NBA Players Abroad: Aaron Brooks, Patty Mills Sign In China

This StoryStream documents the parade of NBA players signing deals to play overseas during the NBA lockout. Alternately, see a full list of NBA players, free agents and draft picks who have signed abroad.

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Lamar Odom Set To Join Deron Williams In Turkey, According To Report

Lamar Odom wasn't Besiktas first choice as their import from the Los Angeles Lakers -- that honor would have gone to Kobe Bryant. The Turkish club that already employs NBA All-Star Deron Williams has apparently decided on Khloe Kardashian's husband as its second import, however, with plans for him to begin playing next week across the pond.

Odom will join the team based in Istanbul next week, according to ESPN's Marc Stein, and would make more than $2 million in salary if he finishes the season out in Turkey. Like most NBA players taking their talents abroad, however, he will have an option in his contract to return stateside once the lockout is complete.

The Lakers forward will join a couple of fellow locked out NBA players with the Turkish squad. Williams, the New Jersey Nets standout point guard, and Semih Erden -- a center who finished last season with the Cleveland Cavaliers -- are already on the roster. Marcelus Kemp, a former NBA Draft candidate out of Nevada, is another name that might be familiar to American basketball fans.

Besiktas has lost just one game in the regular season thus far this season, but Williams was unable to lead them to victory in their Euroleague qualifying games. The team is instead playing in the Eurochallenge where they are 3-0 after Williams scored 50 in the team's last game.


Tyreke Evans Will Play In Italy Until He Can Return To Sacramento Kings

It has been a little while since an NBA star has taken his talents to Europe, but Tyreke Evans has decided to buck that trend. The Sacramento Kings guard will play across the pond until the NBA lockout is over after agreeing to a contract with Virtus Roma in Italy.

The 6-foot-6 guard averaged 17.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists for the Kings in his second season, but he's obviously decided that playing abroad offers a solid opportunity until the lockout is settled.

Virtus Roma, sponsored by Lottomatica, plays in Italy's top division. The club has a solid history -- aside from a lackluster season last year that got them removed from the prestigious Euroleague -- but it's perhaps most famous for hosting Brandon Jennings when he decided to play in Europe for a season prior to the NBA Draft.

Evans will join a team that is 3-4 through its first seven games of the season with a roster that includes former NBA center Uros Slokar and Clay Tucker,  an annual Summer League invitee that has spent the majority of his career abroad after a pair of seasons in the NBA Development League.


Patty Mills Leaves Australia To Sign In China

Patty Mills, a restricted free agent of the Portland Trail Blazers, has left his native Australia's National Basketball League to take a deal with a Chinese Basketball Association club, possibly the Xinjiang Flying Tigers, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

The point guard had appeared in nine regular season games for the Melbourne Tigers, and according to the Morning Herald has sparked unprecedented interest in the league. But his deal with Melbourne included out clauses to return to the NBA or take a more lucrative offer. The Chinese deal would seem to fall under the latter.

There is an impact on the Blazers or any NBA team hoping to sign Mills to an offer sheet should the NBA lockout end before the season is lost, though: the Chinese league doesn't permit out clauses, which means Mills can't return to the NBA before March at the earliest. That nearly ensures that Mills will be added to the 2012 free agent class.


Serge Ibaka Signs With Real Madrid During NBA Lockout

Real Madrid has signed Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka for two months' worth of games, the team has confirmed (via The Basketball Post). Ibaka became a Spanish citizen this summer in order to represent the nation at EuroBasket. He was born in the Republic of the Congo, but immigrated to Spain as his basketball career developed.

He's a star defender at the NBA level, and last season became the youngest player to ever lead the NBA in blocked shots. (He finished second in block rate in the regular season, and first in the playoffs.) He replaced Jeff Green in the starting lineup after a midseason trade for Kendrick Perkins; with Ibaka, Perk, Nick Collison and Nazr Mohammed, the Thunder have perhaps the best defensive big man rotation in the league.

Real stars one other locked-out NBA player: Rudy Fernandez, who was traded to the Dallas Mavericks on draft day and has one more season in America before being able to play in Spain full-time. Real also feature Rockets prospect Sergio Llull, former Blazer Sergio Rodriguez, Jazz prospect Ante Tomic and Bulls draftee Nikola Mirotic.


Thabo Sefolosha Signs In Turkey During NBA Lockout

Thabo Sefolosha has yet to make himself a household name since entering the league as a first round draft pick with the Chicago Bulls during the 2006-07 season. Considering the defensive stopper has been a full-time starter with the Oklahoma City Thunder the past couple of seasons, however, it was likely that the Swiss-born Sefolosha was bound to get recognition soon ... and then the NBA lockout happened and he instead signed a deal to play in Turkey.

Sefolosha has inked a deal Fenerbahce Ulker, a team that already features a few former NBA fringe players in Curtis Jerrells, James Gist and Roko Ukic along with New Jersey Nets draft pick Bojan Bogdanovic, his agent told The Oklahoman.

"It's extremely difficult to predict if we're going to get a quick solution or if it's going to become a much more protracted battle with the owners regarding the new CBA. We waited until the last moment and then that moment passed," Sefolosha's agent, Guy Zucker, told the newspaper. "Now they're beginning to cancel games, and this could last for quite sometime. So Thabo wanted to play, and this was too good of an opportunity to pass up on."

Sefolosha will have an NBA-out clause in his contract with Fenerbahce so that he's able to return to the Thunder whenever the lockout is complete. He's under contract for nearly $12 million in Oklahoma City through the 2013-14 season.

Update: Sefolosha confirmed the news on Facebook:

I will be playing for Fenerbahçe Ülker in Turkey until an agreement is reached between players and owners! I am really excited to discover a new city and a new culture!


Yi Jianlian Returns To China, Will Play For Guangdong Tigers If NBA Lockout Extends

Yi Jianlian will return to China and play for the Guangdong Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association if the NBA lockout continues, reports Michael Lee of the Washington Post. Yi is an unrestricted free agent, given that the Washington Wizards -- who traded for the forward a year ago -- declined to extend Jianlian a qualifying offer that would have made him a restricted free agent. In an interesting twist, Lee reports that Yi was able to include an opt-out clause in his contract with Guangdong, unlike fellow NBA free agents in China like J.R. Smith and Kenyon Martin.

The CBA approved a rule last month barring foreign players from having opt-out deals that would allow them to leave China if the NBA lockout were to end. But as a Chinese national, Yi is under no such rules. It remains to be seen, however, how strictly the CBA will enforce the rule: Earl Clark, last of the Orlando Magic, has reportedly already left his Chinese team.

Yi has been a major disappointment since being taken No. 6 by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2007 NBA Draft. He's played for the Bucks, New Jersey Nets and Wizards.


Tony Parker Will Sign With France's ASVEL Villeurbanne

After Tuesday's depressing news about the NBA lockout, it's only fitting that a high-profile player announces his signing with an overseas team. This time, it's Tony Parker, who signed with ASVEL Villeurbanne in his native France.

Parker, who averaged 17.5 points and 6.6 assists per game for the Spurs last season, is originally from Paris, but decided to sign with ASVEL Villeurbanne, a team based in Villeurbanne, which is on the outskirts of Lyon, France's third-most populous city. The team has called a press conference for Thursday to announce the signing.

He will miss the team's first game of the season, which is this weekend, but will join them next week for their game against Paris-Levallois.

Parker is the third Spur to sign overseas for the lockout, following DeJuan Blairwho signed in Russia, and Danny Greenwho signed in Slovenia.

For more Spurs chatter (hint: it's probably also about the lockout), head over to Pounding the Rock.


Andrei Kirilenko Signs With CSKA Moscow, Has NBA Opt-Out

Andrei Kirilenko, a free agent forward of the Utah Jazz, has signed a contract to play with CSKA Moscow in his native Russia during the NBA lockout. reports that Kirilenko signed a three-year deal with CSKA, but the deal includes an opt-out clause that would allow the forward to return to the NBA if the lockout ends. As a free agent, Kirilenko did not have to include an opt-out clause in his deal under FIBA regulations. Kirilenko also said that he will donate all of his salary earned in Russia to charity.

Kirilenko wouldn't be expected to stay with the Jazz, the only NBA team he's ever played for. Rumors have suggested that the New Jersey Nets would be interested in bringing AK in, based in equal parts on the team's lack of depth at small and power forward, and Kirilenko's relationships with Nets star Deron Williams and owner Mikhail Prokhorov.

CSKA Moscow competes in the Euroleague in addition to the Russian domestic league.


Kobe Bryant, Virtus Bologna In Talks For NBA Lockout Diversion In Italy, Says Team

Virtus Bologna has announced that it is speaking with Rob Pelinka, the agent for Kobe Bryant, in an effort to bring the L.A. Lakers' superstar back to Italy should the NBA lockout remain unresolved. Via Kevin Ding, the Italian club announced on its website that management will speak to Pelinka on Thursday.

Kobe's camp has spoken with at least one other club, as talks with Turkish side Besiktas -- which signed Deron Williams of the New Jersey Nets in July -- dragged on for a couple weeks. But the Besiktas deal fell through, and chatter about Kobe playing overseas died down.

Virtus Bologna last week signed free agent Chris Douglas-Roberts, last of the Milwaukee Bucks and previously of the Nets, to a deal. As was the case with Besiktas, the team is looking for sponsors to pick up the tab for Kobe, at least in part. Bryant spent a chunk of his childhood in Italy while his father, Joe Bryant, played professionally with Mike D'Antoni and others. Kobe is speaks fluent Italian.


Rudy Fernandez Will Play In Spain For Real Madrid

Rudy Fernandez has signed in Spain for the upcoming season after being traded to the Dallas Mavericks on the night of the NBA Draft. Fernandez, a Spanish native, will play for Real Madrid in the Euroleague.

Fernandez is under contract next season for a little over two million dollars in the NBA, meaning his contract with Real Madrid will end whenever the NBA lockout does, but a return to the Euroleague has been in the cards for quite some time as there were numerous reports that he was unhappy with his role with the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Spaniard is no stranger to playing in Spain as he spent the first eight seasons of his basketball career in the Spanish ACB before taking his talents to the NBA, but this will be his first time playing for Real Madrid as the rest of his Spanish career was spent with Joventut Badalona.

Along with Fernandez, Real Madrid has also signed fringe NBA players Jaycee Carroll and Sergio Rodriguez along with returning previous NBA Draft picks Nikola Mirotic, Sergio Llull and Ante Tomic.


Chris Douglas-Roberts Signs With Virtus Bologna During NBA Lockout

Chris Douglas-Roberts is the latest NBA player to make his way overseas during the NBA lockout, as Italian side Virtus Bologna has announced the addition of the Milwaukee Bucks wing (via Sportando and HoopsHype). Douglas-Roberts, who played at Memphis and was drafted by the New Jersey Nets with the No. 40 pick overall in 2008, is an unrestricted free agent in the NBA. It's not clear whether his contract with Bologna includes a clause allowing him to return to the NBA should the lockout end. (UPDATE: Sportando reports that the team has confirmed that there is not an NBA opt-out clause in Douglas-Roberts' contract. He's in Italy for the year.) FIBA requires an opt-out clause be added to contracts only for players under NBA contract.

Three years in, it remains unclear what type of NBA role Douglas-Roberts will fill going forward. He's not a terribly prolific scorer (13 points per 36 minutes in each of his three seasons) or potent shooter (career 28.6 percent on three-pointers). He played 1,700 minutes for the awful 2009-10 Nets, but only got off the bench for a little more than half of Milwaukee's games last season.

For more on the Bucks and Douglas-Roberts, visit SB Nation's Brew Hoop.


Kenyon Martin In Talks To Sign In China, According To Report

Denver Nuggets fans may need to point their satellite dishes east next season to see their favorite players, as a third Nuggets free agent -- veteran power forward Kenyon Martin -- is in talks to sign in China for the 2011-12 season, reports Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post. Denver restricted free agent Wilson Chandler has already signed in China, and unrestricted free agent guard J.R. Smith has reportedly entered negotiations on a $3 million deal with a Chinese club.

Hochman reports that Martin's deal would be the richest in Chinese Basketball Association history; ESPN's Marc Stein singles out the team chasing Martin as Xinjiang Guanghui, based in the northwestern city of Urumqi. Xinjiang went 31-1 during the CBA regular season last year behind an MVP campaign from former Sacramento Kings first-round pick Quincy Douby; Douby will indeed be back with Xinjiang on a $2 million contract. The team has also hired American Bob Donewald, who coaches the Chinese national team, to run the squad.

Martin is 33 years old, but when healthy is still considered a plus defender and a decent enough supplementary offensive option.


Mehmet Okur Signs With Turkish Team, Can Return When Lockout Ends

Utah Jazz center Mehmet Okur became the latest NBA player to sign for a European professional team, joining Turkey's Turk Telekom Ankara at least until the NBA lockout ends. The Turkey native could join his new team as soon as this weekend. Okur's agent, Marc Fleisher, said the only thing holding up the move is a minor visa issue.

"He didn't feel that the option to go play in pick-up games are what he needed," said Fleisher, who stated that Okur is close to 100-percent health and will be insured while playing overseas. "He chose this and it's a good team. He knows the league very well and it's a good opportunity for him to play at a high level. And when the lockout ends, he'll come back and be rearing to go."

Among the players he may face in Turkey is former Jazz teammate Deron Williams, who recently joined Besiktas.

The 32-year-old Okur is coming off a season that was shortened to just 13 games because of injury. He averaged just 4.9 points, 2.3 rebounds and 12.9 minutes, all of which probably contributed to his desire to get real games under his belt while the lockout extends beyond two months. Those were Okur's worst numbers during his nine-year NBA career, in which he's averaged 13.7 points and 7.1 rebounds per game.  

For more on Okur's move, be sure to check out SLC Dunk. For the latest updates on NBA players moving to Europe, be sure to follow this StoryStream.


DeJuan Blair Signs With Russian Team, According To Report

DeJuan Blair has signed a deal to play with Krasnye Krylya of Russia's Professional Basketball League during the NBA lockout, reports the indomitable Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Blair is under contract with the San Antonio Spurs. Under FIBA rules, Blair's contract must include a clause allowing the power forward to return to the Spurs when the lockout ends.

NBA lottery pick Joe Alexander and former Celtic Gerald Green played for Krasnye Krylya last season; Woj reports that Alexander and former Wizard Jarvis Hayes will join Blair this season. Krasnye Krylya, based in the southwestern city of Samara, is not eligible for Euroleague or Eurocup.

Blair signed a four-year, $3.8 million deal with the Spurs after S.A. took him in the second round in 2009. Despite an incredible college career at Pitt, Blair slipped on concerns of his lack of ACLs due to multiple knee injuries. He's remained healthy in the pros. His 2011-12 contract with the Spurs, however, is only guaranteed up to $500,000, though, and his 2012-13 contract is fully unguaranteed.


Patty Mills Signs With Australian Team, Has NBA Opt-Out Clause

Patty Mills, a restricted free agent of the Portland Trail Blazers, has signed a deal with the Melbourne Tigers of Australia's National Basketball League. The Canberra-born point guard has seen limited action in the NBA after being drafted by the Blazers in the second round in 2009 out of St. Mary's, but he remains enormously popular on his home continent, reports the Melbourne Herald Sun.

The Tigers are expecting sell-out crowds and a huge TV audience for his homecoming.

"Melbourne Tigers are anticipating sell-out crowds," Tigers owner Seamus McPeake said.

"Every venue we go to people will want to see Patty play. The hype around Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton was big, (but) this is a bigger coup for sport in the country.

"OK, they're playing EPL, but nothing beats the NBA."

Harry Kewell is a popular Australian footballer with English Premier League experience who transferred this season back to Melbourne from his Turkish club, giving some momentum to Australia's league.

Mills does reportedly have an NBA opt-out clause in his contract, which means that he can still participate in NBA free agency, should the 2011-12 season ever begin.


Vegas To Host An NBA Summer League, Of Sorts

The official NBA Summer League was cancelled due to the NBA lockout, much to everyone's chagrin. Interestingly enough, however, it seems that there is still a chance Las Vegas could still host some of the best NBA players playing for their regular season teams.

Joe Abunassar, the head trainer at the famed Las Vegas-based Impact Academy, told Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick that the NBA lockout isn't going to completely keep Vegas from being descended upon by some of the best basketball players for two weeks this year -- it'll just be in September instead of July.

Amick reports that more than 50 players will be descending on Sin City to take part in a league at Impact Academy, starting on Sept. 12, but the exciting part is that a couple of complete NBA teams might compete.

According to Impact owner and renowned trainer Joe Abunassar, the Clippers' Blake Griffin, Mo Williams and Randy Foye came by last week and expressed a desire to enter the league with a team made up solely of their teammates. Oklahoma City center Nazr Mohammed is trying to convince Kevin Durant, James Harden and others to do the same, while Indiana's Dahntay Jones and Denver's Al Harrington are making similar pitches to their respective teams.

Abunassar is planning for eight teams with roughly seven players apiece, but there could be a need for more teams once the rest of the NBA gets word of the league.

"It's a natural deal," Abunassar said. "Guys want to play, so this is a great service for guys. It keeps them in shape. They don't mind coming to Vegas. The difference between what we're doing and what other leagues are doing is that all five guys on the floor will be pros. It'll keep them in shape. It's a good thing for the NBPA."

Welp, if it ends up getting broadcast online, this might be a decent distraction in September.


Wilson Chandler To Play In Italy During Euroleague's First Stage

Wilson Chandler isn't the biggest name to sign in Europe with the NBA lockout in place. He's one of the more established talents to do so, though, considering he's started 199 of his 254 NBA games thus far in his career.

Chandler, the Denver Nuggets versatile forward, has signed a contract to play with Italy's Olimpia Milano as the team attempts to get through the first stage of Euroleague competition.

Sportando, the European basketball site that first broke the deal, reports that Chandler will be paid roughly $500,000 for a contract that will last into the middle of December. The two sides will then re-evaluate the situation depending on the progress of the NBA lockout as well as the progress of Chandler's new European team.

Chandler doesn't have to return to the NBA at the end of the lockout considering he's a restricted free agent -- the Denver Nuggets have an option worth just over $3 million next season if the team wants to bring him back after acquiring him in a mid-season trade with the Knicks -- but the clause included in his contract certainly gives him quite a bit of flexibility.

It'll be interesting to see if more NBA players go the route of Chandler and decide to sign a couple-month contract in Europe rather than a full-season contract with the NBA-out option.


Sixers' Craig Brackins Reportedly Signs With Israeli Team

Craig Brackins, a power forward for the Philadelphia 76ers, has signed with Maccabi Ashdod of the the Israeli Super League, reports Sportando. Brackins appeared in just three games as a rookie for Philadelphia in the 2010-11 season, spending much of the campaign with Springfield Armor of the NBA D-League, where he averaged 20 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.

Maccabi Ashdod does not compete in Euroleague or Eurocup. Brackins is under contract with the Sixers, which means his deal with Ashdod must include a clause allowing him to return to Philadelphia when the NBA lockout ends. Brackins was the No. 21 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft out of Iowa State, and is due $1.4 million from the Sixers for the 2011-12 season.

Ashdod finished sixth in the Super League last season, and has also signed undrafted free agent Alex Tyus from the University of Florida. Israeli has seen the biggest share of signees from the NBA this offseason, including Jordan Farmar.


Kyle Singler Signs In Spain With Lucentum Alicante, According To Team

Kyle Singler, who was selected by the Detroit Pistons with the third pick in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft, has signed a deal with Lucentum Alicante in Spain, according to the team's Twitter feed (via Sportando). Singler, who was named the 2010 Final Four Most Outstanding Player in leading Duke to a national championship, will be able to return to the NBA if the lockout ends before the 2011-12 season is lost.

Lucentum Alicante has bounced between Spain's top two divisions over the past decade, finishing a safe but unspectacular 16th in the top-flight ACB last season. As such, Singler and the team won't be competing in any continental championships like Euroleague or Eurocup.

As an unsigned draft pick, Singler isn't obligated to return to the NBA midseason should the lockout end; that he has an opt-out clause shows that he feels he has a place with the Pistons and wants to make it in the top league in the world.


Omri Casspi Reportedly Won't Return To Maccabi Tel Aviv, Instead Considers France

Omri Casspi's storybook return to Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel during the NBA lockout won't actually materialize, reports Marc Stein of ESPN. Instead, Casspi could play for ASVEL Basket in Lyon, France -- the team owned by San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker.

France isn't the only destination that Casspi -- coveted by the Spurs since he was drafted No. 23 overall by the Kings in 2009 -- is considering as a lockout alternative. Various reports in the Israeli media say he's drawn interest from clubs in Russia and Spain.

The Sacramento Kings traded Casspi to the Cleveland Cavaliers on June 30, just hours before the onset of the lockout prevented further trades and free agent moves. Casspi was expected to compete for the starting small forward job in Cleveland, joining Cavs draft picks point guard Kyrie Irving and big man Tristan Thompson on a young core looking deep into the future.

Casspi had played for Maccabi before entering the NBA.


Timberwolves' Nikola Pekovic To Play For Partizan Belgrade During NBA Lockout, Says Report

Nikola Pekovic, a Minnesota Timberwolves center fresh off of his rookie season in the NBA, will return to Serbia to play for Partizan Belgrade during the NBA lockout, reports Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Pekovic, who hails from Montenegro, a nation that became independent from Serbia in 2006, played for Partizan from 2005 through 2008 before moving on to Greek power Panathinaikos and, eventually, the Wolves.

Minnesota made Pekovic the first pick in the second round of the 2008 NBA Draft, and in July 2010 signed him to the largest rookie deal ever signed by a second-round pick, a three-year contract worth $13 million. Pekovic, like every Wolf not named Kevin Love, had a disappointing 2010-11 season, averaging just 13.6 minutes per game off the bench. He largely played behind ineffective Serbian teammate Darko Milicic.

Partizan is the top club in Serbia, and also a major contender in the Adriatic League, which includes the top sides from the nations that once made up Yugoslavia. Partizan has won the past five Adriatic League titles.

Partizan will compete in Euroleague this season. That brings the number of players under NBA contract who have signed or are reported to be near deals with Euroleague clubs to eight.


Omri Casspi To Join Maccabi Tel Aviv, Says Report

Omri Casspi, the NBA's first and only Israeli player, will re-join Maccabi Tel Aviv, the club he left in 2009, if the NBA lockout bleeds into the regular season, reports the Jerusalem Post via Marc Stein. Maccabi's owner David Federman told The Post that the team has been in advanced negotiations with Casspi's camp on a deal that would bring the Israeli star back for the 2011-12 season.

The Sacramento Kings made Casspi the No. 23 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. Casspi started off his NBA career like gangbusters, but wore down over the course of his rookie season and had a rough second year. After acquiring small forward John Salmons via trade in June, the Kings sent Casspi and a conditional first-round pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers for J.J. Hickson.

Casspi was expected to lead Israel into EuroBasket 2011, where the nation is a severe underdog. But Casspi's status is uncertain after a knee injury during training.


Carmelo Anthony Says He Might Play In Europe, China Or Puerto Rico

Carmelo Anthony is in Puerto Rico to do some charity work with his foundation. While the New York Knicks forward is down there, however, he's also being asked what his plans are if the NBA lockout forces missed games this fall.

Anthony's answers brought up a new possibility for locked out players, though, as he mentioned the small Central American country as a possible destination after previously bringing up the mainstays in China and Europe.

Nothing surprising in an NBA player considering playing in Europe or China, of course, but the juicy quote came while he was talking to Primera Hora.

"But with the lockout, and if things continue, I would not rule out playing in Puerto Rico. I'm keeping that option open and we'll see what deals there are."

This isn't exactly a realistic option because the BSN (Puerto Rico's NBA) only runs from March through July. If the NBA does end up cancelling its season, however, there's a good chance that players take a look at taking their talents to Puerto Rico.

The Peurto Rican league attracts some of the best non-NBA Americans each March as they pay good salaries and offer a nice transition destination between either the D-League or recently cut NBA players prior to the Summer League grind.

It'd be surprising if Anthony plays in Puerto Rico as Shavlik Randolph won the league's Import of the Year award this season, but it apparently hasn't been ruled out by the Knicks All-Star. Let's hope the NBA officially rules it out by deciding to play the upcoming season.


Wizards' Trevor Booker Reportedly Signs With Israeli Team

Trevor Booker, who is under contract with the Washington Wizards for three more seasons, has signed a deal to play for Israel's Bnei HaSharon, according to a report from David Pick on

Interestingly enough, Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld's son Dan played for Bnei HaSharon last season. (He moved to Hapoel Holon, another Israeli team, for the 2011-12 season.) Bnei HaSharon finished fourth in the Israeli league last season, and will not participate in the continental cups this season.

Booker is the second player under NBA contract to sign in Israel, following New Jersey Nets point guard Jordan Farmarwho signed with Maccabi Tel Aviv this week. A total of eight players under NBA contract have signed overseas deals; in terms of NBA impact, Booker is middle of the pack.

The Wizards made the Clemson product the No. 23 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, and as a rookie played in 65 games, starting 14. He was, for the most part, an efficient bench scorer. In 12 games in March, he averaged 10 points and seven rebounds a game.

For more on the Wizards, visit Bullets Forever and SB Nation DC.


Jordan Farmar Signs With Maccabi Tel Aviv, According To Report

Jordan Farmar, the New Jersey Nets' back-up point guard, has signed a deal with Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel's powerhouse club, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Reports earlier this week suggested that Maccabi Haifa, a lesser Israeli club, was hot on Farmar's trail.

Maccabi Tel Aviv is the biggest sports club in Israel, and a perennial contender in Euroleague competition. Tel Aviv finished second in Euroleague in 2010-11 under American-born head coach David Blatt, losing in the final to Greek power Panathinaikos. The roster, in addition to Farmar, boasts Israeli star Lior Eliyahu, Greek big man Sofoklis Schortsanitis, Duke product Jon Scheyer, Gonzaga product Jeremy Pargo and former Golden State Warrior Richard Hendrix.

Farmar is the second player under NBA contract to sign with a Euroleague team during the NBA lockout. Nicolas Batum signed a deal with SLUC Nancy, the reigning French champion and a low-rung contender for Euroleague. If the lockout ends midseason, Farmar and Batum will be forced to return to their NBA teams. Many had considered Euroleague teams unlikely to sign players under NBA contract as rentals, but Maccabi Tel Aviv is one of the best and has bucked that trend.

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