Steve C. Wilson, Associated Press
Utah Jazz forward Mehmet Okur (13), of Turkey, drives along the baseline against Portland Trail Blazers forward Dante Cunningham, left, during the first half of their NBA basketball game in Salt Lake City, Monday, Dec. 27, 2010.

SALT LAKE CITY — Mehmet Okur is staying in Turkey — for now, at least.

"Memo has to wait until the lockout is over," his agent, Marc Fleisher, said. "And his contract (with Telekom Turkey Ankara) says once it ends, he can give them notice to leave."

And he will.

NBA players are expected to report to camp on Dec. 9, pending ratification of the new collective bargaining agreement.

Okur's time playing in his homeland has served as a successful rehabilitation stint. Through five games, the 6-foot-11 big man is averaging 12 points, eight boards and 28 minutes a game. That, after Okur only played 13 games last season in the NBA because of health issues with his surgically repaired Achilles tendon and recurring back problems.

"His experience in Europe has been great," Fleisher said of the 32-year-old, who has one year left on his Jazz deal. "Memo is probably in better physical condition than prior to getting injured. It's been good for him psychologically to know that he's fully recovered."

Because of the Jazz's frontcourt depth and his contract situation, Okur has been linked by outsiders to the onetime player amnesty provision teams will acquire in this CBA.

However, it is not anticipated that the Jazz will release Okur to clear his $10.8 million off of their salary.


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