EuroLeague signings: Perimeter players

Sep 21, 2021 by Euroleague.net Print
EuroLeague signings: Perimeter players

A lot of elite perimeter talents switched Turkish Airlines EuroLeague teams this summer. Whether they are trusted floor generals, deadly sharpshooters, do-it-all swingmen or versatile forwards, these players on different EuroLeague teams could make all the difference this season. The list is long, but here are 10 of the best signings of perimeter players this summer.

Wade Baldwin IV, Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz

Simply put, Wade Baldwin IV was one of the most improved players in the competition last season as he led FC Bayern Munich to the EuroLeague Playoffs. A physical playmaker with outstanding quickness and great energy, Baldwin led Bayern in scoring (15.3 ppg.) and assists (4.0 apg.) while playing all 39 games. His character and aggressiveness match Baskonia and Coach Dusko Ivanovic's mentality, so Baldwin is in the right environment to keep growing as a player and become a EuroLeague superstar.

Lorenzo Brown, UNICS Kazan

This will be Lorenzo Brown's third consecutive EuroLeague campaign with as many different teams. In his first season in the competition, Brown posted strong numbers (12.3 ppg., 3.3 rpg., 4.6 apg., 1.1 spg.) while playing a leading role for Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade. Last season, Brown had a different role for Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul, mostly coming off the bench, but he still averaged 9.5 points and 3.5 assists. Brown is expected to be UNICS Kazan's floor general and to lead the team forward with his experience.

Marius Grigonis, CSKA Moscow

CSKA Moscow wanted more firepower and found the right fit in Marius Grigonis, one of the most efficient shooters in the competition. Grigonis made 45.6% of his shots from downtown and 94.4% of his free throw attempts in the 2020-21 EuroLeague for Zalgiris Kaunas. Grigonis won a couple of games - against FC Bayern Munich and Valencia Basket - with last-second shots, too. His 13.4 points per game ranked him 19th in the 2020-21 EuroLeague scoring list.

Pierria Henry, Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul

In his two seasons with Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz, Pierria Henry went from being a 7DAYS EuroCup star to one of the best end-to-end point guards in the EuroLeague. Henry led the 2020-21 EuroLeague in steals (1.7 spg.) and ranked third in assists (7.3 apg.), which says plenty about his impact at both ends of the floor. He likes to play with high rhythm and to find the open man in transition. His connection with Nando De Colo and Jan Vesely should be one of the keys for Fenerbahce to having a great season.

Thomas Heurtel, Real Madrid

Thomas Heurtel is a modern playmaker, who is not afraid to pull the trigger from downtown, but is also an elite pick-and-roll player due to his outstanding passing skills. He ranks fifth on the EuroLeague's all-time assists list (1,216) and has the third-best average (5.4 apg.) in competition history. At age 32, Heurtel is at the prime of his career and ready to play a big role for Real. Being surrounded by great scorers at every position will only benefit him.

Darrun Hilliard, FC Bayern Munich

FC Bayern Munich needed an experienced scorer and found one in Darrun Hilliard, who is set to start his fourth EuroLeague season. Hilliard is a great one-on-one player who brings a lot of energy and great determination. He had a very different role with CSKA Moscow the last two seasons, where he changed games with his three-point shooting and intensity. In Munich, Hilliard is expected to play a leading role as one of Bayern's main backcourt threats. At age 28, Hilliard is right at the prime of his career and ready to prove it.

Nikola Kalinic, Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade

This was one of the most celebrated comebacks of the off-season. Nikola Kalinic played for Zvezda in the 2014-15 season and helped it win three domestic titles. Right after that, Kalinic signed for Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul and reached four consecutive Final Fours, including winning the EuroLeague title in 2017. He went on to play for Valencia Basket and earned EuroLeague MVP of the Month honors in February 2020. Kalinic looks eager to play a leading role for Zvezda.

Jordan Loyd, Zenit St Petersburg

Jordan Loyd comes off a career-defining season in which he showed what a great scorer he is. Loyd ranked third in scoring (17.3 ppg.) last season as Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade's go-to guy. He also averaged 3.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.2 steals. A good defensive player, Loyd is a perfect fit for Coach Xavi Pascual's system. Expect Loyd to have the ball in his hands whenever the game is on the line.

James Nunnally, Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv

Experience matters and James Nunnally has plenty of EuroLeague know-how; he helped Fenerbahce Istanbul win the competition in 2017. Nunnally is an elite three-point shooter (48.5% career 3FG) who also uses his quickness to attack the rim and his high basketball IQ to find easy baskets off screens, particularly close to the baseline. Nunnally plays hard on defense and is reliable from the free-throw line (90.8% career FT), which makes him likely to emerge as one of Maccabi's most important players.

Thomas Walkup, Olympiacos Piraeus

Last season, Thomas Walkup was surely noticed by Olympiacos Piraeus when playing for his former club, Zalgiris Kaunas. Walkup got a critical steal and the go-ahead, last-second basket in an 81-79 home win against the Reds. He brings his versatility, on-the-ball defense and court sense to a backcourt that already includes EuroLeague great Kostas Sloukas. Walkup averaged 8.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.1 steals in 34 games last season. He is the epitome of an all-around performer.