Top-five contenders: Anadolu Efes, Besiktas, Fenerbahce Ulker, Galatasaray, Turk Telekom
Turkish teams were obsessed with signing NBA stars this summer. Besiktas ultimately was the only club in Europe that successfully signed a legitimate All-Star.
Deron Williams was the first and apparently last (for now) big signing in Europe. And it seems that this Besiktas’ move hasn't worked out as intended. The Turkish team lost to Dexia Mons-Hainaut, a small club from Belgium, in EuroCup qualification and will play in only third European competition, EuroChallenge. Even though Williams dished out 16 assists in those two games, his scoring was pretty disappointing -- making only six of his 28 shot attempts and turned the ball over for eight times.
Now that it is obvious the NBA lockout will last longer than everybody initially thought, Williams will have time to rehabilitate in the Turkish league where Besiktas is among the candidates to reach the finals.
However, the real favorite to win the championship, as always, is Fenerbahce Ulker, who have won the trophy four times out of last five seasons. Fenerbahce features an impressive depth chart with the likes of James Gist, Roko Ukic, Omer Onan and Curtis Jerrells.
Anadolu Efes, which usually have one of the most impressive rosters in whole Europe, and Galatasaray, both Euroleague clubs, should also be considered as contenders and probably only details will determine the winner.
Ersan Ilyasova, Sasha Vujacic, Tarence Kinsey and Esteban Batista headline Anadolu Efes, while Josh Shipp, Jaka Lakovic, Zaza Pachulia and Darius Songaila comprise the core of Galatasaray.
Through the first two games of the season, Marcelus Kemp of Besiktas leads the TBL in scoring with 25.0 points per game.
NBA players in Turkey:
Semih Erden (Cleveland Cavaliers) - Besiktas (NBA-out)
Ersan Ilyasova (Milwaukee Bucks) - Anadolu Efes (NBA-out)
Mehmet Okur (Utah Jazz) - Turk Telekom (NBA-out)
Zaza Pachulia (Atlanta Hawks) - Galatasaray (NBA-out)
Thabo Sefolosha (Oklahoma City Thunder) - Fenerbahce Ulker (NBA-out)
Darius Songaila (Philadelphia 76ers) - Galatasaray (no NBA-out)
Sasha Vujacic (New Jersey Nets) - Anadolu Efes (no NBA-out)
Deron Williams (New Jersey Nets) - Besiktas (NBA-out)