Which players animated the market this summer in the Euroleague?

Anadolu Efes Istanbul, two-time outgoing Euroleague winners, are putting their title on the line from Thursday. And if the Turkish club, which notably lost Adrian Moermanback in the French Championship, in Monaco, is one of the candidates for his own succession, the many movements of players during the off-season could reshuffle the cards.

Ex-MVP looking for new challenge

Four former Euroleague MVPs changed clubs – and countries – this summer. If the return to France of Nando De Colo (rewarded in 2016), Asvel’s flagship rookie, did not escape the followers of French basketball, his now former club Fenerbahçe also saw the best player of the 2018-2019 season leave its ranks: Jan Vesely. The strong Czech winger (32 years old, 2.13 m), ephemeral NBA player (2011-2014) signed up with FC Barcelona, ​​semi-finalist last season.

To compensate for these major departures, the Istanbul club has repatriated a former home, freshly titled in the NBA with the Golden State Warriors: Nemanja Bjelica. The Serb (34 years old, 2.06 m) was named player of the European season in 2015 under the colors of “Fener”.

Last MVP to have changed creamery: Sergio Rodríguez (2014). The Spaniard (36 years old, 1.91 m), defector from Milan, finds Real Madrid where he already played between 2010 and 2016.

They left Russia

Since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Russian and Belarusian clubs have been excluded from European competitions. Some Euroleague headliners have therefore headed west to join various teams on the Old Continent. The Canadian Kevin Pangos (29 years old, 1.85m), who joined CSKA just before the start of the war, joined Milan this summer. The Moscow club also recorded the departures, in particular, of the coach who led them twice to the Euroleague title, Dimitris Itoudis (52), who joined Fenerbahçe, and Will Clyburn (32 years old, 2.01m), MVP of the Final Four in 2019 and new player for Efes Istanbul.

Kazan, a club joined this summer by Louis Labeyrie, saw the ex-NBA player leave, among others. Mario Hezonja (Real Madrid, 27 years old, 2.03 m), the former pivot of Asvel Tonye Jekiri (Fenerbahçe, 28 years old, 2.13m) and the European champion point guard with Spain, Lorenzo Brown (Maccabi Tel Aviv, 32, 1.96m). Jordan Loyd (29 years old, 1.93m) and Mateusz Ponitka (29 years old, 1.98 m), author of a successful Euro with Poland, left the Zenith Saint Petersburg, respectively for Monaco and Panathinaikos.

New in the favorites

With the exception of CSKA Moscow’s two titles (2016, 2019), since 2015, the Euroleague trophy has systematically returned to Spanish or Turkish clubs. To remain competitive, Efes Istanbul has focused on Ante Zizic (25 years old, 2.08 m), Croatian pivot and former great European hope, in addition to the Frenchman Amath Mbaye (32 years old, 2.06m). The Fenerbahçe is not to be outdone with the arrivals in particular of Scottie Wilbekin (ex-Maccabi Tel Aviv, 29, 1.88m), fourth scorer in the competition last year (15.4 points). The Istanbul club has also recruited the best passer in the history of the Euroleague, Nick Calathes (ex-Barcelona, ​​33 years old, 1.98m).

To compete with the Turks, the Spaniards were particularly active. Finalist last season, Real Madrid notably recorded the reinforcement of Dzanan Musa (23 years old, 2.06 m) and French Petr Cornelie (27 years old, 2.11 m), whose NBA adventure came to an end. As for FC Barcelona, ​​still articulated around MVP Nikola Mirotic, the departure of Calathes was compensated by the arrival of the former leader of the Washington Wizards, Tomas Satoransky (30 years old, 2.01m). The Serbian Nikola Kalinic (ex-Etoile Rouge Belgrade, 30 years old, 2.03m) and the Slovenian Mike Tobey (27 years old, 2.13 m) have also taken the direction of Catalonia.

On the French side, the recruitment of Joffrey Lauvergne (ex-Kaunas, 31 years old, 2.11 m) by Asvel and that ofElie Okobo (ex-Asvel, 24 years old, 1.91 m) look like beautiful pickaxes.

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