It has been said (and occasionally sung) that three is the magic number. So far this offseason, Maccabi Tel Aviv has been the star student in that school of thought. With Omri Casspi likely heading to Sacramento, the Yellows seem poised to move on without his services.
Just recently they inked Lietuvos Rytas guard Chuck Eidson. Eidson averaged 15.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 5.1 assists last year for a Rytas team that won the Eurocup, Lithuanian League, Baltic League, Lithuanian Cup and Baltic President’s Cup. That’s five-out-of-five. But where were we? Oh yes…three. Eidson, who played collegiately at South Carolina, can play all three perimeter positions, while he excels at small forward (otherwise known as the three).
But the fun doesn’t stop there. Maccabi signed not just one three, but—you guessed it—three threes. David Bluthenthal is back for his third stint with the team after spending last season with LeMans Sarthe Basket in France. Bluthenthal should fit back in nicely and he’ll be doing the bulk of his work from three, where his 43% career three-point percentage ranks 13th all-time in Euroleague competition.
The third of these Three Maccabiteers is P.J. Tucker, who has not been officially announced but has apparently signed a preliminary contract with Maccabi. A Former Texas Longhorn, Tucker led the Ukrainian Superleague in scoring with 19.4 points per game and tossed in 5.9 boards for BC Donetsk, who will sorely miss his strength and creativity from 20 feet and in.
Maccabi will still need to grab a point guard, and another big man wouldn’t hurt (though they did add Maciej Lampe to give D’Or Fischer some help). But three star players isn’t a bad start. Even if they play the same position.