Monday, June 23, 2014

Bochoridis and Vezenkov, the journey so far

It's been a while, but better late than never.

Lefteris Bochoridis(1.96-PG/SG) and Aleksandar Vezenkov(2.06-SF/PF) are the two biggest prospects currently in the payroll of Aris BC. The club has a history of scouting good talent and like Kostas Papanikolaou(2.03-SF/PF) in the past they could be looking into making their next step.

There has been a lot of media attention generated in Athens and most of it belongs in the spam category, generated to rile up the fans of Panathinaikos. The president of Panathinaikos proclaimed that he will build a new team based on young talent and obviously the first name that sprung up in the hearts of the fans was Lefteris Bochoridis who has been mentioned in the past as a potential target.

Bochoridis has 2 more years in his contracts with Aris BC and there is no buy-out clause in his contract. His agent up until now, Nikos Lotsos spoke to in Greece and said that he had to take a step back as his agent reciting "moral obligations" as the reason and said that a different agent would pick up Lefteris' representation. This implies that Bochoridis is interested in making the next step in his career as a player of Panathinaikos. There has been a lot of bad blood between Nikos Lotsos and Panathinaikos as the president of the team considers himself letdown by the agent (one might make the wrong assumption here that agents are there to look out for the clubs' best interest but I'll leave it at that).

Bochoridis is currently preparing with the Greek U20 National Team and he is one of the only carries in the team which inadvertently means that he will have an excellent opportunity to raise his stock. He is currently the team's top scorer in the preparation games. Panathinaikos might not want as they would have to cough up a sizeable amount of money. Rumors from within the team say that Aris will not accept any less than 500,000 euros for Bochoridis if it comes to that and the asking price will be a lot higher. Metrosport newspaper from Thessaloniki says that Panathinaikos are preparing a 200,000 euros offer for Bochoridis but this is bound to land on deaf ears. Aris will not discuss anything until after the U20 European Championship that concludes on July 20.

The same goes for Aleksandar Vezenkov who will wait to see what happens with Aris (new coach, FIBA sactions to be lifted very soon) and he will make his decision after the U20 European Championship as well. He has been involved in a lot of fabrications about deadlines from Panathinaikos and imaginary offers and this time Nikos Lotsos who also represents Vezenkov is not stepping down. Vezenkov has a 250,000 euros buy-out clause in his contract that can be used by the end of July. If that doesn't happen the buy-out clause is null until next summer and then any team will have to negotiate with Aris directly. Vezenkov's father tried to push developments for his son to sign with Panathinaikos as Ivanovic is now the head coach but Aleksandar himself is interested in playing time rather than a non-guaranteed spot in the roster of a wealthy team. Vezenkov would favor a spot in Ivkovic's Anadolu Efes where he will meet his former "mentor" of sorts Vaggelis Aggelou. Ivkovic's work with youngsters in the past gives Vezenkov a warm fuzzy feeling when it comes to terms of developing his career further.

Unconfirmed rumors speak also of Vezenkov waiting to see Daric's spot in the next NBA draft. If Saric is a lottery pick then it leaves things open for Vezenkov but if Saric goes to Anadolu then Vezenkov's best bet for playing time is Aris who could be playing in Europe next season. Either way Vezenkov would be in the starting line-up of Aris and he is expected to be one of the carries of the team seeing as to how he was their MVP last season.

More on this to follow!

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