Sunday, July 10th, 2011 at 12:45 pm  |  33 responses

Deron Williams Says NBAers Could Stay Overseas Long-Term

As we know, Deron Williams has agreed to play ball in Turkey if the lockout stretches into the regular season. But he has an interesting take on the NBA-to-Europe migration: that if the owners get their way, some guys may stay. Via ESPN: “Though he plans to play in Turkey during the lockout, New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams will rejoin the NBA as soon as an agreement on a collective bargaining agreement is reached. But if the owners break the players and get the proposal they’re pushing for, Williams believes some stars could opt to play overseas long-term. ‘If the proposal (the owners) have, if that’s what they’re sticking with and that’s what they want, then I think it would be hard for a lot of guys to come back to the NBA,’ Williams said Friday in an interview at a private golf resort in San Diego. Williams said any collective bargaining agreement that would leave stars such as Kobe Bryant making only $11 million a year — the owners have proposed cutting players’ salaries by roughly a third — could open the door for an unprecedented exodus to Europe. ’(Kobe) could go make more money overseas, I guarantee you.’ said Williams, who has a one-year, $5 million deal with Besiktas. ‘If (European teams) knew he could be there for a full season, or they knew I could be there for a full season, or they knew LeBron James could be there for a full season, they’ll pay more money, of course.’ If other stars follow Williams to Europe during the lockout, it could be a blow to the league’s owners, giving the players’ union the leverage it needs to fight off the owners’ demands. Williams said he spoke with the union before agreeing to play in Turkey to make sure he wasn’t damaging its cause. He said NBPA executive director Billy Hunter was in favor of the move. ’I talked to Mr. Hunter and he said he supported it,’ Williams said. ‘He was happy for me. He thought I made a great decision, a business decision. He was behind me.’”

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  • j nuggz

    First! why do players sound so greedy, kobes in his 30s, and itll be so terrible to only make 11 mil for a year, give me a break, what about the fans. you are alll rich and a majority of your fans are middle class and poor. id kill to be able to play ball for a livinfg, even if i only made what i make now, better than real work

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    You don’t understand the situation if your mad at the players. I would move to make more money elsewhere if my owner wanted to decrease my salary in a business that is GROWING. How much they make is not the point, they make that much because people like us love the sport. Plus this is clearly a leverage move, just like the owners locking out the players is a leverage move for them. There is no difference


    don’t worry Dwill the owners will fold quick after a couple big names stars play in Europe.

  • clownfish

    I never understood fans of any professional sports. You are what drives the industry. Every single dollar you spend on games is a vote in favor of how leagues, not only the NBA, run their business. If you think prices are outrages for a game or that your team’s management is doing a terrible job, STOP PAYING TO SEE THE GAMES. The simplest example is a restaurant. If the food sucks, you stop going and the restaurant will be forced to change its processes and practices. Can you blame players for commanding such high salaries when fans continue to be willing to be part of the financial process that sustains these demands? Granted, it’s also up to the owners to realize they shouldn’t be offering these contracts to begin with. But hey, that’s how the free, open market of capitalism works. You want the best player? Pay him the most.

  • shean combs

    cosign nbk and clownfish. Also, playing ball (or any sport) professionally is not all fun and games, the toll it takes on your body (82 games + practices, well unless your AI it’s only 82 games) and the pressure to play through injuries combine to make this actual hard work. While the amounts they get paid may seem astronomical to us average folks, considering the tools of their trade are their bodies, it isn’t necessarily too far fetched that they should get paid as much as they do. You can’t replace broken knees

  • stayweird38

    Deron Williams sucks and he’s a scrub if he wants the owners to fold the real stars of the nba need to go over there to make a impact. And good I hope this scrub deron will stays over there he sucks I hate him .

  • spit hot fiyah

    @staywierd38 what flavor do u like on your hatorade

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    don’t come down on Deron Williams for these comments, he’s bright eyed and bushy-tailed when it comes to international basketball and probably a bit bitter at league management. The Americans overseas actually grinding tryna make something happen will tell you how it really goes over there. He probably won’t see anything close to his contract.

  • neaorin

    NBA stars? No, those guys don’t make the vast majority of their money from salary anyway, and need the exposure the NBA offers to get endorsements and drive sales. On the other hand, more players like Josh Childress opting to stay overseas? I can definitely see that.

  • Gatsby

    Deron doesn’t know what he’s talking about, those teams can’t pay that much even for Kobe or LeBron. They wont make more than 11 million a season over there, no way! Not even Barça would/could pay that much!

  • http://vandelay-industries.org Art Vandelay

    Could someone please tell that overrated, overhyped overachiever to shut up?

  • http://www.triplajunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    I don’t think teams overseas have the salary cap/structure in place to give guys the kind of money they get here.

  • Dagger

    First, the proposals likely to come from the owners will cut most deeply into the “middle class” of NBA players, leaving the superstars relatively unscathed (isn’t that how it always goes, in any labour situation?). Second, I sincerely doubt any NBA superstar will get more than half what they make in the NBA by going overseas, and that’s coupled with a massive loss of exposure and respect from the American (and really, the global) market. Players like Lebron or Kobe make more than half of their money from endorsements anyway. I know players overseas will get endorsements too, but those will be in enormously smaller *basketball* markets. You can very conservatively assume a superstar will lose half of his endorsement money by playing overseas. Overall, even with a ridiculous contract – say, $8 million/year – a player like Lebron will lose about 75% of his money by going overseas, probably even under a new agreement. Deron is saying the right things given the nonexistence of negotiations and the continuing lockout, but he’s definitely bluffing in this case.

  • http://twitter.com/BeezKneezy LA Huey

    These guys could make bank just playing And1 Tour exhibitions. Globetrotters of the new school.

  • LeBron de Con

    More posturing. Sheesh

  • RandalJ

    More power to you if you want to continue to play and earn money in another league. If the balance of playing the game you love, and getting paid to do it can’t be reached in the US, take your skills where it can.

    Can’t we all just get along?

  • http://slamonline.com Ugh

    A Euro team might only offer $5 million over two years to Glen Davis or $4 million a year to Andre Igoudala, but (1) EXPENSES PAID and (2) TAX FREE plus (3) EUROS are worth more than Us dollars and will stay that way for (at least) the next five years.
    If there are salary rollbacks and the mid-level exception getting cut down then lower- and middle-tier players will go overseas and stay there.

  • http://asdklfl.com Jukai

    You guys are missing a few big points:
    -Kobe makes way more than most superstars. WAY more. Maybe a team can’t afford to pay Kobe 11 million, but what about Chris Paul 8 million?
    -Euro teams pay in euros. So to pay 8 million to Chris Paul, they only have to pay six euros
    -Euro teams are tax free. So really, they only have to pay him 4 million euros.
    So if a team offers Chris Paul 5 million tax free euros compared to his 8 million dollar taxed salary here… there’s gonna be some decisions to make.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Man, right now even the Canadian dollar is worth more the American dollar.

  • treetrunks

    yea, professional sport IS hard work…look at Yao Ming…didn’t he say he retired so he could take care and play with his children? Basketball got lots of money but also pretty much f*cked up his body…

  • treetrunks

    yea, professional sport IS hard work…look at Yao Ming…didn’t he say he retired so he could take care and play with his children? Basketball got him lots of money but also pretty much f*cked up his body…

  • spit hot fiyah

    @jukai it’s only tax free for the players, the teams still pay tax on the contracts

  • Mike From Spain

    Barça in basketball pays little compared to Barça in soccer. Leo Messi makes about US $15,5 million. S*ck on that , Kobe :)

  • rikson

    Yaos HUGE body fuc*ed up on his own, bc of the size….

  • BostonBaller

    I think any NBAer who goes overseas will indeed get their full pay for the simple reason that those teams want NBA players as “sponsors”, I mean players. lol. If a player goes over there and blows out a knee or back then I’m guessing his NBA team can drop him w/out recourse from the roster after the lockout?

  • AD

    lol dwill is a beast(best pg in da lg or tied wit cp3) but seriously, other stars are goin to join…. for those who misunderstood let me break it down, (@gatsby and @ArtVandelay.).. the stars will make more money than the proposed deal made by the owners if they go to europe with the help of special sponsors OF COURSE their not gonna get paid 40 mill or etc….. and stop all the hating………. Deron is a true superstar who is going to bring a championship to NJ YEA I SAID ITTTT!!!

  • marc

    whoever said dwill sucks or is overrated is sounding like a hater and doesn’t know the game of basketball. If you don’t agree with his viewpoints then say that. He is entitled to his own opinion. And he will probably give your favorite PG 30 lol.

  • Marcus Bastos

    The players have the right to play overseas. I think that’s a good move by Deron Williams. In my opinion that’s a good chance to NBA loose some of his best players to Euroleague in the long run…

  • http://slamonline.com Ugh

    If an NBA player is on a US$10 million contract (so just above the mid-level exception) and are taxed at 30%, they take home $7 million.
    If they’re getting a contract offer of E5 million they take home US$7.1 million.
    Provided the players are taking that kind of tax hit (I don’t know US tax law, but that seems reasonable to assume) it makes a fair amount of sense to go overseas if they can offer that kind of money.

  • http://aol.com Run”N’Gun219

    Hey Mike From Spain^ Kobe makes $24,806,250 a year. So you suck on that Doucejuice

  • Deknowz

    What the owners did was dig themselves a hole and intend on walking out of it on the back of their players. I told people that this lockout will be the best thing to happen to the European leagues since putting nets on rims! A few stars will stay, The NBA owners are trying to mimic what the NFL owners are doing but they don’t understand most football players have no other options so strong arming them is a viable tactic. Unlike basketball where there are leagues that will pay NBA players NBA money. Best case scenario, Europe gets addicted to watching real players and the NBA get millions of new fans, worst case, We’ll all need to get a euro-league pass!

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    The tax rate for their salaries is like 33 or 35 percent, actually. Now, they can reduce that will all kinds of loopholes and whatnot, but they probably don’t do that much.
    So your math is close.

  • giogolo

    just a question..does money earned overseas by americans get taxed when they return back to the US just like when you buy expensive cars abroad and return it home u get taxed by your country.