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Derrick Williams says he turned down NBA offers to sign with Fenerbahce

derrick-williams-turned-down-nba-offers-sign-fenerbahce-draft-bust-arizona-wildcats-europe-stats Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

Former Arizona Wildcats standout Derrick Williams wants you to know why he’s not on an NBA roster this season. An opportunity to join Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce this summer was too much to pass up.

“I turned down NBA offers to come to [Fenerbahce],” Williams tweeted Monday. “I love it so far. There will be better days in 2020.”

Williams signed a one-year deal with Fenerbahce, worth roughly $1.5 million, a little less than he would have earned under a minimum contract in the NBA.

But rather than be at the end of a rotation or perpetually on the chopping block, Williams starts for Fenerbahce, averaging 11.6 points and 4.5 rebounds in 27.4 minutes per game, while shooting 46 percent from the field and 34 percent from 3.

Fenerbahce has reached the EuroLeague final four in four of the past five seasons, including 2016-17 when it won the whole thing, but it’s currently 5-11. The squad features former NBA players like Nando de Colo, Luigi Datome, Joffrey Lauvergne, and Jan Vesely.

Last season, Williams averaged 12.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game with the German club Bayern Munich. That was his second year playing overseas. He starred for the Tianjin Gold Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association in 2017-18.

That was after Williams spent parts of seven mostly unsuccessful seasons with six different NBA teams. It’s unlikely he ever envisioned his career unfolding this way when he was the No. 2 overall pick out of Arizona in 2011, but at least he seems to be enjoying himself overseas.