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.