It’s that time of the year again. The holidays have passed, and teams are looking to sign on extra players to make that push for the postseason or subsequent rounds. Teams all throughout Europe are looking for that extra edge, that special player that will come at the last second to help their team either win their group, improve their record, or help the team avoid elimination from their league.
Player transfers are much more common in European basketball than they are in the US. In Division One hoops, a player can transfer schools once without losing a year of eligibility. However, the player must sit out one year before “regaining” his eligibility.
In Europe, this is rarely the case. Players getting released or signed is a weekly occurrence, especially at this point in the season.
Ultimately, the goal is to win. So do these transfers lead their new-found teams to victory? The question is a hard one. However, there are many current examples that show that just signing a “better” player over one that has been in the system and understands the coach and team can prove to be both undermining and futile.
Here are some signings that I think will have the biggest impact on the upcoming round of Euroleague games:
Efes Pilsen- Flip Murray
Zalgiris- Boban Marjanovic
From a personal standpoint, after an up and down first half of the season with Super Fund BP, I have transferred to another team in the Serbian league Proleter Naftagas. After having a nagging injury to my ankle and knee, I will suit up against former Adriatic League contender Vojvodina Srbijagas on Saturday. Furthermore, to hone in on the theme of market volatility, my new team Proleter Naftagas has signed on two extra players along with me, after the departure of six players at the midseason. Like I said, much less stable than the NCAA!