Deron Williams opened the floodgates by agreeing to play in Turkey for Besiktas next season and, ever since, NBA players have been slowly deciding to take their talents to Europe to kill time until the NBA lockout is complete. I've already put together a list of NBA players overseas, but figured this morning it might be fun to take a look at it ... by the numbers (get it? Because that's what I titled this post?).
2: The number of NBA players that will play for a longtime Phil Jackson disciple overseas. Denver Nuggets swingman Wilson Chandler and former Orlando Magic forward Earl Clark are both signed up to play for Zhejiang Guangsha, the team that hired former Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers assistant Jim Cleamons earlier in the offseason.
3: The number of players that have signed a contract in Europe who also have the last name Williams and have previously played in the D-League. Latavious WIlliams signed in Spain with Joventut, Reggie Williams signed with Caja Laboral in Spain and Sean Williams will play with Maccabi Haifa in Israel.
4: The number of continents players have agreed to play on during the lockout. Plenty of players signed in Europe, Chandler, Clark and Magnum Rolle are playing in Asia, Leandro Barbosa will play in South America and Patty Mills signed on to play back home in Australia.
4 (Again!): The number of players Italian team Benetton Treviso has been able to sign due to the current NBA lockout. Rookies Donatas Motiejunas and E`Twaun Moore join Jeff Adrien and Brian Scalabrine on a roster that should be fun to watch, if nothing else.
5: The number of players that the New Jersey Nets have sent to Europe since the lockout began. Second round pick Bojan Bogdanovic will join Williams and Deron Farmer as players the Nets hold the rights to playing in Europe this season while free agents Sasha Vujacic and Mario West have also taken their talents to Europe.
14: The number of players who played in the NBA last season that will play in Italy this season. Only four of the players -- Rookies Moore, Motiejunas and Keith Benson, along with former Golden State Warrior and D-League call-up Jeff Adrien -- have the option to return to the NBA at the end of the lockout (provided the end of the lockout comes this season).
24: The number of players that played in the NBA last season that have signed to play with a team that will compete in some sort of Euroleague competition this year.
26: The number of players that are still under some sort of contract with an NBA team (even if it is an unguaranteed team option that wasn't waived prior to the lockout) currently slated to play in Europe.
50: The total amount of players that will play in Europe during the 2011-12 season after spending at least a portion of the 2010-11 season on an NBA roster.
66: My guess on the number of NBA players that will sign overseas before the NBA resumes play. What's yours?