The second week of August was a relatively quiet one in terms of roster moves for the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. Here’s a look at the recent signings.
The week in EuroLeague signings
Former MVP returns to Fener
The return of former EuroLeague MVP Nemanja Bjelica to Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul was not just the highest-profile signing of the week, it was among the biggest of the summer. After helping Golden State win the NBA championship last season, Bjelica promises to be a centerpiece of a new-look Fenerbahce squad under the guidance of Coach Dimitris Itoudis. As a power forward who can stretch the floor with his shooting and make an impact in the paint, he is sure to leave his mark this season.
Baskonia finds its point guard
Darius Thompson has shown how hard work can pay off by taking advantage of every opportunity and now he will make his EuroLeague debut with Cazoo Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz. After beginning his career in the Dutch League, he rose up to be that competition’s MVP. He then shined in Italy with Brindisi and in the 7DAYS EuroCup last season with Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar, where he wanked in the top 10 in assists, steals and PIR. At age 27, he is primed for his EuroLeague debut and could be the perfect backcourt partner for another EuroLeague newcomer, Markus Howard.
Olympiacos adds a weapon
There is a lot to like about Olympiacos Piraeus’s latest addition. George Papas is an American-born shooting guard from a Greek family. He played five years of college basketball in New Jersey, where he proved himself as an excellent shooter, a strong all-around player and a leader. With the Reds he joins a crowded backcourt where opportunities may be few, but that also means that Coach Bartzokas can bring Papas along slowly by allowing him to adjust to European basketball through the Greek League. The sides signed a multi-year deal and we may not see Papas’s best version this season, however, he’s one to keep an eye on.