Hot start to the hottest BCL summer market
MIES (Switzerland) - We're only in July, but teams are beginning to take shape all over Europe. The summer market seems to be attracting the biggest free agent names since the start of the Basketball Champions League in 2016.
The summer of 2022 saw transfers ranging from BCL Star Lineup members changing squads, through returns of our stars from a couple of seasons ago, all the way to getting new notable names their first taste of this growing competition.
Let's go through the ten most notable movers of the off-season so far.
Dylan Ennis (Galatasaray Nef)
Does this one really need an explanation? The man built for the fans will be sending some of the loudest fans in the entire world into frenzy, week in, week out. Dylan Ennis is a 30-year-old guard with two BCL Star Lineup Second Team selections, both with Casademont Zaragoza, achieved in 2020 and 2021.
He spent the last season in Liga Endesa with Gran Canaria, but it was time to sign the first Turkish contract of his career. Ennis joined Galatasaray Nef, one of the most ambitious projects in all of Europe, with coach Andreas Pistiolis getting not only Ennis, but also Raymar Morgan, Jehyve Floyd, Mahir Agva, Muhaymin Mustafa and Yunus Sonsirma in this window.
𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐇𝐨𝐦𝐞. 𝐒𝐚𝐦𝐞 Me𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲.— Dylan Ennis (@canadiankidDJE) July 13, 2022
Can’t wait to hear 15,000 lions roaring for us next season! I’m super excited to be apart of the Galatasaray family!
LET’S GO CIMBOM! @GSBasketbol 🦁🦁🦁🦁🦁🦁🦁🦁🦁🦁🦁🦁🦁 pic.twitter.com/AWp3zuydrv
Levi Randolph (Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem)
With Retin Obasohan leaving, Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem turned to Belgium once more to find a scoring, athletic man to lead their offensive charge. They found one among the Belgian champs, Filou Oostende, getting Levi Randolph on board for 2022-23.
Randolph was born in Madison, Alabama, and played for the Alabama Crimson Tide alongside Obasohan. The two were teammates in Avellino, Italy in their rookie season abroad, and now it's time for Randolph to pick up where Retin left off. When you know Randolph is capable of putting up 30+ points in all sorts of way, spot ups, pull ups, post ups, drives - there is zero doubt he'll fit right into coach Aleksandar Dzikic's system.
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Errick McCollum (Pinar Karsiyaka)
Welcome to the BCL, Errick! Time to add more accolades to an already impressive career which saw him win the EuroCup as the MVP in 2016, and get top scorer awards in nearly every single competition he ever played.
CJ's big brother is now 34, and Pinar Karsiyaka will be his third Turkish club, after a couple of stints with Galatasaray Nef and a season with Anadolu Efes. He spent the last four years in Russia, winning the VTB United League scoring title with Lokomotiv Kuban in 2022.
Pınar Karşıyaka’mıza hoş geldin Errick McCollum! Geçtiğimiz sezon Rusya’nın Lokomotiv Kuban takımında oynayan Amerikalı Errick McCollum, 2022-23 sezonunda Pınar Karşıyaka forması giyecek. 💚❤️ #WelcomeErrickMcCollum pic.twitter.com/m3fIT1SPY9— Pınar Karşıyaka (@KSKBasket) June 22, 2022
Jaka Blazic (Bahcesehir College)
One of Luka Doncic's favorite targets in the Slovenian national team, Jaka Blazic is set to make his BCL debut next season, too. Blazic just turned 32, with no signs of slowing down, especially when you consider his contributions to Slovenia's magical Olympic Games run in 2021, and his back-to-back spots on the All-Adriatic League Ideal Starting Fives in 2021 and 2022.
Blazic spent the last three seasons with Cedevita Olimpija in Ljubljana, and previously played for Barcelona, Andorra, Baskonia, Crvena Zvezda, Slovan and Triglav. Bahcesehir already showed their intentions by bringing in guys like Jamar Smith and Langston Hall last summer, they kept going in the same direction with Blazic and Vladimir Brodziansky this summer, so expect them to play a big role in their inaugural BCL season.
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Miro Bilan (Peristeri)
The Fifth Fortress of Sibenik is back! The 32-year-old center from one of the most beautiful cities in Europe made a move to Greece this summer, after splitting his 2021-22 campaign between Prometey in Ukraine and Sassari in Italy.
Miro Bilan is the old school center every team needs, and he had the best game never played in the BCL history. He scored 38 points against Filou Oostende last season, the unofficial season-high, but the game was erased from records as Prometey withdrew from the competition and had all of their games nullified. Fuel for Miro to get 40 with Peristeri next season.
We highlighted these five players, but there have been plenty of other interesting moves heading into Season Seven. Jonah Radebaugh and Jaime Fernandez joined the reigning champions Lenovo Tenerife, which shows how keen they are on retaining the beautiful spiky trophy.
James Anderson won back-to-back EuroLeague titles with Anadolu Efes before joining UCAM Murcia. Marcus Keene was the top scorer of the Italian League and fits the usual high-scoring point guard profile that SIG Strasbourg love so much.
Michale Kyser left Hapoel Holon and will be blocking shots and dunking all over the continent in the black jersey of Surne Bilbao. But don't think Holon will be any weaker, in fact, they seem to be getting stronger, with CJ Harris back in the club.
Time to vote, which was the best transfer of the summer so far?