Mehmet Okur, who was named to the 2007 NBA All-Star team as a member of the Utah Jazz, will reportedly retire from the NBA at the age of 33 and sign with a team in his native Turkey. (Rocky Widney/Getty Images)
Mehmet Okur, the Utah Jazz center who led the team to multiple playoff appearances from 2004-2011, will likely retire from the NBA at the age of 33 and reportedly sign with a team in his native Turkey, according to a tweet from David Locke, the radio commentator for the Jazz:
Reports out of the Turkish media that Mehmet Okur might return to Turkey and sign with Fenerbahce Ulker
Okur was selected by the Detroit Pistons with the 37th pick in the second round of the 2001 NBA Draft and won a NBA championship with the team in 2004, the first Turkish player to accomplish this feat. In 2004, he signed a six-year contract with the Utah Jazz worth $50 million and in 2007, Okur reached the peak of his success by being named to the Western Conference NBA All-Star team.
Most recently, Okur was traded by the New Jersey Nets to the Portland Trailblazers before the 2011-12 NBA trade deadline but the Blazers waived him before he played any games. Okur has been riddled with back injuries throughout his career, playing in 30 games over the past two seasons. In Turkey, there would be less travel involved and he would play fewer games per week than if he were to remain in the NBA.