Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem Transfer Watch
Hapoel's roster has undergone important changes, with offensive stalwart James Feldeine among the players who departed Jerusalem. There won't be any changes on the sidelines however, as Israel legend Oded Katash has agreed to continue at the helm for a third consecutive season.
The Jerusalem club received in mid-September the unpleasant news of a shoulder injury to J'Covan Brown that will keep the experienced guard sidelined for several months but they reacted swiftly to bring on board a worthy substitute, in Chris Kramer.
Kramer, who as an EWE Baskets Oldenburg player back in 2016-17 registered the first ever triple-double in in BCL history, spent last season at Russian powerhouse Khimki Moscow Region. The 32-year-old American averaged 5.1 points and 2.9 assists in the EuroLeague with 6.8 points and 2 assists per game in the VTB United League.
Hapoel also signed veteran Greek guard Nikos Pappas and Serbian power forward Luka Mitrovic on temporary contracts, but parted ways with both players after the Final 8 in Athens, and so neither of them played a game with the reds in the 2020-21 season.
The Jerusalem club added an intriguing new offensive weapon in Malcolm Hill, who was the VTB United League's second-leading scorer (behind Alexey Shved) up until the termination of the 2019-20 season. Playing for Astana, the 25-year-old winger averaged 20.2 points per game on 39.3 percent shooting from three-point range.
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The reds have also signed combo guard Tarik Phillip, who is coming off a solid season at BCL newcomers Tofas Bursa. The 27-year-old British-American averaged 10.8 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game in the Turkish BSL league, with 11.6 points and 4.1 assists per game in the EuroCup.
אדם חוזר הביתה! הפועל שמחה להודיע על שובו של בוגר מחלקת הנוער, אדם אריאל, לשורות המועדון. יאללה הפועל! 🚩🚩 pic.twitter.com/w8W7YhqRvX— Hapoel Jerusalem B.C (@JerusalemBasket) August 11, 2020
Another new addition to the perimeter is Adam Ariel, a familiar face in Jesuralem since he came up through the Hapoel youth system and played for the club up until the 2014-15 season. The 25-year-old winger played for Maccabi Rishon Le Zion the last couple of seasons, averaging 9 points and 2.5 rebounds per game in the 2019-20 Winner League.
The Jerusalem club have also made an investment in the future by recruiting up-and-coming swingman Deividas Sirvydis from Lietuvos Rytas. The 20-year-old Lithuanian joined Hapoel just before the Israeli league's restart and featured in four contests, averaging 4.5 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. He averaged 5.7 points and 2.5 rebounds per game in the 2019-20 Lithuanian LKL.
One more addition to the backcourt is Israeli point guard Adi Cohen, who spent the last couple of seasons at Hapoel Be'er Sheva. The 26-year-old averaged 4.7 points and 3.1 assists per game in the 2019-20 Winner League.
הפועל שמחה להודיע על החתמתו של עדי כהן סבן, בוגר מחלקת הנוער. אחרי שנתיים בליגת העל בהפועל ב"ש, כהן סבן יחזור לבירה וילבש את המדים האדומים של הפועל בעונה הקרובה. יאללה הפועל! 🚩🚩 pic.twitter.com/n3hN4PORgq— Hapoel Jerusalem B.C (@JerusalemBasket) August 14, 2020
Hapoel have also extended their contract with combo guard J’Covan Brown, the versatile TaShawn Thomas and fellow forward Suleiman Braimoh. Meanwhile Tamir Blatt, the winner of the BCL Best Young Player award in 2019, signed with Alba Berlin in July but will stay in Jerusalem for the 2020-21 season, on loan from the German club.