TODAY |

'It doesn't make sense' – Breakers owner responds to Turkish side's offer for Corey Webster


Breakers owner Matt Walsh has spoken about the ongoing situation with star Corey Webster, having stated his desire to leave the club for Turkish side Darüşşafaka.

Your playlist will load after this ad

The star guard has been approached to leave the Breakers after his performances at the World Cup. Source: 1 NEWS

Following Webster's outstanding displays for the Tall Blacks at the FIBA World Cup in China, the Turkish club have come in with an offer that would see the 30-year old leave the Breakers ahead of the new NBL season.

Webster is a year into a three-year deal with the Kiwi NBL team and doesn't have any kind of out clause in his contract, meaning that the Kiwi side would have to allow him to leave.

Speaking to 1 NEWS this afternoon, Walsh gave the Breakers' side of the story, explaining where things currently sit with Webster.

"Corey Webster approached us last week," Walsh began.

"He came in, he requested the opportunity to go and play in Turkey. As soon Corey started playing well in the World Cup, we knew there was going to be offers for Corey."

"This is what happens, you perform well on the world stage, other people are interested in you."

Walsh continued to say that the current offer for Webster leaves the Breakers gaining next to nothing, so it made sense to keep their star guard.

"From a business perspective and a basketball perspective, it just doesn't make sense for us.

"We didn't close the door entirely. If there was a path to us getting a buyout that made such financial sense for the club that it overshadowed the loss we would take on the basketball side, of course we would entertain it.

"But for us to lose one of our best players, for nothing, a year after we bought him out from Perth [Wildcats], we'd be taking a net loss and be giving up the most talented scorer in all of New Zealand."

"For us it was very clear, unless there's a very significant financial benefit to the club, it doesn't make sense basketball wise, it doesn't make sense business wise."

As things stand, Darüşşafaka have made no financial offer to buy out Webster's current deal with the Breakers, Walsh continued to say. However, Webster is so eager to head to Turkey, that he is offering to personally buy out what's left of his current deal.

That offer has been rejected by Walsh and the Breakers.

"We contacted the club [Darüşşafaka] directly. The club told us in no uncertain terms, we're not putting one dollar towards a buyout. I woke up to some texts from Corey's agents that said Corey would be willing to pay a buyout.

"It's not close to the realm of being significant enough to make business sense for the club.

"You can't argue we're a better club without Corey Webster. For us to take such a loss on the basketball side of this, we'd have to have a really positive business outcome from this.

"We haven't been presented with anything like that."

However, while a move to Turkey now appears unlikely for Webster, Walsh said that if an NBA side were to come in for the Tall Blacks' guard, the situation would change.

"I'm not an unreasonable man. If the [Los Angeles] Lakers came and said we have a guaranteed contract he can come and play with LeBron [James]. If the [Boston] Celtics came, I know its Corey Webster's dream to play in the NBA, it's a different conversation.

"If CSKA Moscow or Olympiacos came and said Corey's going to make $1 million and we'll give you a buyout, of course it changes the discussion, but we're not in the realm there.

"I really believe in Corey and want what's best for Corey, and I would love for him to be able to pursue all his dreams.

"My job is to make the decision that's best for the New Zealand Breakers. This doesn't make sense on the basketball court, it doesn't make sense for the business."

Walsh also denied suggestion that he'd told Webster that he was "the worst guard" in the NBL, saying: "It's unequivocally untrue."

"I told his agent, last year statistically, Corey was the worst starting two guard in the league - and he was."

"Probably a learning lesson for me, that stuff's going to get twisted. What I was saying was, we stuck by Corey when he was the worst two guard statistically in the league."

"We invested in him this off-season, we believe in Corey. I'm the one who signed Corey to a three-year deal, and we're not ready to give up on him.

"Now that he's performing well, we as a club and our fans deserve to reap those benefits.

"I never told Corey that he was the worst guard in the league. Anyone with two eyeballs can look at Corey Webster and understand that he's not the worst guard in the league on his worst day."