Monday, August 31, 2009

Reggio Emilia announced Donatas Slanina

Reggio Emilia announced Lithuanian veteran Donatas Slanina(1.92-SG) via their official website. The deal is for one season and Slanina will provide much needed experience and shooting ability to the team of Reggio Emilia in the LegaA2.

Slanina has had a long career in Europe playing mostly in Spain and Lithuania. He has played for Siauliai, Lietuvos Rytas and Zalgiris in Lithuania and also Sevilla in Spain, Prokom in Poland and last season he played for Murcia in the ACB averaging 7.2 points 1.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 24 games.

Partizan signed Branislav Djekic

Branislav Djekic (205-F/C-91), one of the top prospects in Europe, signed a long-term contract with BC Partizan Igokea Beograd. Djekic for the last couple of years played for the young team of FMP Zeleznik and has been a standard member of the Serbian U16 and U18 National Teams.

Spanish teams Caja Laboral (ex Tau Ceramica) and Regal Barcelona also wanted to sign the young prospect, but at the end he decided to join the Serbian powerhouse and work under the coach Dusko Vujosevic.

Paok aiming high but already in trouble

The team of Paok are aiming high with their transfers this season and they're trying to sign good players with as less money as possible but it seems that they're already in trouble with the Greek Federation.

Let's start from the beginning though. The team of Paok are interested in Georgian forward/center Nikoloz Tskitisvili(2.13-PF/C) to complement their frontline after signing Wade Heliwell(2.11-C) and Predrag Drobnjak(2.11-C), according to Greek media. They are also interested in bringing back veteran Ioannis Giannoulis(2.07-PF/C) who played for Panionios last season. Obviously the case of Tskitisvili is difficult as Paok don't really have much money so they would need to bring down Tskitisvili's demand for a contract. Giannoulis on the other hand wishes to end his career playing for the team that made him popular, so that case sounds a lot easier.

On the other hand, the Hellenic Professional Basketball Players Association released a statement today saying that they are putting themselves in favor of Panayotis Kafkis(1.95-PG) and Giorgos Tsiaras(2.07-SF/PF) who had signed last season, 2-season contracts with the previous administration of Paok(Dimitris Drossos). The contracts sum up to 180,000 and 230,000 euros respectively and they would form close to half of Paok's players' budget for this season. Hence the Greek team decided to take this matter into court claiming that the players signed their contracts with the previous administration and they are not liable for them. Kafkis and Tsiaras also sued their team, that currently banned them from practicing with the rest of the team. Suffice is to say that Tsiaras and Kafkis are looking for other teams to continue their career in.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Marcus Faison agreed with Peristeri

According to, Marcus Faison(1.96-SG/SF) has agreed terms with Peristeri and he will hopefully be announced soon by the Greek team. Peristeri are returning to the big league in Greece after 5 years of playing in the A2 league. Marcus Faison owns a Belgian passport so he does not occupy the position of a foreign player in the Greek A1 league.

Faison has played for Pepinster, Charleroi, Koln 99ers, Malaga and last season he was playing for Besiktas and Menorca last season. He averaged 11.4 points 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 7 games for Besiktas before he left the team to move to Menorca.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Maccabi announced Doron Perkins

Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv has signed Doron Perkins to one season with an option for an additional season. The guard, who played for Maccabi Haifa last season, was chosen MVP of the Winner League.

Last season, the 26 year old’s averages stood at 15.8 points per game, 5.6 assists and 5.6 rebounds during the regular season and 21.4 points, 9 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game during the playoffs. Perkins came to Israel from Bree, in Belgium, where in the local league he had earned the names King of the Assists and King of the Steals, and counted among his teammates there Maccabi’s center D’or Fischer.

In addition, young Israeli point guard Gal Mekel will be playing for Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv this coming season. Mekel returns to Maccabi after an extremely successful year on loan to Gilboa/Galil. He will also be joining the National Team in the European Championships next month in Poland.

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Hapoel Holon signed Dwayne Mitchell

Dwayne Mitchell (27, 1.96) is the fourth foreign player of Hapoel Holon for 09/10.

Mitchell began his colegiate career at Auburn University and after one season moved to Louisiana-Lafayette where he graduated at 2006 after registering 16.6 pts, 8.2 reb and 4.3 assists per game in his last season.

He began his proffesional career in French Racing Paris (11.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg and 2.4 apg). in 07/08 he began in Iowa from the NBDL and in the middle of the season moved to German Bamberg (10.3 pts, 3.4 reb, 2.4 ass per game)

Last season he had a contract from Los Angeles Lakers but was waived before the start of the season and joined Los Angeles D-fenders from the NBDL. He had a good season there with 18.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 4.3 apg and 1.9 spg. His season high was 43 pts vs. Colorado.

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Avellino announced DeMarcus Nelson

Scandone Avellino did the 'ultimo colpo' as the say in Italy and signed scoring guard DeMarcus Nelson(1.93-PG/SG) previously of the Chicago Bulls. The 2008-2009 season had lots of ups and downs for DeMarcus Nelson who shifted between the NBDL and the NBA on more than one occasions.

Initially he signed with the Golden State Warriors but in November of 2008 he was assigned to Bakersfield Jam in the NBDL. In December he was recalled back to Golden State after 9 games in the NBDL and was then after 13 games games he moved to Europe and KK Zagreb in January of 2009. That was also short lived as in after a single game he left again and in March he went back to Austin Toros in the D-League. In April he signed as a free agent with the Chicago Bulls who waived him in July. In 13 games with the Golden State Warriors he averaged 4.1 points 1.8 rebounds and 1 assists.

Murcia aiming for Delininkaitis and Powell

According to, Murcia want to finish their roster by signing lithuanian combo guard Tomas Delininkaitis(1.90-PG/SG) and forward Roger Powell(1.98-SF).

Tomas Delininkaitis played for Budivelnyk last season helping them conquer the UBL Cup in Ukraine and he is currently playing with the National Team of Lithuania on their preparation games for the Eurobasket 2009 in Poland. Last season he started with Azovmash averaging 15.4 points 2.4 rebounds and 2 assists in 5 games and then moved on to Budivelnyk averaging 17.3 points 2.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 30 games.

Roger Powell, also known as the "Reverend" in his college days, played for Hapoel Jerusalem last season after playing with the Chicago Bulls only in the pre-season. He is a versatile forward with an NBA physique that can cover defensively the SG, SF and PF positions. He averaged 8.6 points and 3.6 rebounds in 25 games in the Israeli league.

PGE Turow signs Richards and Wysocki

PGE Turow Zgorzelec added two more significant pieces to the puzzle for the 2009-10 season by signing playmaker Jason Richards and veteran forward Konrad Wysocki. Richards (185, 23) is a pass-first point guard who made a name for himself at Davidson College, helping lead the small school to within a basket of the 2008 NCAA final four. He finished his four years at Davidson as the school’s all-time leader in assists. Richards led all of college basketball with 8.1 assists per game in addition to 12.7 points per game during his senior year, at the end of which he was named to the All-Southern Conference first team. Turow will be his first stop in Europe.

Wysocki (204, 27) arrives from German club Deutsche Bank Skyliners, where he averaged 6.2 points and 4.3 rebounds in 33 regular season appearances last season. He has also played for BG 74 Gottingen, Erdgas Ehingen and Ratiopharm Ulm in Germany after a college basketball career at Princeton University. Wysocki was born in Poland, but represented the German national team at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

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Olimpija Lubljana signs Aleksandrov for 3 seasons

Olimpija Lubljana has announced the transfer of serbian forward/center Nemanja Aleksandrov (2.10-PF/C) via their official website for the next 3 seasons, though Olimpija has the option to terminate the contract after the first season. Aleksandrov was once considered one of the top prospects in Europe but his early career was plagued by recurring knee injuries that made him lose a significant amount of games.

The Serbian forward/center had been training with Olimpija and after he passed all the medical exams the Slovenian team offered him a 3-season contract. Aleksandrov has played for Partizan, Zeleznik and Red Star Belgrade. In season 2007-2008 after playing only 3 games for Red Star he felt knee pain once again and sat out for the season and during 2008-2009 he spend time in the US with medical specialists in order to get his knee back into shape. If Aleksandrov passes the first season without any knee injuries it is certain that he will make a proper comeback.

Triple transfer strike from Paok

Paok BC have announced 3 new transfers in a row via their official site making a comeback after a very quiet first 2 months in the off-season.

First one to be announced was returning swingman Kenny Gregory(1.97-SG/SF) who started playing for Paok last season but when the former president of the team, Dimitris Drossos bailed out, he left to play for Valencia,since the team could not afford his contract anymore. Gregory played 17 games for Paok averaging 14.1 points and 4.4 rebounds. In Valencia he averaged 9.2 points and 3.4 rebounds in 10 games in the ACB.

The second player to be announced was scoring guard Chris Monroe(1.90-SG/PG) who comes from French team Chorale de Roanne. Monroe was the 4th best scorer of the ProA last season averaging 16.1 3.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists in a total of 33 games.

Last but not least was Montenegrin veteran Predrag Drobnjak(2.11-C) who is rumored to end his career in Paok. Drobnjak had in illustrious decorated career in the NBA and Europe but last season he only played 4 games so his ability to question to a series of injuries is debatable.

Aris signs veteran Michalis Kakiouzis

Aris BSA has signed one of the emblematic Greek players of the last decade, veteran forward Michalis Kakiouzis, to shore up its front line. Kakiouzis (207, 33) returns to Greece after seven seasons abroad in which he reached the Final Four of the Euroleague four times with two different teams. He arrives to Aris from Efes Pilsen Istanbul where he averaged 6.4 points and 3.0 boards in 10 Euroleague games last season. Kakiouzis and Aris signed a one-year deal.

Kakiouzis is one of the most decorated Greek players ever. He came up with Ionikos New Philadelphia and made his debut in the Greek second division during the 1992-93 season. In summer of 1995, he moved to AEK Athens and played there through December 2002, when he was signed by Montepaschi Siena. He spent three seasons in Siena, reaching the Final Four in the first two. He then moved to Spain to play two seasons with FC Barcelona, making the Final Four in the first of those. He also played one season with Cajasol of Seville in Spain before spending the last one with Efes. Along the way, Kakiouzis has won a national title in three countries - Greece, Italy and Turkey - as well as cup titles in three - Greece, Turkey and Spain. In addition, he won the 2000 Saporta Cup with AEK. As captain of the Greek national team, Kakiouzis won a gold medal at the 2005 European Championships and silver at the 2006 World Championships.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Olympiakos adds Patrick Beverley

Olympiakos added yet another player to their roster and they announced the signing of Patrick Beverley(1.85-PG/SG) via their official website. Beverley signed for 2 seasons with Olympiakos and it might seem a surprising move but he only will be participaring in the Euroleague games of Olympiakos as a safeguard of sorts adding depth to their bench.

He played for 2 seasons for the Arkansas Razorbacks before moving to Europe, where he played for BC Dnipro in the 2nd division in the Ukraine. This might not seem like a smart move but Beverley got all the playing time he wanted and this summer he was drafted at number 42 in the 2nd round by the Los Angeles Lakers. In the Ukraine he averaged 16.7 points 6.9 rebounds 3.6 assists 2.2 steals and 1.3 blocks in 46 games of the UBL.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Real Madrid signed Dasic for 5 seasons

He was rumored to sign for 3 seasons but instead he signed for 5 seasons. Vladimir Dasic(2.06-PF) was announced by the official website of Real Madrid with a short announcement proclaiming that the player will belong to Real for the next 5 seasons.

Dasic is considered one of the best Montenegrin talents to emerge the last years and in previous statements he said that he'd love to play for Real. He played for Buducnost Podgorica last season, averaging 14.1 points 7.4 stels and 1.9 steals per game in the EuroCup. In the Adriatic league he averaged 13 points 5.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. He is also a member of the National Team of Montenegro.

Complication with Newble, Tsaldaris in?

According to, there has been a complication with the case of Ira Newble(2.01-PF) and Aris. The article says that Newble notified the administration of Aris that he might not be there on Thursday as agreed. Yesterday, there was an announcement from Aris saying that Newble's sport visa had been secured and that he was expected to arrive to Thessaloniki on Thursday. The team then proceeded on contacting his agent and they issued him with tickets for today's flight from Detroit which departs in a few hours from now. If Newble doesn't board that flight then Aris might be on the lookout for a new power forward.

On a different note, Dimitris Tsaldaris(1.95-SG) tested the waters in the market and being unable to secure a contract with Olympiakos and Panathinaikos he sees his choices diminish. It is rumored that he has offers from Cajasol, Murcia and Spartak St. Petersburg but he recently became a father and he is reluctant to leave the country. That leaves him with Aris being the next best choice as their offer is still on the table.

Fenerbahce brings back Tarence Kinsey

Two seasons after they helped each other reach the Euroleague's playoffs and win the Turkish League title, Fenerbache Ulker has announced that swingman Tarence Kinsey is returning to the Istanbul club. Kinsey (200, 25) averaged 8.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 12 games with Fenerbahce in the 2007-08 season. Kinsey was acquired by Fenerbahce in January of that season and proved instrumental during the Top 16, which the team survived for the first time. Kinsey averaged 10 points and 3.7 rebounds during that phase.

Kinsey arrives from Cleveland in the NBA, which he helped on its run deep into the playoffs. Kinsey appeared in 50 regular season games last season, averaging 2 points for Cleveland, and saw brief action in nine playoff games. He previously played for Memphis in the NBA after a college basketball career at the University of South Carolina, where he made the game-winning shot in the 2005 NIT title game. Kinsey's return reunites much of Fenerbahce's perimeter players from two seasons ago after Willie Solomon was also re-signed last spring at point guard.

Panellinios close to Blakney and Erceg

According to, Panellinios are going to replace William Avery(1.90-PG) with Roderick Blakney(1.85-PG) and there is a possibility they will acquire Zoran Erceg(2.09-PF) from Olympiakos.

William Avery recently failed the medical tests that Panellinios put him through and so he could no longer be a player for the Greek team. His replacement will be by the looks of things, veteran of the European courts, Roderick Blakney(1.85-PG). Blakney although being a citizen of the Dominican Republic he is also the owner of a Bulgarian passport. That makes him very appealing as a player in Europe and he's got extensive experience from the Greek league, having played for Iraklis, AEK, Maroussi and Olympiakos. Last season he played for Turk Telekom averaging 6.7 points 1.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 30 games in the Turkish League.

On a sidenote, Panellinios are interested in acquiring Zoran Erceg from Olympiakos on a loan agreement but Erceg would like to play for a Euroleague team so this might not go down.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Brits Hopeful Of Getting Pops Soon

Nothing would make British basketball fans happier than to discover that big man Pops Mensah-Bonsu will join the team for the EuroBasket. Mensah-Bonsu has had protracted contract talks in the NBA and has reached a verbal agreement with the Houston Rockets but so far, he hasn't been given the all clear to join up with Chris Finch's British side with the EuroBasket tipping off in Poland in less than two weeks.

Finch, whose team is about to take part in the Efes Pilsen Cup in Turkey, said: "We are currently working with the Rockets and the NBA to sort out the details that will allow Pops to play. He is keen to join his teammates. Hopefully, he will be able to join the team in Turkey."

Mensah-Bonsu averaged 12.2 points, 10 rebounds and 1.8 blocked shots per game last year for the Brits in their successful qualifying campaign.

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Josh Pace From BC Kalev To NBA D-League

Former BC Kalev Cramo guard Josh Pace (Syracuse University) has been selected to the NBA D-League Draft Pool for the 2009 Draft. Pace, who just returned from Estonia after winning an Estonian League Championship in June, is projected to be drafted by a team within the D-League when the draft takes place in November.

D-League teams within the Southwest and Central Divisions have already expressed great interest in Pace and have plans to select the veteran if he's availabe at their pick.

The former Kalev Cramo guard has received interest from teams in numerous sectors which included the NBA, overseas and now the NBA D-League. Initially there were nibbles from four NBA teams and over a dozen other teams from Israel, Germany, Australia and the United Kingdom who expressed heavy interest in the veteran guard. Pace averaged 9 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist per game while with BC Kalev this past season. Last summer he had tryouts with the Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat and Golden State Warriors of the NBA. He will sign a D-league contract in September.

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Bilbao lends Pappas to Kolossos

Nikos Pappas(1.91-SG/PG) will be lent for one season to Kolossos Rhodes from Bilbao according to the official website of Bilbao. The greek combo guard won the silver medal in the U-19 World Championship in New Zealand and the gold medal in the U-20 European Championship in Greece, playing for the National Team of Greece. As he needs to complete his military service in Greece he wanted to play for a Greek team, preferrably one that would participate in the A1 League and Kolossos Rhodes might just be the one.

Nikos Pappas in his statements said that it is a great opportunity for him to develop his talent further and get more playing time in a more competitive league. He averaged 15.6 points 4 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 9 games in the U-19 World Championship and also 12.8 points 3.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 9 games in the U-20 European Championship.

Zalgiris announced Cukinas

Zalgiris announced the signing of lithuanian forward center, Povilas Cukinas(2.09-PF/C) via their official website. The contract is for one season with the option for another season. This transfer will strengthen the front-line of Zalgiris with an experienced player who has played outside Lithuania on more than one occasions and as he said he wants to make a proper comeback.

Cukinas has played for the "nemesis" of Zalgiris, Lietuvos Rytas in the past and he has also played for Ludwisburg in Germany and also Cantu in Italy. This past season he started playing for Barons Riga in Latvia and then moved to Budivelnik in Ukraine where he finished the season averaging 11.4 points 6.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 38 games in the Ukrainian Superleague.

AEK announced Taurean Green

The rumored deal has been finalised and AEK Athens announced american combo-guard Taurean Green(1.86-PG/SG) via their official website. Taurean Green is called to be the leader of AEK in these difficult times for the team and it is a real achievement from a team that cannot afford high salaries.

Green was selected in number 52 in the 2nd round of the 2007 Draft by Portland. Since then he didn't get much playing time and wandered between the NBA and the D-League. Green averaged 4.4 points 1.2 rebounds 0.6 assists in a total of 17 games in the NBA. Last season he played for Zaragoza in the ACB and he averaged 10.7 points 2.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 32 games.

Alicante announced Mindaugas Katelynas

Alicante announced the signing of Lithuanian forward Mindaugas Katelynas (2.04-SF/PF) for the next season. Katelynas left Italy after playing in the LegaA1 for 4 seasons and joined the fledgling Spanish team who needed an athletic player for their front line. His nickname is 'Air Lithuania' which he gained with his impressive athletic skills.

Katelynas graduated in 2005 from Tennessee-Chattanooga and then moved on to Italy and Cantu where he played his first pro season after college. Afterwards he played a season for Casale in LegaA2 and the last 2 seasons he has playing for Olimpia Milano. He averaged 5.4 points and 3.8 rebounds in 40 games in the Italian LegaA1.

Major trade between Baskonia and Real

In a major trade between two Euroleague and Spanish League contenders, Real Madrid received former All-Euroleague playmaker Pablo Prigioni and Caja Laboral Baskonia captain Sergi Vidal from that club for the rights to scorer Brad Oleson.

Madrid had acquired Oleson and signed him to a long-term deal earlier this summer, but never announced the signing. On Monday, he was dealt to Caja Laboral, where he penned a five-year deal. Prigioni and Vidal are the sixth and seventh new players to arrive at Madrid since head coach Ettore Messina took over in June. They will also be reunited with former Baskonia teammate Travis Hansen, another Madrid newcomer. For Caja Laboral, Oleson, who arrives from Alta Gestion Fuenlabrada, will help offset the loss two-time Alphonso Ford Top Scorer Trophy Winner Igor Rakocevic, who left the club earlier this summer.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

AS Trikala announced Giorgi Tsintsadze

AS Trikala announced Georgian point guard Giorgi Tsintsadze(1.92-PG) via their official website. Tsintsadze was a personal choice of head coach Vaggelis Aggelou that had him as a player in Dynamo Moscow when he was the assistant coach to Dusan Ivkovic.

Tsintsadze played initially for the second team of CSKA Moscow and later on moved to CSK Samara and Dynamo Moscow. For the last 3 seasons he has been playing for Estonian team Tartu Rock. He averaged 8.9 points 2.8 rebounds and 4 assists in 21 games of the Estonian League, 16.4 points 3.6 rebounds and 5.3 assists in 21 games of the Baltic League and 10.2 points 2.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists in 6 games of the Eurochallenge. He is also a member of the National Team of Georgia.

The curious case of Kostas Papanikolaou

One of the hottest names in the Greek and also the European market, is that of youngster Kostas Papanikolaou(2.01-SF) of Aris Thessaloniki. Papanikolaou at the age of 19, is on the verge of doing something that has never been done before in Greece and perhaps Europe. He started playing this summer with the U-19 National Team of Greece winning the silver medal in the U-19 World Championship in New Zealand, losing to the USA team in the final. Then he proceeded playing with the U-20 National Team in the U-20 European Championship in Rhodes winning the gold medal against France in the final and now he is practicing with the Men's National Team, while his chances of securing a spot in the final roster that will travel to Poland, are more than

After losing Panayotis Vasilopoulos(2.03-SF/PF) to an injury and with Dimitris Diamantidis(1.97-PG/SG/SF) and Theo Papaloukas (2.00-PG) deciding to take a break this summer, Jonas Kazlauskas found himself in a troublesome situation trying to fill the SF spot. The 3-guard formations are almost out of the question and currently his only option for an actual small forward is that of Stratos Perperoglou(2.03-SF), who plays for Panathinaikos. So here comes Kostas Papanikolaou, the MVP of the U-20 European Championship and one of the biggest hopes of Greek basketball, (along with Kostas Koufos(2.16-C) and Nick Calathes (1.98-PG)) that seems to be adapting quite well to the team play of the National Team of Greece and Jonas Kazlauskas seems to be even more inclined to take him with the rest of the team to Poland. If Papanikolaou manages to do that then it will be a first for any player of this age in Greece, if not Europe.

This morning, there were reports from sports media in Athens about the imminent sale of Kostas Papanikolaou from Aris to Olympiakos or Panathinaikos. This information was then replicated in a "chinese whispers" fashion to almost every other sports website in Greece. Among other things it is written, that the president of Aris, Ioannis Damianidis, is on his way to Athens to discuss the alleged sale of Kostas Papanikolaou. Ioannis Damianidis is obviously heading to Athens to discuss next season's television rights for Aris in order to secure the best deal for his team and also to see Kostas Papanikolaou play in the Acropolis tournament with the rest of the Greek National Team against Lithuania, Serbia and Russia.

So when the president of Aris was asked earlier today by a sports radio station in Thessaloniki, about the possible sale of Papanikolaou, he replied that there is no offer for Papanikolaou on the table from any team and that he cannot comment on rumors. Because that's what they are.. just rumors It has been made clear in other times in the past few weeks that Papanikolaou is not up for sale to any team, but the consensus today among Greek websites that replicated the rumor is that there is
an offer from Olympiakos in the region of 600,000 euros and of course Panathinaikos want in on the player as well(as if they wouldn't) and they're both ready to battle it out and see who's got the biggest wallet. And this is not the first time this is happening. Shortly after the National Team of Greece stepped onto the podium to receive the Gold Medal for the U-20 European Championship the rumors in sports media were flying right left and center..

The fans of Aris, Olympiakos and Panathinaikos are left in a state of disarray unable to determine if the so-called news they're reading about Papanikolaou are reliable or a publicity stunt that was staged on the back of Kostas Papanikolaou and his talent. From a purely calculative point of view it would be really dumb to sell Kostas Papanikolaou at this stage of
his career where the player needs all the playing time he can get. Being benched in Olympiakos or Panathinaikos or appearing in the roster every 2 or 3 games will damage the player's chances to further develop his talent.

Leaving that aside, Kostas Papanikolaou has become a fans' favourite for Aris in the last 2 seasons and in him they can see a future leader for their team. He is also a big fan of the football team of the club. Admittedly he hasn't received significant playing time with the men's team but he managed to win the U-18 Championship in Greece playing for Aris alongside Spyros Mourtos (1.99-SG) and other future star of Greek basketball, Linos Chrysikopoulos (2.07-SF/PF). Also let's not forget to mention that during the last 12 months the player worked with the coaching staff of Aris on his physical condition and he is now able to compete at men's level. So if the administration of Aris decided to sell him they would create one of the biggest disappointments in the ranks of their fans just when things started getting better for Aris . In other words, they'd be shooting themselves in the foot..

Whatever happens, Kostas Papanikolaou must look forward, work on his game and shut his eyes and ears to all those rumors that are flying around. The best is yet to come for him.

Dasic to sign for 3 seasons with Real Madrid

Vladimir Dasic (208-F-88) is expected to sign a three-year contract with Real Madrid. Different sources reported the 21-year-old Montenegrin talent agreed on terms of the contract with the Spanish powerhouse.

The 206cm forward played for Buducnost Podgorica last season. He averaged 14.1 points, 7.4 boards and 1.9 steals per game in the EuroCup. In the Adriatic league, Vladimir Dasic tallied 13.0 points, 5.3 boards and 1.1 assists per appearance. He is the member of the Montenegrin National team.

Marko Popovic close to Ilisiakos

According to, the team of Ilisiakos are trying to sign bosnian combo guard Marko Popovic(1.93-PG/SG), who played in Vojvodina last season. Popovic would be expected to have a starting five position in Ilisiakos where the backcourt is far from complete.

Popovic had a good season with Vojvodina last season in the Adriatic League and he has also played before for Sloga, Niksic and Atlas in the past. He averaged 7.8 points 1.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 25 games for Vojvodina in the Adriatic League.

Olimpia Milano signs Alex Acker

Armani Jeans Milano has kept adding to its firepower with the signing this weekend of swingman Alex Acker, a former top-ten scorer in the Euroleague. Acker (195, 26) has spent two years in the Euroleague and finished the first, with Olympiacos in 2006-07, as the Euroleague's ninth-best scorer, with an average of 14.3 points in 33 minutes per game. Acker was ranked that season's 12th overall player according to performance index rating while leading the Reds to within a victory of the Final Four.

Acker also registered averages of 5.6 rebounds, which ranked 16th overall, 2.4 assists (20th) and 1.8 steals (8th) while making the fifth-most free throws (79) at the sixth-best percentage (86.8%) of all players in the league. The following season, at F.C. Barcelona, Acker's production dropped across the board, as he averaged 5.5 points in 18 minutes per game. Acker played sparingly for Detroit of the NBA before and after his first European experience and spent 18 games last season with the Clippers in his hometown, Los Angeles. He had previously played at Pepperdine University.

Cibona close to Bagaric, Tomas and Golemac

Cibona is close to signing Croatian center Dalibor Bagaric(2.17-C) according to Croatian portal Bagaric will return to his former team once more. After leaving Cibona he played for 3 seasons in the NBA and then returned to Europe where he had played for Olympiakos, Fortitudo, and Girona. Last season he played for Fortitudo and if he moves to Cibona he will find his former teammate Jamont Gordon there. Bagaric averaged 1.4 points and 1.4 rebounds in 10 games in the LegaA1 with Fortitudo.

Cibona is also waiting on Marko Tomas(2.02-SF) and Jurica Golemac(2.07-PF/C). Marko Tomas is expected to be cut from the National Team of Croatia and if he manages to break his contract with Real Madrid, then Cibona will be the first in line to sign him. Tomas averaged 5.8 points and 1.4 rebounds in 34 games in the ACB with Real Madrid. They're also waiting from an answer from Slovenian forward/center Jurica Golemac who played for Panellinios in Greece last season. He averaged 10.8 points 5.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 25 games of the regular season and play-offs in the greek A1 league

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Everybody wants Karnowski

According to spanish portal Gazeta Pomorska, Premyslaw Karnowski(2.11-C) is one of the most sought after young players in Europe. Karnowsky played for National Team of Poland in Kaunas for the U-16 European Championship. The young center attracted offers from 8 of the biggest teams in Europe according to the article, coming from Spain, Italy, Greece and France. He averaged 10 points 7.7 rebounds 1.6 assists and 1.4 blocks in 9 games for Poland helping his team finish 4th in the Eurobasket.

Some of the teams that have been mentioned are Barcelona, Malaga, Saski Baskonia and Panathinaikos from Greece. The father of the player is going to take the decision and he wants the best future in mind for his son. The offers from Europe are lucrative and they offer good money, housing and education but they don't offer him a spot in the first team. That would be quite unfeasible for such a young player.

The options of the NCAA was also considered but the parents of Karnowski have yet to receive an offer from a college but they would be quite keen to explore that possibility. The entrance to the NCAA would open all sorts of door for Karnowski if he were to play in the NBA. Another option is to stay in Poland and finish his education there while playing for one of the teams in Poland like Anwil Włocławek or Trefl Gdynia. Whatever happens, the adventure of Premyslaw Karnowski in the world of basketball has already begun.

McCarty to play for Russia after all?

It's happened very late in his career, but the chance to play for a national team finally arrived for American Kelly McCarty when Russia named the BC Khimki guard in their EuroBasket squad earlier this summer.

The 34-year-old McCarty has replaced JR Holden as the naturalized Russian in the team and is expected to receive big minutes from coach David Blatt.

"Because of JR's participation the last several years, Kelly has not been eligible to play for us," Blatt said, "but he's happy to be here. He's come in and already brought some energy, brought some athleticism. He's brought his great experience. Kelly's a guy that can score, defend (against) anyone. He's a tremendous guy so I believe he will give us a lot."

Cedric Simmons to sign with Peristeri?

According to, Cedric Simmons(2.06-PF) is about to be announced by Peristeri, the team that returned to the A1 league after 5 years. The administration of Peristeri working in conjuction with the best scout in Greece, Steve Yatzoglou, managed to secure another great transfer in their effort to make sure that Peristeri has returned for good.

Simmons was selected by the New Orleans Hornets at number 15, in the first round of the 2006 NBA Draft. In his 2nd year at North Carolina State University, he averaged 11.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 2.5 blocks per game. Simmons managed to play a total of 75 games in the NBA between Cleveland, Chicago and Sacramento but an ankle injury didn't allow him to get more playing time. Simmons is an addition to Peristeri that will surely make a difference and it will also be a chance for him to get his career back on track.

Edit : Apologies for the wrong photo, it was done in a bit of a hurry. Thanks for everyone who let me know.

Zalgiris signs Begic for 3 seasons

One of the top young centers on the continent is switching Euroleague teams with the announcement that Zalgiris Kaunas has signed Mirza Begic to a three-year contract. Begic (220, 23) has played most of his career in his native Slovenia, including the last two seasons with Union Olimpija, where he had previously spent one year as a junior.

With his first major minutes last season, Begic exploded, ranking among the Euroleague's top 25 performers in the regular season thanks to averages of 11.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks over 10 games. He ranked third among all shot blockers in the Euroleague during the regular season.

source :

Taurean Green close to AEK Athens

According to, Taurean Green(1.83-PG/SG) has come to an initial agreement with the club of AEK Athens and if the deal does actually go through it would mean that AEK have managed to bag themselves another quality player after Torin Francis and Lamont Mack.

Green was selected in number 52 in the 2nd round of the 2007 Draft by Portland. Since then he didn't get much playing time and wandered between the NBA and the D-League. Green averaged 4.4 points 1.2 rebounds 0.6 assists in a total of 17 games in the NBA. Last season he played for Zaragoza in the ACB and he averaged 10.7 points 2.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 32 games.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Jones is the last piece of the puzzle

Angelico Biella secured one of the best transfers in Europe during the current transfer period and yesterday they announced the signing of NBA veteran Fred Jones(1.88-SG/PG) via their official website. As they boldy proclaimed on their site he will be the last piece of the puzzle for the roster of Biella.

Jones was the 14th pick in the 2002 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers. He played 8 seasons in the NBA for the Indiana Pacers (2002–2006), the Toronto Raptors (2006–2007), the Portland Trail Blazers (2007), New York Knicks (2007–2008) and in his last season in the NBA he played for the Los Angeles Clippers. This will be his first season in Europe and he will be adding some serious firepower to the backcourt of Biella. In his last season in the NBA he averaged 7.3 points, 2.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists.

Mike Wilkinson moves to Galatasaray

The US forward Mike Wilkinson has reached an agreement with the Turkish team Galatassaray. The 27-year old has also played for two seasons for Aris Thessaloniki (2005-06, 2006-07). He was selected both years to play in the Greek All-Star Games.

Wilkinson then signed a two-year contract to play for Khimki Moscow Region, a Russian Super League team. Earlier this summer Wilkinson was signed with Triumph Lyubertsy in Russia. However due to the club's sudden financial difficulties Interperformances had to find another option to the player. Last season in the Eurocup competition he averaged 6.8 points and 4.1 rebounds in just 17.6 minutes.

Delfino deal to be finalised

The Toronto Raptors completed a trade with the Bucks on Tuesday, sending Carlos Delfino to Milwaukee as part of a four-player deal. Toronto acquired forward Amir Johnson and guard-forward Sonny Weems and sent Roko Ukic to Milwaukee along with Delfino, who spent last season in Russia.

"Carlos made it clear he would prefer to play elsewhere if he were to return to the NBA," Raptors president Bryan Colangelo said in a statement. "There were limited sign and trade scenarios available, but acquiring Amir Johnson in this deal gives us another long, talented young big man whose best basketball is ahead of him."

Johnson spent the past four seasons in Detroit before getting dealt to Milwaukee in June. He appeared in 62 games for the Pistons last season and shot a team-best 59.5 percent while averaging 3.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 0.97 blocks. Weems appeared in 14 games as a rookie with the Denver Nuggets last year.

Delfino appeared in 82 games with the Raptors in 2007-08, averaging 9.0 points and 4.4 rebounds. Ukic made his NBA debut last season following six seasons overseas. He averaged 4.2 points, 2.1 assists and 12.4 minutes in 72 games.

source :

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Greek League Reloaded?

After a tumultuous season, where certain teams struggled to finish the league in the same rosters they started it in, the Greek A1 league needed a change. One might say Greek basketball needed a change on more than one levels. For the first time in the history of the league a new regulation has been approved by all the teams in the league that allows every Greek team to have in their roster more than 2 non-European players. The maximum amount of non-Greek players is still 6, so in theory they could have up to 6 players with a European passport and up to 3 players from outside Europe.

The regulation was approved by all teams, even Panathinaikos, although one might have thought that Zeljko Obradovic would be against it. The Serbian coach has a long history of using American players that cannot finally adapt to his coaching style. Most of the teams in Greece signed the maximum amount of 3 non-Greek players, adding a variety of American players into the mix. Even the president of the Hellenic Basketball Federation, Georgios Vasilakopoulos, was reluctant to approve the new rule as he was receiving numerous complaints from the Union of Professional Players (ESAKE) of Greece. But the rule was approved and shortly after a few teams announced their new acquisitions. Let's take a look as to how they made the best out the new rule.

Kolossos BC added the number 60 of the 2009 draft, Robert Dozier(2.06-PF), while at the same renewed the contract of Lance Harris(1.97-SG/SF) and finally added experienced center John Edwards(2.13-C) from the Iowa Energy of the NBDL.

Aris Thessaloniki signed NBA veteran Ira Newble(2.01-PF), shooter Jeremy Richardson(2.01-SG/SF) of the Orlando Magic and added Curtis Stinson(1.91-PG) of the in the point guard position. Kavala signed NCAA swingman Lorrenzo Wade(1.98-SG/SF) from San Diego, Richard Shields(1.90-SG) who has already a few seasons in Europe and saved the best for last by signing veteran Demetrius Alexander(2.04-PF) that reached the Latvian league final with Barons.

Peristeri, that returned to the big league after 5 seasons, signed combo guard Cliff Hammonds(1.90-PG/SG), who played in Turkey last season, they snatched forward Will Daniels(2.03-SF/PF) from Kavala BC and the latest rumors want them to be targeting Senegalese power forward Pape Sow(2.11-PF) although it might seem an unlikely target.

Maroussi BC signed combo guard Jamon Gordon(1.90-PG/SG) who played in Croatia and Germany last season, renewed the contract of seasoned veteran Billy Keys(1.88-PG) and brought back experienced center Jared Homan(2.08-C) who played in the Euroleague for Cibona last season. Panionios signed undrafted free agent Kevin Rogers(2.06-PF) of the Baylor Bears, scoring guard Tyrese Rice(1.85-PG) of Boston College and recently signed swingman scorer B.J. Elder (1.93-SG/SF) formerly of Cantu.

Panellinios got rid of Anthony Grundy and replaced him with William Avery(1.90-PG) formerly of Trikala and signed Devin Smith(1.97-SF) who played for Fenerbahce last season. They have left one more spot open for a foreign player which is not yet certain who will it be. Trikala signed experienced forward Kasib Powell(2.01-SF) who played in China and the NBDL last season, they signed A.J. Abrams(1.80-PG) of the Texas Longhorns and finally power forward Tyrell Biggs(2.03-PF).

Ilisiakos signed dunking sensation Brent Petway(2.03-SF) who has been given the nickname 'Air Georgia' due to his spectacular dunks and also center Brian Butch(2.11-C) who played in Germany last season. Ilisiakos reserves one more spot for a foreign player as well. Another team that signed 2 foreign players so far is AEK. They signed one of the best players of previous season, center Torin Francis(2.10-C) who played for AEL and also small forward Lamont Mack(2.01-SF) of the Charlotte 49ers.

Paok and Olympia Larissa have not yet signed any players at all, let alone any non-European players and their future in the league is uncertain. Paok was recently targetting Jarrod Stevenson, who played for Maroussi last season but he recently signed a new contract with Hemofarm. Their massive debts and lack of funds do not make them an appealing team whereas Olympia is on the verge of either declaring bankruptcy or merging with another team in Larissa. Either way not much time is left.

Panathinaikos stayed the same. They still retain Mike Batiste(2.03-PF) and Drew Nicholas(1.93-SG/PG), whereas Olympiakos signed NBA star Von Wafer(1.96-SG/SF) of the Houston Rockets and retained a former NBA star Josh Childress(2.03-SF), previously of the Atlanta Hawks. They also signed Thomas Kelati(1.96-SG/SF) but it is very likely that the contract will be broken and Kelati will continue his career elsewhere. His signing did not go down very well with the fans of Olympiakos. Perhaps there is another signing on the way for Olympiakos..

So what does this mean for the Greek League? Was this the breath of fresh air that it desperately needed? Having a look at the rosters alone it seems that the situation from the 6th position and below has never been more uncertain. The teams that have a medium or small budget filled gaps in their roster with players that they could not get previously. Let's not forget that the American market provides more players than the European and sometimes bargains can be found because of the sheer amount of players desperate for a contract. This means that EU players will have to reduce their salaries inadvertently and also the Greek players will have to follow suit. One might say that this move has somewhat balanced the market in Greece and sparked new interest for a League that has been suffering from credibility and interest the last few years.

Surely the competition for 2 top spots still belongs to the wealthiest teams but the rest of the positions seem to be up for grabs by anyone. Aris and Panellinios seem to be the favorites for the 3rd place but Maroussi and Panionios are not far behind. But even those teams cannot feel completely safe as it could be anyone's game. It's also something that hasn't been done before and that alone has brought many people back to basketball in Greece. More television channels have stepped into the arena to secure the broadcast rights of the games and the recent success of the U19 and U20 National Teams are showing the way to the Greek public. It will certainly be an interesting season and the curtain falls on September 29th with the Qualifying Rounds of the Euroleague, where Aris and Maroussi will battle it out for a chance to play in the Euroleague regular season and give the Greek crowds a taste of things to come.

Maroussi BC made an offer to Aigars Vitols

According to exclusive information, Maroussi BC are interested in Latvian combo-guard Aigars Vitols(1.92-PG/SG) who is currently playing with the National Team of Latvia. The Latvian veteran received a good offer from Maroussi BC and he is currently considering it. The economic crisis affected European basketball as well and many teams could not afford the salaries of their players and ASK Riga was one of the teams that was seriously affected. His decision will be greatly affected by the financial stability of the club which has always been punctual in payments.

Vitols played for ASK Riga in the Baltic League and the Latvian League last season averaging 9.7 points 4.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 15 games in the Baltic League and also 11.1 points 4.1 rebounds and 2 assists in 16 games in the Latvian League.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Hoop will be back on Wednesday

The Hoop will be back this Wednesday 18th if all goes well and it will return with a special article on the transfers of the Greek League and the effects of the economic crisis on the player market!