ISTANBUL - Turkish player Mehmet Okur’s agent signaled late Sunday that the center may be leaving the NBA team Utah Jazz if the two sides fail to reach an agreement on a contract extension.
Salt Lake City-based Deseret News quoted Okur’s agent saying "his client is leaning toward opting out of the final year of his contract" with the team, if no agreement could be reached by today.
The all-star center is entering the last year of his six-year contract worth $50 million, but he may opt out of his deal that would earn him $9 million this season.
The possibility of Okur returning to Europe has been ruled out by the center. "My goal is to wear the Utah Jazz uniform as long as I can, help them achieve their first championship, and have my jersey number retired," Okur said in a recent press conference.
However, his run at the Jazz may be interrupted during the extension talks and Okur may test the free agent market this summer, just like Orlando Magic’s Hidayet "Hedo" Türkoğlu, another Turkish star in the NBA.
Türkoğlu's agent said Friday that he sent a notice to Orlando that his client will opt out of his contract to become a free agent.
Meanwhile, the New York Post reported yesterday that Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio has received offers from a club in Turkey and Real Madrid in Spain.