Lorenzo Brown should feel quite smug because Istanbul’s Fenerbahce is ready to pay the big bucks for him. Source: Srdjan Stevanovic/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images
Lorenzo Brown should feel quite smug because Istanbul’s Fenerbahce is ready to pay the big bucks for him. Source: Srdjan Stevanovic/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

The current most intriguing rumours of EuroLeague

Basketball OlyBet 31.05.2024

With the EuroLeague season now behind us, there is a lot of speculation about who will move to where for the new season. Although many rumours sound fishy, some are (very) likely to be true.

Kaunas Žalgiri will undergo a major reorganisation in the summer. It is no wonder that Keenan Evans, the leader of the team, who has played his way to the top of the EuroLeague in two seasons and whose signature is coveted by all the top teams, is among the departures. The honor and pride of Lithuanian club basketball does not have enough money to keep the American in Kaunas.

The 27-year-old American is, by all indications, an Olympiacos man, and Evans is a perfect fit, as he is exactly the type of player that the Greek giant misses. Currently, they do not have a defender in the team who is an outstanding one-on-one player but would also fit into Olympiacos’ team-oriented formation. Evans is exactly that kind of baller!

Another one who left Žalgiris seems to be Rolands Šmits. The power forward from Latvia started the season perfectly and was one of the leading forwards in the EuroLeague, but the second half of the season didn’t go too well for him. Despite that, Istanbul Anadolu Efes took a strong interest, to say the least.

For the big Turkish club, Šmits would be a very good addition, because he is a versatile player and a good long-range shooter. And perhaps even the most important thing – our southern neighbour fights for several men and is excellent in defence.

The next short star?

The place of the Spanish club Valencia in the EuroLeague is not certain for the new season – the winner of the EuroCup, Paris Basketball, will definitely take a step up, or someone from the 18 clubs will have to leave, and Valencia does not have a long contract with the league – but looking at their actions in the market, it is quite clear that they will continue in the EuroLeague.

How else to explain the fact that they are getting under-the-basket force Matt Costello from Baskonia, who is undoubtedly a EuroLeague quality player and for whom, for example, going to a EuroCup club would be very surprising.

A move to Valencia would likely see Costello return to the power forward position as there is no sign of the club’s centres Brandon Davies, Damien Inglis and Boubacar Touré leaving. And let’s be honest: although the American played as a centre in Baskonia this season, he is more of a number four.

Valencia will be padding its back line with Jean Montero. The 20-year-old Dominican Republic point guard is not a big name, but that could change in the coming years. Namely, the 185 cm tall player has had two very good seasons in the Spanish Championship – it is the strongest national league in Europe by far – and this season he brought 15.7 points, 5.1 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game for Andorra.

For some reason, Valencia likes short guards, as this season, defending their colors, they have, for example, Chris Jones, who is 188 cm tall, and Jared Harper, who is ten centimetres shorter than him. But as a EuroLeague fan knows, short guards are not uncommon in the Old World, and that doesn’t stop anyone from becoming a star. For example, Mike James is as tall as Montero.

Men who need a fresh start

Oscar da Silva, who returned to his home, Germany, from the US university system in the summer of 2021, was considered one of the country’s most talented basketball players. In the ranks of ALBA Berlin, he had a pretty good debut season in the EuroLeague, after which he earned a contract with Barcelona.

The Stanford graduate with roots in Brazil and Germany has been seen here and there, but by and large, da Silva has been nailed to the Catalan giants’ bench. He is said to be very close to joining Bayern Munich, whose head coach Pablo Laso is once again putting together a team with very large dimensions and men who can play in several different positions.

In some ways, da Silva’s current situation is comparable to Šmits, when the Latvian was part of Barcelona. He was also largely a statistician, but a good player who was rescued from the cage like a canary by being brought to Žalgiri.

In addition to da Silva, Luca Vildoza is looking for a new lease of life. He was one of the first big-name and expensive additions of head coach Ergin Atamani, who took over Panathinaikos in Athens last summer, but the Argentinian has knocked down the bar with a bang.

Yes, bad luck plays a part in this as Vildoza has had to deal with various injuries. In addition, Ataman has been anything but gracious, as he publicly criticized the Latin American in April, basically saying that Vildoza is so poor in attack that he doesn’t deserve more minutes in the EuroLeague.

Vildoza’s next stop will be Belgrade’s Crvena Zvezda, where he also earned his keep last season. He had a good start there, but after his compatriot Facundo Campazzo joined, his role and effectiveness decreased significantly.

Vanja Marinković also returns to his old love. The shooting guard from Belgrade has been in Spain since 2019 but said after the season that his time at Baskonia was over.

It didn’t come as a shock to fans as Marinković has been linked with hometown team Partizan for several months, whose youth system he joined at the age of 14. There he also took his first steps in men’s basketball before going to Valencia five years ago.

Signing Marinković is a good move from Partizan as their second five are in dire need of attacking power. The Serbian, who had the best season of his career in the EuroLeague, offers just that, and together with Aleksa Avramović, an unpredictable duo is formed, which on a good day will set opponents’ basket nets on fire.

Question marks above Maccabi’s head

Lorenzo Brown, one of Maccabi Tel Aviv’s most expensive players, had a poor regular season by his standards, but the American, hosted by Spain, was fantastic in the quarter-final series against Panathinaikos.

However, the European champion, who will turn 34 at the end of August, is leaving the big Israeli club. According to the local media, Istanbul’s Fenerbahce, who have reached the finals of the EuroLeague, are most interested in him. The club where he played in the 2020/21 season.

Meanwhile, money is not an obstacle for Fenerbahce, as Brown’s buyout clause is €800,000, and he is reportedly being offered two million euros for the season.

Maccabi may also miss Jasiel Rivero, a force under the basket, who has been eyed by Zvezda. The club, which essentially went through the season with one central player, is trying to learn from the mistake, and the Cuban would be quite a good choice next to the defensive-oriented main center Joel Bolomboy.

Yes, Rivero is questionable in defense, but in attack, his skills and efficiency are above average. He is a big fighter, good at the table and a force under the basket who is not only dangerous in the paint area – Rivero has a perfectly decent mid-position shot and shot 57.1% from long range. True, the sample is tiny considering 40 games, as the 206 cm tall baller made only seven three-point shots. But it indicates that Rivero has worked on this element and will probably start to try more and more from behind the arc.

EuroLeague Italian clubs Milan and Bologna Virtus want to add to the back line. Virtus is chasing the signature of Valencia star Jones, but in addition to them, Partizan will be in the fight. Of course, the American with an Armenian passport himself downplayed this rumour, saying that he would continue in Valencia. However, Jones would not be the first athlete to break his promise.

Both teams from Italy were very interested in the leader of the North Macedonian national team, Nenad Dimitrijević. The 26-year-old defender was selected as the most valuable player of the VTB League, or the Russian Open Championship, this season.

Milan is said to have won the race to sign the Skopje-born footballer. Should the transfer become official, it will be extremely interesting to see if Dimitrijević is the right guy in the eyes of the club’s legendary head coach Ettore Messina to implement his game plan. Kevin Pangos, as we learned in the season, was not.


This piece of content has been lovingly crafted by the hard-working sports people of OlyBet. Hope you like it!