VEF Riga made a move to shore up its point guard spot for the future by signing promising playmaker Janis Kaufmanis to a three-year deal. Kaufmanis (1.85 meters, 21 years old) arrives from fellow Latvian side Valmiera, for whom he averaged 12.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists in the Baltic League and 12.9 points, 4 rebounds and 1.7 assists in the Latvian League last season. He has been with Valmiera's senior team since 2008 and has also represented the Latvian national team at the junior levels in recent years. He has been invited to compete for a spot on the senior national team for the upcoming European Championships in Lithuania.
"Janis Kaufmanis last season proved himself as one of the team leaders in the Baltic and Latvian Leagues," VEF assistant coach Nikolajs Mazurs said. "He is ready to prove himself on a higher level. He is highly motivated and willing to work and develop. Janis certainly need time to adopt to a new team and new environment. We believe Janis needs two to three years to grow into one of the best players in our team."