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Zaza Pachulia Confirms He's Close To Joining Deron Williams On Turkey's Besiktas

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David Stern's pain is the Turkish league's gain.

Hawks center Zaza Pachulia confirmed to both USA Today and the AJC that he's close to inking a deal to join Deron Williams on Turkey's Besiktas squad.

The Atlanta Hawks reserve center told the AJC's Michael Cunningham that he has a verbal deal in place to head to the NATO nation to play some hoops, if all or part of the NBA season is a casualty to the lockout.

"They have interest, I have interest and we have talked about price," Pachulia told the AJC. "It’s not official now."

Under the terms of the proposed deal, Zaza would hang out in Turkey, which is adjacent to his home country of Georgia (the Republic, not to be confused with the state Atlanta is in), get some cash for playing ball and head back to the States if that pesky little NBA lockout thing is finally resolved.

Adjusting to Turkish-style play shouldn't take much at all for Pachulia, who spent six years as a teenager there playing ball. He also speaks the language and holds a Turkish passport.

Pachulia and Williams of the New Jersey Nets are not the only ones who may be headed overseas. USA Today reports that former Alabama star-turned-Toronto Raptor Sonny Weems is headed to Lithuania to play ball next year and former Philadelphia 76ers reserve Darius Songaila will spend next season overseas in Turkey.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.