Atlanta Hawks: If NBA lockout lingers, Zaza Pachulia may play in Turkey

If the NBA lockout is not ended by the scheduled start of the 2011-12 season, Hawks reserve center Zaza Pachulia could end up playing in Turkey in the short term.

Pachulia, who is under contract with the Hawks for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons for a total of about $10 million, said he has a “verbal agreement” to play next season for Turkish club Besiktas.

“They have interest, I have interest and we have talked about price,” Pachulia said. “It’s not official now.”

Besiktas also has an agreement with New Jersey Nets guard Deron Williams.

Pachulia said the contract with Besiktas would immediately terminate when NBA owners and players agree on a new labor deal. The contract also would include some kind of insurance for Pachulia since his guaranteed contract with the Hawks would not be protected in case of an injury sustained while playing in another league.

FIBA, basketball’s world governing body, has yet to rule on whether NBA players under contract would be cleared to sign contracts with other leagues during the lockout. NBA commissioner David Stern said during the season the league would not attempt to block players from playing elsewhere.

“We are not going to do anything to affect our contract with the NBA,” Pachulia said. “That’s my life right now.”

Unlike most NBA players, Pachulia would not face culture shock playing in Europe. He is a native of bordering Georgia, speaks Turkish and holds a passport from the country.

“For me, it feels like going home,” he said. “I played there for six years [as a teenager]. I know a lot of the players, the manager, the coaches. I’m excited.”

Pachulia plans to play for Georgia in European Olympic qualifying this summer. FIBA is expected to announce a plan to insure NBA players who participate in international competitions.

It’s possible more NBA players could decide to play overseas during the lockout. Roger Mason Jr., a players union vice president, told Newsday that Knicks stars Amar’e Stodemire and Carmelo Anthony inquired about playing overseas (though Stoudemire’s agent later said Stoudemire isn’t thinking about making the move).

“I wish none of us [NBA players] would have to deal with these kind of things,” Pachulia said. “But the most important thing is I love the game.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

121 comments Add your comment


July 8th, 2011
12:44 pm



July 8th, 2011
12:48 pm

is this really a story.

you and your flopping can go to turkey. shed us of your contract please.
take jj with you.


July 8th, 2011
12:49 pm

I’ll like to thank ZAZA, the poor owners and under-priviledged players for giving M.C. a reason to write again lol. In all seriousness both sides need to realize that their rift is causing anomosity from the people who finance them, us fans. Hopefully they learn something from the impending doom called the NFL and their situation.


[...] not the first NBA player to head overseasYahoo! -USA Today -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 552 news articles » This entry was posted in 流言. Bookmark the permalink. [...]

Najeh Davenpoop

July 8th, 2011
1:05 pm

Quit closing this blog for comments.

Najeh Davenpoop

July 8th, 2011
1:06 pm

Too many fans think only of their own entertainment. This is what happens when professionals are not allowed to pursue their passions. It is to be expected and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more and more as we approach camp time.


July 8th, 2011
1:17 pm

MC: Thanks for the update especially now that the issue of NBA players playing overseas has affected the Hawks. Any news from some of the other Hawks regarding what their plans are/will be pending the resolution of the lock out?

Daniel Tosh

July 8th, 2011
1:18 pm

I think I davenpooped myself


July 8th, 2011
1:19 pm

Any chance we can get Joe Johnson to go play over seas and brak an ankle or something so we can void his contract?


July 8th, 2011
1:22 pm

I would rather have Zaza playing basketball and working on his game as opposed to running a resturant.

MC: What part of their games is each member of our team working on during the summer?

The NBA needs to be careful, do they think that they will be missed?


July 8th, 2011
1:25 pm


Why does the ajc insist on closing the blogs? I know there is a lockout going on, but the NFL is also in a lockout, but there is still activity on the Falcons page.


July 8th, 2011
1:26 pm

I am ok with ZaZa playing overseas. Hoewever, I wouldnt want JJ playing overseas.


July 8th, 2011
1:43 pm

So, are the TV networks getting set up to broadcast European league games to fill the programing void?


July 8th, 2011
1:50 pm

The players have a right to go play anywhere they want to during the lockout. Contracts are null & void during the lockout. I’m sure that any players that do go to Europe to play will have a release clause in their contracts for when the lockout ends.


July 8th, 2011
1:57 pm

ZaZa? ….Yawn. Is he even starter material in Turkey? Probably not….DAM

A concerned fan..

July 8th, 2011
2:02 pm

You can’t blaim Pachulia for wanting to play overseas. He like many Americans has to make money to support if family. Let’s hope we can get a new CBA before the season starts.

drmaryb (*_-)

July 8th, 2011
2:03 pm

Finally, a new blog!!! Summertime in the big city was getting hotter than usual, if you ladies know what I mean!!!


July 8th, 2011
2:05 pm

Good for Zaza. Go make that money.

Also interesting is the Lakers are not renewing the contract of Assistant GM Ronnie Lester. That’s 24 years with the best organization in basketball.

This type move could take you laughing stock to NBA champs in to 2 to 3 years.

drmaryb (*_*)

July 8th, 2011
2:12 pm

“I am ok with ZaZa playing overseas. Hoewever, I wouldnt want JJ playing overseas.”

IMUS WRITE: ZaZA was a starter for his Georgian team last Summer, he averaged 25 & 10 in a tournament playiing straight up against Gortat, whom he literally shut down!

So, the answer is a resounding – YES!_

Co-Sign that. Mr. Johnson would benefit more from re-habbing his shooting elbow with shooting drills and resting his body.

Does MC have access to the players and their off-season plans? He wasn’t even allowed to view closed practices. IDK how much access MC has to the players, truthfully.

drmaryb (*_*)

July 8th, 2011
2:16 pm

Hi Jacked!

This post is not mine:

drmaryb (*_-)

Finally, a new blog!!! Summertime in the big city was getting hotter than usual, if you ladies know what I mean!!!

July 8th, 2011
2:03 pm


July 8th, 2011
2:18 pm

MC, is there any reason that the AJC couldn’t use an intern to monitor the blog when you cannot? It’s insane to blunt the energy of Hawks fans while the league is lost in foolishness. It’s almost like the AJC thinks your blog is just too much trouble to maintain. Why yours and not others?

And that’s not only a shame, but demeans the paper I grew up reading and used to have respect for. Now I just think it’s a pitiful organization, and I feel sorry for you having to put up with BS there.


July 8th, 2011
2:21 pm

Looks like “All star” Yi is retiring. He is the first person ever I can think about to make the allstar game without playing. The voting system is severely flawed.


July 8th, 2011
2:23 pm

Im sorry I meant Yao, lol.

Worldwide Clyde

July 8th, 2011
2:41 pm

Why don’t they close the Falcons blog? AJC always doggin’ the Hawks fans out.

Zaza going to Turkey? *yawn*



July 8th, 2011
3:42 pm

Mr Michael Cunningham:

If you care to research, I would be curious to the fact;
How much if any of Philips Arena was subsidized
by the taxpayers ?
Also Philips Global [naming rights] have a dawg in this hunt.

My point – aren’t taxpayers (rental car companies for sure)
Philips Global, venders, fans (ticket prices will be affected)
hotel / motel industry, airlines, restaurants,et al players in
this labor dispute.
Therefore, shouldn’t they / we have a voice ?

I’m not saying these entities should determine salaries;
but a lockout or strike casts a web over
more than two parties.

Not to mention a pore ol’ beat writer with nuthin’ to do.

Play Ball !


July 8th, 2011
3:45 pm

* Should have read:

et al *are players

Poor grammar.


July 8th, 2011
4:29 pm

MC, is there any truth to the rumor that Sund has hired a ‘goon’ to take out Zaza’s knee as soon as he step on the court, to void the third worst contract on the team? lol


July 8th, 2011
4:55 pm

Why did LD not attempt to contact Brian Shaw to come and lead up his assistant staff? I’m sure Shaw would’ve rather come to Atlanta than the Pacers.


July 8th, 2011
5:06 pm


Rick Sund is hoping Marvin goes to play overseas, and is hoping he hurts his back over there, so he can void his contract :smile:


July 8th, 2011
5:10 pm


I’m sure Shaw would’ve rather come to Atlanta than the Pacers..

For partying, maybe. But who wants to work for LD, Rick Sund, and the ASG? Plus keep in mind that LD is the lowest paid HC in the league, so his assistants are probably the lowest paid assistants in the league.

I think Shaw makes more money in Indy, and he works for a better organization.

[...] ship and now the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that Hawks backup center Zaza Pachulia could play for Turkey too during the lockout. Pachulia, who is under contract with the Hawks for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons for a total of [...]


July 8th, 2011
5:22 pm

O’brien, but Shaw would’ve known in Atlanta, he’s closer to a head coaching position (possibly this season) than he is in Indiana. And he works for a better organization? I can’t agree with that. After their history with how they let I. Thomas go (when he was a playoff coach), and the way they’ve let Bird run that franchise into the ground, their good deeds in the 90s and massacre in the Finals has been washed away with multiple lottery picks.

But I will say, I believe Hibbert will be a better center than Bynum will.

Section 303

July 8th, 2011
5:35 pm

Zaza might as well get comfortable over there. This lockout is going to take the entire 2011-2012 season away. Would be a good move for teams in either the Turkish league or any other Euro-league to sign some NBA guys. The NBA guys will be available an entire year.

The owners are going to get their way. They just are. The players can wear shirts that say “STAND” on them all they want. The owners are going to win this battle. It may take the all of next season to do it, but they will win.

Wonder what this blog will look like in January, when the season gets officially canned?

Mike is back

July 8th, 2011
6:28 pm

Hey, I know it’s a chance of a risk for injury…BUT I like the idea of ZaZa continuing to hone his craft during the lock out…I especially love his love for the game of basketball…he is a keeper…I wouldn’t let him get away.

IT’S always good to hear something from MC…these are tumultuous times…Dude been doing his thang.

BIG UPS to the NBA Players Reps…they are looking kind of smart…RIGHT NOW. heh heh

BTW, for once…and I emphasis…FOR ONCE…Sund and ASG…are looking kind of smart…for holding those workouts before the lockout…maybe it’s the impending change in ownership…again heh heh…lol

Who knows how things will turnout for the NBA lockout…but with the recent ruling in the NFL lock out…that should at the very leased…SET THE TONE…for both the NFL AND NBA negotiations going forward…and maybe…just maybe…them BIRDS are closer to taking flight…”Right!”

Well, them dang Bravo are warming up…all is not lost…ALBERT…is coming to town…hmmmmmmmmmmmm.


July 8th, 2011
8:28 pm


NFL locks out its players….UFL moves its games to Sundays w/ college football round the corner.
NBA locks out its players….Europe scoops up the talent, question is who has the TV rights?

I wont miss the NFL or NBA – too much Barnum and Bailey officiating.

Najeh Davenpoop

July 8th, 2011
9:16 pm

David Lighty, Demetri McCamey, and Malcolm Thomas have all signed overseas as well. Unlike Zaza’s contract, their contracts likely don’t have out clauses that allow them to rejoin the NBA once the lockout is lifted (since they are not under contract), which means even if there is a 2011-12 season they will likely not be available for the Hawks to sign.

My screen name got jacked at 1:06 PM.


July 8th, 2011
11:03 pm

How would you like to be the Magic owner? Being pressured by all of the NBA owners to support the lockout, but in the back of your mind you realize that if the season is lost due to no new CBA then D. Howard will walk and you will get nothing for the best center in the league! OUCH!!!

Ed Gray

July 8th, 2011
11:58 pm

Why can’t I get a break like that? I can score 6 points a game…


July 9th, 2011
12:35 am

If you dumb*&%^ didn’t know, Zaza is pretty good overseas. He’s an pretty good backup centers in the nba possibly one of the best back centers. I bet none of you can go overseas right now and get a minimum contract agreement. If you are atl hawks fans you cant get mad at players for going overseas, there just tryna make dat money. Pretty sure I would leave to.

Harry from da Burn

July 9th, 2011
2:58 am


[...] : Zaza Pchulia a confié au Hawks Blog qu’il aurait trouvé un accord verbal avec le Besiktas : « Ils sont intéressés, [...]


July 9th, 2011
6:49 am

And behind the scenes; ASG is forming a league in case of no NBA this season.Spokesman for ASG said the Iceland/Greenland market is untapped. ” We can make it work just like we did in ATL” said Bruce Levenson.


July 9th, 2011
6:54 am

Take that turkey Joe Johnson with you and leave him there, PLEASE.

Dept. Of Unintended Irony

July 9th, 2011
8:51 am

“Pretty sure I would leave to.”

Leave to what?


July 9th, 2011
9:59 am

I’m very happy that ZaZa has the will to continue to play and work on his craft. He is a reliable back-up that proved he could put up stats when he was our only center just after the trade. No, he’s not a starting center on a contending team, but when he’s engaged and when he feels appreciated, he can perform well. He will excel in Turkey. Hopefully the experience will allow him to continue to improve when he returns to ATL.

The problem with our team isn’t bad players, bad contracts, ect. It’s more in folks realizing their role, playing in a manner in which they can maximize their talent and focussing on a team goal. We’ve got alot of individuals with individual talents who just don’t realize what TEAM is all about…but then again, that statement defines the NBA as a whole.

Dallas essentially had the same talent level this year as in the 8-10 failed years past…what changed – TEAM attitude and determination.


July 9th, 2011
11:12 am

Davenpoop: good info at 9:16 pm. That would have been good info for the ajc to report. The NBA is off, but should the reporting be off as well?


July 9th, 2011
12:08 pm

They all should go over seas and play and maybe the price of tickets will come down. The economy is hurting stupid!!

Ken Strickland

July 9th, 2011
12:30 pm

Well, it’s nice to know that multimillionaires have employment options when they techically lose their jobs, while ticket buying fans and families have to suffer when they lose theirs. It seems that when it comes to basketball, the AJC shares the same disdane for Hawk fans that the NBA has for it’s fans.

The networks and Corporations pay the NBA salaries, and the owners pay players salaries, but the networks, NBA, and Corportions seem to have forgotten who pays theirs. While owners want a hard cap on players salaries, which I whole heartedly endorse, they also need to consider a hard cap on ticket prices as well.


July 9th, 2011
12:39 pm


A hard cap on ticket prices. What a noval idea! That should be part of the owners sell to the players union on why they are pushing for a hard cap. That would make both sides get rid of their greed and give the fans, the real salary payers, a reason to cheer on their team after the lock out is over!!!


July 9th, 2011
1:37 pm

Maybe this lockout will be the end of the ASG because they will loose a lot of money what ever the have left we can only hope .