“We are in very serious negotiations with [Besiktas],” Iverson’s business manager Gary Moore told Yahoo! Sports. “Istanbul is beautiful from everything we’ve learned. It’s not that far from the U.S., and the competition is good which makes it all attractive.
“Allen wants to play basketball.”
Besiktas sent a contract to Iverson on Monday and hopes he’ll sign it by week’s end. Still, one source said Iverson could take as long as 10 days to finalize the deal.
One stumbling block to an agreement over the weekend was Iverson’s reluctance to let Besiktas fine him beyond 1 percent of his $1.5 million base salary, a European source told Yahoo! Sports.
Iverson has solicited more lucrative offers to play in China this season, but has been intrigued with the prospects of playing in Istanbul. After tumultuous exits in his last three stops – Detroit, Memphis and Philadelphia – Iverson has exhausted all interest from NBA teams. Despite averaging 26.7 points in his 14-year NBA career, Iverson couldn’t even get a training camp invitation.
Besiktas is considered third among the three most powerful franchises in the Turkish first division and starts league play over the weekend. Besiktas has a strong following in Turkey, and team officials believe Iverson could be an immense gate draw.
Besiktas has had financial problems and, according to a report by Eurobasket.com, has recently been targeted by a suit brought by American player, Lonnie Baxter, and his agent, Brad Ames, for failure to pay salary and agent fees.