- Associated Press - Thursday, July 7, 2011

ANKARA, TURKEY (AP) - Turkish team Besiktas says it is close to reaching a deal with locked out NBA All-Star guard Deron Williams.

Besiktas manager Murat Murtezaoglu told The Associated Press on Thursday that talks are under way with the New Jersey Nets player and U.S. Olympian.

Coach Ergin Ataman told the state-run Anatolia news agency that a deal was close. He also told The New York Times that an agreement had been reached.

Jeff Schwartz, Williams‘ agent, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

The Nets were not able to comment because the NBA has told teams not to comment on players during the lockout, which the owners initiated last week after the old collective bargaining agreement expired.

Ataman said “our negotiations with this player are continuing. If he does come, it would be an even greater transfer than that of Allen Iverson.”

Iverson, the NBA’s MVP in 2001, joined Besiktas after no NBA team offered him a contract. His time in Besiktas was cut short due to injury.

Williams, who the Nets acquired in February in a stunning deal with Utah, was supposed to earn $16.36 million with New Jersey next season. His performance with New Jersey was hindered by a wrist injury that required surgery.

It is uncertain how his contract with the Nets would be affected if he were hurt playing for another team.