After agreeing terms with NBA star Deron Williams Turkish side Besiktas is not going to stop there. Yahoo! Sports reports that the next target of the club is Kobe Bryant.
Ergin Ataman, head coach of Besiktas, will travel to New York next week in order to officially announce the signing of Deron Williams. Ataman hopes to meet with Kobe Bryant and his agent Rob Pelinka during the trip.
“After we signed Deron, we started to look around and find a friend of his, find other NBA stars, who want to come over and play with us,” Ataman told Yahoo! Sports. “If Kobe wants to play with Deron in Istanbul, we can discuss this.”
The coach admitted that Besiktas can’t match the contract that Kobe has with the Lakers (Kobe would earn $25.2 million in NBA next season), however, the opportunity to stay in shape by playing professionally along Deron Williams could help to persuade Bryant to to Turkey.
Both Williams and Bryant would leave the club as soon as NBA lockout ends since they both are contracted to NBA teams, New Jersey Nets and Los Angeles Lakers respectively. Zaza Pachulia of Atlanta Hawks is also said to have reached an agreement with Besiktas.
Bryant’s arrival could even be sponsored by Turkish Airlines since the player signed a major endorsement deal with the company last year.
Besiktas won’t feature in next season’s Euroleague but instead will try to earn a place in Eurocup by playing in the qualifying rounds. Turkish club will face Belgian side Dexia Mons in a two-leg knock-out round.