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Deron Williams reaches agreement to play in Turkey

July 7, 2011 | 11:15 am

Williams3 It appears Deron Williams isn't waiting on an NBA lockout resolution to give him the green light to play basketball and collect a paycheck.

The New Jersey Nets point guard has agreed in principle to a contract with Turkish team Besiktas, the same team Allen Iverson played on last season.

"Deron will be a bigger signing than Iverson," Besiktas Coach Ergin Ataman told Turkish television station NTV Spor, which first reported the agreement. "We're also very close to [getting] Zaza Pachulia."

Ataman also said that his team would be interested in signing Lakers star Kobe Bryant if "he'd like to play in Europe with Deron."

If Williams signs, he would be the first high-profile NBA player to choose to play professionally overseas as the NBA team owners and players' union continue negotiations over a new collective bargaining agreement. The signing is subject to FIBA approval, but NBA Commissioner David Stern has said the league and teams will not prevent players from playing professionally during the lockout since their NBA contracts are suspended.

We'll have more on Williams soon at latimes.com/sports.

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-- Austin Knoblauch

The Sports Xchange contributed to this report.

Photo: New Jersey point guard Deron Williams. Credit: Darren Abate / Associated Press

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