Former Vol Smith agrees to play for Bornova in Turkish league

Former Tennessee basketball player Tyler Smith drives past Michael Blue during their game in the Rocky Top League at Bearden High School Thursday, June 17, 2010.

Photo by Wade Payne

Former Tennessee basketball player Tyler Smith drives past Michael Blue during their game in the Rocky Top League at Bearden High School Thursday, June 17, 2010.

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.

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Comments » 12

PrideOfTheSouthlandBand writes:

What is a3 supposed to be advising these guys to do? WOOOO MIDDLE EASTERN HOOPS! Yeah they have Lebron too... oh... wait a second... it seems to me that the only place this agency can get is Turkish offers. 1,000,000 turkish dollars (what do they even use ruppies?) is still only like 1000 bucks a year here. Don't believe the lies! First Chris, then Tyler (ok he kinda deserved it) and now our favorite Wayne? If ya'll are listening I think I can get you an offer from Turkey too! For cheaper than a3! Man we are really developing some standards guys. I love my big orange, but we are better than Turkey. Quick question... how many turkish basketball players in the NBA??? I don't know either. I've sure seen some spaniards though. Food for thought.

Couchdummy writes:

in response to PrideOfTheSouthlandBand:

What is a3 supposed to be advising these guys to do? WOOOO MIDDLE EASTERN HOOPS! Yeah they have Lebron too... oh... wait a second... it seems to me that the only place this agency can get is Turkish offers. 1,000,000 turkish dollars (what do they even use ruppies?) is still only like 1000 bucks a year here. Don't believe the lies! First Chris, then Tyler (ok he kinda deserved it) and now our favorite Wayne? If ya'll are listening I think I can get you an offer from Turkey too! For cheaper than a3! Man we are really developing some standards guys. I love my big orange, but we are better than Turkey. Quick question... how many turkish basketball players in the NBA??? I don't know either. I've sure seen some spaniards though. Food for thought.

Within this turkey posting, a good question: How many NBA players have come from the Turkey League?

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to Couchdummy:

Within this turkey posting, a good question: How many NBA players have come from the Turkey League?

About 8 turkish born have been drafted by the nba..American players; probably none get out; they just move to better euro leagues;How Lofton never made a nba roster is beyond me..He shattered most turkish records;He holds the record for most points in a game...61 points;17 3pointers

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

For those who know nothing about Turkish basketball; it's pretty popular;been around over 40 years..Some teams are sports clubs and others have coporate sponsors like Renault;Cooper tires and beer companys..The arenas are small;5000 or less but very modern and quite nice..As far as Euro basketball goes it's middle of the road..the average pay is around $70,000..When they say 6 figures; they mean low 6 figures..The league has 16 teams..Lofton broke records there and I believe he moved on to the Spainish league..Other americans playing there include Jack McClinton of UM and Marcus Cousins and many others..Playing there is a lonely existence because of the culture..Most of the players who get out to the NBA are Turkish born..As an american the best you can hope for is to move up in the euro league and hope you can get a try out for an nba team..It's certainly not glamorous but the competition is serious; playing with Serbs and Croatians big men..The best thing about it is the surprisingly nice facility's...The worst is actually collecting your paycheck..I guess it's better than selling insurance

golfballs03 writes:

I was hoping this would be about Jajuan. Anyone heard any news on him?

BigBadVol writes:

I just saw where Harry Galbreath has died. Met him while I was at UT. Great guy that will be sorely missed.

docholliday15 writes:

in response to PrideOfTheSouthlandBand:

What is a3 supposed to be advising these guys to do? WOOOO MIDDLE EASTERN HOOPS! Yeah they have Lebron too... oh... wait a second... it seems to me that the only place this agency can get is Turkish offers. 1,000,000 turkish dollars (what do they even use ruppies?) is still only like 1000 bucks a year here. Don't believe the lies! First Chris, then Tyler (ok he kinda deserved it) and now our favorite Wayne? If ya'll are listening I think I can get you an offer from Turkey too! For cheaper than a3! Man we are really developing some standards guys. I love my big orange, but we are better than Turkey. Quick question... how many turkish basketball players in the NBA??? I don't know either. I've sure seen some spaniards though. Food for thought.

I am a big UT fan and also grew up with a guy who is an agent with a major agency in New York. I have talked to him about European basketball. When I saw that some of the SEC guys had signed in Turkey I asked him about it. So, I thought I'd respond to this comment to help explain the current overseas market to other Vol fans. The best countries to play in are sometimes different for rookies than veterans. Generally speaking, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Germany, France, Russia, Belgium, and Greece. Greece only has a few teams who can be trusted to pay because of the economic situation. Russia is for veterans. Spain's league probably wouldn't offer good minutes or competitive pay for a guy like Tyler until he has played at least a full season. He said the reason a lot of good players are going to Turkey is because the American players get guaranteed minutes (which helps their agents negotiate their next contracts), American players are treated very well, and rookies are paid over the market value. The players are good players... Quincy Douby, Shan Foster, Josh Heytvelt, A.J. Ogilvy, Gordan Giricek, Chris Lofton, and Devan Downey. Also, my guess is Tyler wouldn't be going back if he wasn't paid. Also, having traveled there before, Turkey is a beautiful place. It's not like a desert where guns are being fired off the backs of camels. In fact, my guess is the streets of Istanbul and Antalya are much safer than Martin Luther King Drive in any city in America. Get out there, people... learn. There is a world even beyond Dollywood. Check out the photo.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish_...

kevin151 writes:

Hope he knows the gun laws there

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

Wonder if its hard to get guns and rental cars in Turkey?

jk

Good luck Tyler

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

Worthy news: Terrence Cody has failed his NFL conditioning workout! HE'S DONE!

Chris4Vols22 writes:

Some people here fail to realize that Turkey is just a stepping stone for our players. They're certainly not planning on playing there forever. We obviously have good diplomacy with the Turkish league and the players that work hard will move up to the premiere leagues and/or NBA. Everyone chill!!

Chris4Vols22 writes:

in response to listentothemusic:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What's wrong with Islam? I'm sure you know nothing of it, bigot.

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