2018-19 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague: Top 10 moves within the EuroLeague

Sep 10, 2018 by Euroleague.net Print
2018-19 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague: Top 10 moves within the EuroLeague

Each summer, management of the 16 teams in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague scour the world to find the next batch of players to make their respective squads better. But sometimes, the best place to look is next door. When teams sign away stars from their fellow EuroLeague competitors, they not only get players who have experience at the highest level and whom they were able to scout live at least twice in the previous season, but they also pry talent away from their opponents. Behold 10 of the biggest signings of players who moved from one EuroLeague team to another in the summer of 2018.

10 Edwin Jackson, Buducnost VOLI Podgorica

A former French League MVP and Spanish League scoring leader, Jackson enters his fourth EuroLeague campaign with a third different team. This time he has an opportunity to play a major role and the talent to make the most of it. Last season Jackson joined FC Barcelona in January after starting the campaign in China and provided plenty of scoring punch. Using his speed to burn opponents in transition and his outside shot to score points in flurries, Jackson could well be among the top scorers in the league this season.

9 Maodo Lo, FC Bayern Munich

In his first two professional seasons with fellow German side Brose Bamberg, Lo erupted as a dynamic talent who was both effective and exciting to watch. Whether using his speed to blow by opponents, his vision to set up teammates or his shooting touch to open the floor, Lo was a difference-maker off the bench in 56 career EuroLeague games. Now with Bayern, where he surrounded by several top-notch backcourt mates, the 25-year-old Lo is in line to take a big step forward.

8 Ray McCallum, Darussafaka Istanbul

McCallum certainly turned some heads last year in his rookie EuroLeague season with Unicaja Malaga. What's scary is that at age 27 the combo-guard is just entering his prime and could be ready for a marked improvement. At his best, McCallum is an expert at getting to the basket and effective at finding open teammates, though his shooting woes – both from downtown and the foul line, held him back at times. In a new home with Darussafaka and surrounded by a supporting cast that features great athletes and excellent shooters, McCallum is in the right place to maximize his talents.

7 Vasilije Micic, Anadolu Efes Istanbul

It is hard to believe that Micic is only 24 years old, but with three seasons of EuroLeague experience to learn from, including a strong campaign last year under the tutelage of point guard master Sarunas Jasikevicius at Zalgiris Kaunas, Micic appears to be on the verge of stardom. Despite coming off the bench in most games for Zalgiris, Micic played a key role in pushing that team to its first Final Four in nearly two decades. A modern combo-guard, Micic played some of his best basketball last season in the playoffs and the Final Four and is someone that Efes can count on going forward.

6 Ioannis Papapetrou, Panathinaikos OPAP Athens

After five seasons and a pair of Final Four appearances with Olympiacos Piraeus, Papapetrou made headlines when he joined the crosstown rival on a three-year deal. A part-time starter for the Reds last season, Papapetrou put his best foot forward as a reliable threat in the paint and from the three-point line. The big man, who at age 28 is just entering his prime years, is now penciled in for a big role with the Greens and his combination and size and mobility, together with an unselfish attitude and blue-collar work ethic could be key ingredients for a new-look Panathinaikos.

5 Daniel Hackett, CSKA Moscow

As the newest addition to one of the best backcourts in the game, Hackett all-around game makes him a player who can thrive playing alongside CSKA stars Nando De Colo, Sergio Rodriguez and Cory Higgins. Hackett, who has taken part in seven EuroLeague campaigns with four different teams, suited up for Brose Bamberg last season. He boasts the size of a shooting guard and passing acumen of a point guard, which paired with his knack for rebounding makes Hackett the ideal player to get the CSKA attack going on the fast break and in transition. All signs point to an outstanding season for Hackett.

4 Axel Toupane, Olympiacos Piraeus

Toupane returned to the EuroLeague last season after two years abroad and made an instant impact for Zalgiris Kaunas thanks to his elite defense and heady play. Used as a secondary ball handler, Toupane was able to impact games with his efficient passing, timely shooting and by locking down the opposition's best perimeter player. He scored in double in both playoff home wins for Zalgiris against his new team, Olympiacos, to send the Lithuanian champs to the Final Four. Now in Greece, the 26-year-old can contribute at any of the three perimeter spots and Coach David Blatt can be counted on to find him a role in which Toupane will thrive.

3 Rodrigue Beaubois, Anadolu Efes Istanbul

Beaubois has quietly been one of the best backcourt scorers in the EuroLeague over the past two seasons and he comes to Efes to do more of the same. He ranked among the top 10 guards in the league in both two-point and free-throw shooting while connecting on 40% of his three-pointers for KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz. Moreover, his nifty passing and the hustle seen in some of his chase-down blocks made Beaubois a fixture in highlight reels, too. Whatever his role with Efes, whether starter or sixth man, Beaubois will surely be putting the ball in the net and making his team tougher.

2 Chris Singleton, FC Barcelona Lassa

The epitome of the modern big man, the sweet-shooting Singleton has been tearing apart defenses since he first came to the EuroLeague three years ago, first for Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar and more recently for Panathinaikos Athens. Singleton is a force in the paint and a sniper from the perimeter. He crashes the boards with ferociousness, swats away shots with a sneer and ignites arenas with rim-rocking dunks. There is little the 28-year-old cannot do and thanks to his high basketball IQ, Singleton has found ways to well complement frontcourt mates of all styles and sizes. Now in Barcelona, against which his double-double in Game 5 of the 2016 playoffs sent Lokomotiv to the Final Four, Singleton will look to unleash his full repertoire of skills.

1 Mike James, AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan

The incredibly-gifted Mike James has been a game-changer since he debuted in the EuroLeague with Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz four seasons ago. When James is hot, there is simply no stopping his scoring ability. Despite often being one of the smallest players on the court, James possesses great leaping skills that lead to exciting dunks. His speed creates easy baskets in transition and his pinpoint shooting means teams have to be wary of him no matter where he stands on the floor. After starting last season with Phoenix of the NBA, where he was a double-digit scorer in 32 games, James returned to Panathinaikos for a second consecutive campaign and produced career highs in scoring (16.2 ppg.), assists (4.1 apg.) and steals (1.3 spg.). He should have the keys to the offense in Milan and alongside Nemanja Nedovic and Amedeo Della Valle, could be s dangerous as ever.