Former Tennessee forward Tyler Smith has agreed in principal to play for Bornova of the Turkish Basketball League (TBL).
“We strongly considered offers in France, Italy, Spain and Germany,’’ said Jared Karnes, a local attorney who represents Smith and former Vol Wayne Chism through the Allegiant Athletic Agency (a3). “But Bornova came in with the highest offer and they’ve been willing to build a team around Tyler.
“It’s Tyler’s best opportunity to showcase his abilities.’’
Smith played for Bornova last season, averaging 17 points and eight rebounds during the last three months of the TBL season after leaving the UT program.
“It’s a pretty rare and favorable deal for Tyler, in that they’ve negotiated with him as though he played a full season,’’ Karnes said. “But he’s worked very hard for this, and I’m really proud of him. He has overcome some tough circumstances.’’
Smith had approximately 15 invitations from NBA teams for pre-draft workouts, but he only chose to workout for three teams.
Smith said earlier this summer he was pleased with his experience playing for Bornova in Turkey, and felt he needed another year of work on his game. Smith, whose deal is worth six figures, will leave for Turkey in mid-August.
Also, former South Carolina star guard Devan Downey has agreed to a deal with Antalya and will be a teammate of Chism.
“I think it will help Wayne to have someone he’s already familiar with on his team,’’ said Karnes. “Those guys have a pretty good relationship.’’
Chism declined an opportunity to tryout with the Sacramento Kings after a successful NBA summer league run in Las Vegas in favor of a guaranteed six-figure deal with Antalya.
Antalya expressed some interest in former UT player J.P. Prince playing point guard for its team earlier this summer.
Prince, however, declined the opportunity and is still considering his options.