Competition newcomer Zenit St Petersburg made a big splash on Friday when it announced the signing of two-time former Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champion Gustavo Ayon for the upcoming season. Ayon (2.08 meters, 34 years old) arrives from Real Madrid, his only EuroLeague club to date, with whom he won the 2015 and 2018 continental titles among his five seasons in the Spanish Capital. Real made the Final Four in all but one of Ayon's seasons with the team and reached the championship game in three of them. During that time, the versatile center from Mexico averaged 9.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.2 steals in 141 EuroLeague games. He was voted to the All-EuroLeague Second Team in the 2016-17 season.
Over his five seasons in Madrid, Ayon had the second-most rebounds (822), third-most steals (163) and fourth-highest cumulative performance index rating (2,034) in the EuroLeague. He was also the highest-ranked center or power forward in assists, with 341 since he joined the EuroLeague in 2014. Prior to Real, Ayon had spent two-and-a-half seasons in the NBA with New Orleans, Orlando, Milwaukee and Atlanta. He had started his pro career in Mexico with Halcones de Xalapa, then switched to the Spanish second division with CB Illescas and Tenerife Rural before playing two seasons with Fuenlabrada in the first division.