Report: Besiktas Chasing Durant

Kevin Durant via Daylife.comFile this under “we’ll see” but here you go.

According to a tweet from Mete Aktas (via Hoops Hype) Turkish basketball team Besiktas is interested in bringing over Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant:

According to Ibrahim Seten, who’s the chief editor of the sports department of daily national newspaper VATAN, Besiktas has already started transfer negotiations with another NBA superstar, Kevin Durant, as they wait an answer from Kobe Bryant. Seten mentioned in his twitter account that Besiktas management has sat down with Durant’s agent Aaron Goodwin in USA. If Besiktas is rejected by Bryant, who’s expected to submit an answer in the next 24 hours, they will extend their offer to Durant, who’s reportedly accepted to play in Turkey. Seten also stated that the asking price for Durant’s services is 750K per month.

And if you think you are reading that incorrectly, it was further verified by ESPN’s Marc Stein.

Agent Aaron Goodwin told on Tuesday night that he has met with officials from Turkish club Besiktas and has likewise begun exploring opportunities for Durant in Spain and Russia. Goodwin added that playing in China is not something Durant is considering at this time.

“The Turkish option is very intriguing,” Goodwin said. “We’re looking at other countries as well. Kevin hasn’t agreed to play anywhere yet, but we’re looking for the best fit.”

Sounds like Besiktas is really trying to capitalize on this NBA lockout. They already signed Deron Williams and now looking to add another elite player. And with the lockout looking like it will last quite a while, Besiktas could be positioning itself to rake in the cash, sponsorship deals, and media attention as well.

But what makes the report more interesting is what was said via Hoops Hype – that Durant already agreed to play in Turkey. If true, this could be a huge shot across the bow towards the owners in the CBA negotiations. If Bryant declines to play in Turkey, Durant will be a huge domino to fall which could lead to other NBA stars who are on the fence about making the jump overseas.

Imagine owners seeing their prized investments head off overseas for an indeterminate amount of time, risking injury. And if Durant does go, you have to wonder if this will spur the owners to be more reasonable in their negotiations with the players union.

As an aside, $750,000.00 sounds a bit low for a player like Durant’s caliber. Sure Dirk Nowitzki was reported to receive over one million but Durant can command the same.