FC Bayern Munich made several changes to its team from last season, starting at the top with head coach Andrea Trinchieri. The play-caller returns to Germany after serving three and a half seasons as Brose Bamberg's boss and winning three German League titles. Bayern management then added several players with EuroLeague experience. Malcolm Thomas played his fourth campaign in the competition last season with Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul while guard Wade Baldwin IV and center Jalen Reynolds made their EuroLeague debuts last season with Olympiacos Piraeus and Maccabi Tel Aviv, respectively. Power forward JaJuan Johnson will be playing his first season in the EuroLeague, but does have four years of experience in the 7DAYS EuroCup, including winning the 2018 title with Darussafaka Istanbul when he was named to the 2017-18 All-EuroCup Second Team. Guard Nick Weiler-Babb will be making his international debut and Robin Amaize returns to the club after spending last season on loan with EuroCup team EWE Baskets Oldenburg.
Bayern comes into the season with nice depth in the backcourt. The playmaking duties will be covered by T.J. Bray, Baldwin and Zan Sisko, who all debuted in the EuroLeague last season. Injuries derailed Bray’s season and he will be eager to come back stronger. Baldwin's first EuroLeague campaign suffered from inconsistency, though he flashed moments of brilliance that could make him a premier performer for Bayern. Sisko joined Bayern during the season and will look to build on his brief exposure to Europe's elite level. Manning the shooting guard spot will be veteran and the club’s all-time games played leader Nihad Dedovic. There is plenty of help for the 30-year-old with Diego Flaccadori looking to step up in his second season with Bayern as well as the athletic Weiler-Babb and Amaize. Veteran forward Alex King, who enters his fifth season with the club, aims to do most of his damage from behind the three-point line.
Bayern was forced to rebuild its frontcourt due to a few departures. Vladimir Lucic and Paul Zipser are the team’s main small forwards and center Leon Radosevic is still with the club. Lucic and Zipser are perfect for their roles as players who can do a little bit of everything on the floor and thus help make those around them better. Johnson may be one of the team’s oldest players, but he still has plenty of athleticism to help with defense and rebounding. Thomas, who can play either the '4' or the '5' brings some very valuable experience to the frontcourt, having played with Fenerbahce Istanbul, Khimki Moscow Region and Maccabi. Reynolds, who led the 2018-19 EuroCup in rebounding, comes to Bayern from Maccabi. His active style can wear down opposing big men at both ends of the floor.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Bray came to Bayern before last season on a two-year contract after a magical run with German League surprise outfit Rasta Vechta. Bayern extended him an additional third season as he underwent foot surgery, which cost him the start of his EuroLeague debut campaign. But Bray, who led the German league in assists in 2018-19, showed right away why Bayern locked him up long term with a combined 29 points and 7 assists in his first two EuroLeague games. Trinchieri relies on smart guards who can lead the team but also score and Bray fits the bill. With a full training camp under the guidance of Trinchieri, Bray should be ready to lead Bayern in his first full healthy season with the club.
Trinchieri likes to play quick basketball with players who can play multiple positions and the Italian coach has proven to be successful, guiding Partizan NIS Belgrade to the EuroCup quarterfinals last season in addition to his success with Bamberg. Bayern may not have the big superstar name it has had the past two seasons in Derrick Williams and Greg Monroe, but the team has strong balance and good depth as well as several players who will be hungry to prove themselves at the highest level. Bayern has never been to the EuroLeague Playoffs before. Could this be the year?