit San Antonio.

    He played a largely inconsistent role for the Spurs last season, and the team should be hopeful that a stint overseas helps him to become a more reliable contributor.

Chandler Parsons: Cholet, France

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    Parsons showed interesting potential during his time in Florida, and it was enough to make Houston tab him with the No. 38 overall selection.

    However, like others on this list before him, he's not guaranteed anything as a second-round pick.

    As a result, Parsons decided to sign in France with Cholet.

Byron Mullens: Panionios, Greece

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    Mullens could use all of the playing time that he can handle after rotting in Oklahoma City's rotation, and hopefully his tenure overseas will be of major benefit.

    He played in just 12 games for the team last season, and the former first-round pick spent much of the year in the NBDL.

    He'll look to get his career back on track with a successful stint in Greece, where he'll be suiting up for Panionios on a one-year deal.

Mehmet Okur: Turk Telekom, Turkey

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    Okur began his professional basketball career in Turkey, and it's been speculated that he could even return after his tenure in the NBA is complete.

    However, with the lockout still looming largely, Okur has decided to come home a little sooner than expected.

    He signed a one-year deal with Turk Telekom, but he'll return to Utah as soon as the work stoppage resides for the final season on his deal.

Sundiata Gaines: BC Armia, Georgia

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    Gaines is most remembered by fans as the NBDL product who hit a huge shot for the Utah Jazz back in 2010, but he's proven that he can play since going undrafted out of Georgia.

    Now, he'll be playing in a very different Georgia, as the point guard agreed to a one-year contract with BC Armia.

    He will return stateside once the lockout concludes and continue his NBA career.

Chris Douglas-Roberts: Virtus Bologna, Italy

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    Chris Douglas-Roberts, or Floyonel Ritchie (as he refers to himself on his Twitter page), has signed a one-year deal to play Virtus Bologna.

    The deal will not include an out clause for Douglas-Roberts, as he is an unrestricted free agent after finishing out the final season of his deal with Milwaukee.

    He really needs to rebuild his NBA stock, and showing out in Italy for a year should be a step in the right direction.

J.R. Smith: Zhejiang Lions, China

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    Smith was in and out of coach George Karl's doghouse last season, but as an unrestricted free agent, it was thought that several teams would show interest in his offensive abilities once the lockout lifts.

    He decided not to wait the work stoppage out, and instead agreed to a one-year contract in China with the Lions.

    One of his newest teammates, Josh Boone, was a former-first round pick of New Jersey.

Kevin Seraphin: Caja Laboral, Spain

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    Seraphin, originally from France, was reportedly ready to head back to his home country during the lockout, but he chose a different international destination instead.

    The intriguing forward agreed to a one-year contract in Spain, and any extra playing time he can garner should serve him well in his NBA future.

Semih Erden: Besiktas, Turkey

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    Erden was born in Istanbul, and he played basketball professionally in Turkey before he came stateside to the NBA, so it shouldn't be a shocker that he's agreed to play overseas again.

    The seven-footer has signed a one-year contract to join Deron Williams with Besiktas, and it'll be interesting to see how he responds in his second season in the league when the action resumes.

Danilo Gallinari: Olimpia Milano, Italy

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    Gallinari played with Olimpia Milano from 2006-08, and now he's returning home to Milan.

    Gallinari signed a one-year contract with the team in September, and it shouldn't be surprising considering as he comes off the heels of participating in the Eurobasket tournament for Italy.

    The talented scoring forward will return to Denver once the lockout subsides, and the Nuggets are hoping he can be a major piece of the puzzle going forward.

Robert Vaden: BK Nitra, Slovakia

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    Vaden has one of the more interesting lockout deals that we've seen to date.

    After spending the season in the NBDL, the 6'5" guard has signed a three-month deal in Slovakia.

    He'll be looking to earn a spot on Oklahoma City's crowded bench as depth next season.

Austin Daye: Khimki Moscow, Russia

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    Daye was pegged as a breakout candidate by many for Detroit with Tayshaun Prince expected to sign elsewhere, and he'll certainly be given an opportunity to thrive.

    After a summer of exhibitions for Daye, he's put pen to paper and signed a deal through December in Russia to become Timofey Mozgov's newest teammate.

    He also signed with Kobe Bryant's agent, Rob Pelinka.

Kenyon Martin: Xinjiang Flying Tigers, China

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    Martin shattered records when he announced his contract to play in China.


    Another member to to take part in the Denver to China pipeline, Martin's one-year deal in China is the largest contract in the CBA's history.

    It's not clear if that's what he had in mind when he hired a new agent and was thought to be seeking "what could be the last big contract of his career."

Brian Scalabrine: Benetton Treviso, Italy

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    It's very possible that the NBA has seen the last of Brian Scalabrine.

    The enthusiastic forward agreed to a contract with the Italian team Benetton Treviso after a trial period with the club.

    He barely got on the court for the Bulls last season, and he drew very little interest on the open market before signing with Chicago.

Ben Uzoh: Lokomotiv Kuban, Russia

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    Uzoh flashed some playmaking abilities with New Jersey last season, but as a fringe player, he's another that couldn't afford to wait for the lockout to be settled.

    He signed a one-year contract in Russia, and he'll look to tighten up his game as he attempts to make an impact at the NBA level in the future.

Joey Dorsey: Caja Laboral, Spain

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    Dorsey was not tendered a qualifying contract offer by Toronto after the season, which made him an unrestricted free agent heading into the lockout.

    With an uncertain NBA future and a lengthy work stoppage staring him in the face, Dorsey put pen to paper with a one-year contract in Spain.

    The forward will look to make a splash abroad in an effort to resurrect his career in the NBA.

Boris Diaw: JSA Bordeaux, France

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    Diaw is originally from France, and it's not surprising that he's decided to play in his home country for the duration of the lockout.

    He serves as the president of the club that he's agreed to a contract with, and it's a move that Diaw himself claimed he would make more than a month before his signing became official.

    The versatile forward picked up the $9 million player option prior to the lockout, so he'll return to Charlotte when the lockout concludes.


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