Transfer market news are the hottest during the offseason. This summer is quite sensational for the League.
From Real to Zenit
Achievements: 2 Euroleague titles (2015, 2018), 4 Spanish league titles (2015, 2016, 2018, 2019), All-Euroleague second team (2016, 2017), FIBA Americas Championship MVP (2013), 3 seasons in the NBA (2011-2014)
Why shock and awe: One can hate Real, support Barcelona, or do both, but we can’t deny that sports fans are in awe hearing the words ‘Real Madrid’. On the day when Ayon signed with St. Petersburg all basketball media of Europe had pretty much the same headline – ‘Zenit makes noise on the transfer market’. The Mighty Mexican is a European star, with the best record among VTB United League newcomers, and he’s still good on the court. Ayon’s transfer marks how Euroleague rookie made it to the next level.
Last season: Ayon won Spanish league and reached Euroleague Final Four being an important player in Real rotation. He had 8.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 2.9 assists in Euroleague.
From Washington to Lokomotiv Kuban
Achievements: NCAA finals (2015), NBA 18th draft (2015), 4 seasons in the NBA (2015-2019).
Why shock and awe: NBA has 30 teams, and each team has 15 spots in the roster. It’s hard to fit in, so we’re used to see talents coming from the best league to Europe. However, Houston’s 18th pick is different. Some years ago, Dekker pushed Wisconsin to NCAA finals, and in his last NBA season showed 6+3+1 which is good for a role player. NBA – Europe is a route for veterans or inexperienced youth from G-League, but that’s not the case. This forward has yet something to show in the NBA, the key is to demonstrate progress in long range shots. Enjoy the moment – most likely Sam won’t stay in Russia for more than one year.
Last season: in December, Dekker was transferred from Cleveland to Washington. He played 31 games for Wizards with 6.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 assist per game.
From New York to Avtodor
Achievements: NCAA Champion (2017)
Why shock and awe: From New York to Avtodor sounds like shock and awe. But to be precise we should say ‘from US national and North Carolina’. Hicks helped US national team qualify for World Cup 2019, however his NCAA performance was even more spectacular. In 2017, Isaiah played for the same university as Michael Jordan, and had record of 11.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists. He was a key factor to team’s champions title. This bigman able to play in two positions didn’t manage to prove himself in the NBA, but we can expect a lot from a 25-year-old player with this potential.
Last season: Hicks spend most of the season in G-League playing for New York’s affiliate Westchester Knicks. His record was 15.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.8 blocks per game.
From Washington to CSKA
Achievements: 3 seasons in the NBA (2016-2019)
Why shock and awe: mid-July was a time of excitement for basketball society – Ron Baker was choosing between Brooklyn and CSKA. The guard chose Moscow and became the first Potawatomi in League’s history. Moreover, he’s a symbol of CSKA offseason and new style of Dimitris Itoudis which is a shock for red-blue fans. It’s not about sophisticated Nando de Colo and brilliant Sergio Rodriguez anymore. New CSKA seems like tough Baker gang. Ron’s NBA highlights are not full of spectacular plays, they’re more like clashes with Anthony Davis.
Ron Baker shows off black eye from devastating dunk by Anthony Davis pic.twitter.com/fiR5c3ohlE
— Sex Drugs PicknRoll (@Hoop_Hoop_News) August 19, 2019
And even with his teammate Noah Vonleh.
— Mike Cianciolo (@MikeCianciolo) October 23, 2018
Welcome to the new reality, CSKA fans!
Last season: Baker started in Knicks, but was waived in December after 11 games. Then he played 4 games for Washington and missed the rest of the season due to shoulder injury.
From Brooklyn to Lokomotiv Kuban
Achievements: Two-times NCAA number 1 in rebounds (2014, 2015), All-NBA G-League team (2019), 4 seasons in the NBA (2015-2019)
Why shock and awe: In 2017, in Phoenix, Williams took Alex Len’s place in roster and signed a 17-million contract. The skyrocketing career of the undrafted bigman was paused for almost a year by meniscus tear and new reality of the NBA. Teams tend to use smaller rosters, and if you lack number four’s pace and accuracy, and number five’s physics it’s hard to stay in the League. Williams is famous not only for his on-court skills, with his positive vibe in the locker room and will, he is coming to Europe to dominate. Alan will definitely be shock and awe for the teams fighting for Loko’s rebound. Double-double per game is a realistic goal for Krasnodar new signing.
Last season: Williams played 5 games for Nets with 3.6 points, and 3.8 rebounds in 5 minutes per game. In Brooklyn’s farm-club in G-League, he had 41 games with 19.8 points, 13.0 rebounds, and 2.1 assists.
From Golden State to Khimki
Achievements: NBA All-rookie second team (2010), NBA finals (2019), 10 seasons in the NBA (2009-2019)
Why shock and awe: The majority of players that are presented here are former NBA players, but still can’t brag about stable minutes on the court and significant contribution to their team’s results. But that’s not the case of Jerebko. Last season forward was a rotation player not somewhere, but in the best team of a few last years, Golden State. Piece of cake for a 32-years-old Swede. He had always been in game roster 9 years in NBA and played less than 15 minutes per game on only once – in 2013/14 season. This summer Khimki strengthened its squad tremendously. Transfer of Jonas, who could easily play in any NBA team now, make everybody speak about Moscow All-Star team-contender in VTB league and Euroleague both.
Last season: Played 73 games with Golden State Warriors with average 6.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists per 16.4 minutes on the court. Played in the Finals against Toronto, scoring 3.5 points per game.
From Orlando to Khimki
Achievements: NBA Champion
Why shock and awe: Mozgov spent 9 years in NBA, where he proved himself in New York, Denver, became NBA champion with LeBron and his Cavaliers, and earned his deserved long-term contract with Lakers. Injuries prevented Timofey from showing his best basketball – in last few seasons he spent more time in hospital, than on court. Now center comes home to Khimki to help his team achieve significant results in the next season. If Khimki are capable of avoiding injuries, then big three Shved-Karasev-Mozgov will make noise in VTB United League and Euroleague both.
Last season: He missed last season because of injury, had an arthroscopic knee surgery in January, 2019. In the end of July we learnt, that center couldn’t manage to recover, and would miss World Cup in China.