Whether they changed Turkish Airlines EuroLeague teams, graduated from the 7DAYS EuroCup or made their way here from across the Atlantic, there are many players who with proven track records who joined new teams for this season. Here are 10 such players to watch out for.
Kostas Antetokounmpo, LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne
An intriguing player, Kostas Antetokounmpo is set to make his EuroLeague debut with LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne. One of his brothers, Giannis, is the reigning NBA Finals MVP and another one, Thanasis, played in both the EuroLeague and EuroCup. When given playing time, Antetokounmpo has delivered; he averaged 14.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 38 G League games in the 2019-20 campaign. He is quite athletic and a great finisher around the rim. Antetokounmpo now has a great chance to prove his value with ASVEL.
John Brown, UNICS Kazan
John Brown comes off his best campaign in which he helped UNICS Kazan reach the finals in both the VTB United League and the EuroCup. Despite being a hard-nosed big man who puts his team first, Brown earned some individual accolades. He was chosen to the All-EuroCup Second Team and as the VTB League's best defender. Brown uses his long arms, coordination and quickness to change games on defense, getting many steals in the passing lanes, and is an effective scorer who can play above the rim. He appears ready for new challenges.
Simone Fontecchio, Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz
Simone Fontecchio showed what he was capable of at the 2020 Olympics where he led Italy in scoring with 19.3 points per game. Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz was fully aware of his all-around scoring skills and signed him to a multi-year deal. Fontecchio is a great shooter with an extremely quick release, who can also use his ballhandling and strength to take it to the rim. He had a breakout 2020-21 season with ALBA Berlin, averaging 10.6 points on 88.6% free throw shooting. Expect him to keep filling the baskets.
Jerian Grant, AX Armani Exchange Milan
Jerian Grant comes off a great season with Promitheas Patras in which he did a little bit of everything, averaging 14.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 2.2 steals in 27 Greek League games. A tall combo guard with great passing skills and leadership, Grant can change games on defense with his intensity and hustle, but also contribute on offense, scoring in many ways and finding the open man with his outstanding court vision. With the right role, Grant has all it takes to be a EuroLeague star.
Daryl Macon, Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
After torching the Greek League for 18.2 points per game on outstanding shooting for AEK Athens last season, Macon comes to the EuroLeague eager to carve out a big role with Panathinaikos OPAP Athens. Macon has been an elite shooter dating back to college and has grown his game as a passer, too, meaning he can compliment all of the Greens' other guards. After being mentored by former Alphonso Ford Trophy winner Keith Langford, Macon should be ready to make an instant impact as a EuroLeague rookie.
Nigel Williams-Goss, Real Madrid
Back to the EuroLeague after a season with EuroCup powerhouse Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar, Nigel Williams-Goss joins Real Madrid, which is always full of talented guards. Being in that environment should make a competitive player like Williams-Goss even better. He is a great scorer who can generate off the pick-and-roll and also create his own shots, especially in transition. Williams-Goss is determined to make the most out of this opportunity to play for Real, the winningest team in European basketball history.
OJ Mayo, UNICS Kazan
A fantastic scorer at every stop in his career, OJ Mayo will make his EuroLeague debut with UNICS after filling buckets all over China last season. The 33-year-old was a late addition to the UNICS roster and missed most of training camp, however, his experience and all-around game should help him fit in quickly. Mayo is not only a great scorer, but a good secondary ball-handler and passer, who helps with rebounding and gets his fair share of steals too. He should be a fun player to watch!
Emmanuel Mudiay, Zalgiris Kaunas
Only 25 years old and with 5 seasons of NBA experience and another in the Chinese League, Emmanuel Mudiay figures to have a prominent role for Zalgiris Kaunas in his EuroLeague debut. The physical playmaker has an arsenal of offensive moves, though his bread and butter is to plow through defenses and get to the hoop. How well he adjusts to European basketball will tell how mush of an impact he has this season – and the early returns are promising.
Marial Shayok, Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul decided to sign small forward Marial Shayok after a terrific season with Bursaspor Durmazlar. Shayok showed he is an all-around scorer who uses his driving skills and intensity to get to the foul line often, where he converts nicely (88.1%). He is a very unselfish player who shares the ball when double-teamed, helps on the boards and can pull the trigger from any angle. If he adjusts to a very different role, Shayok can be an interesting fit for the Turkish powerhouse.
Jaleen Smith, ALBA Berlin
Do-it-all guard Jaleen Smith was the German League MVP last season. He has proven himself at every stop from a small college to the German second division to Ludwigsburg and now he will take on the challenge of competing in the EuroLeague. A complete all-around player, Smith scores, passes, rebounds, plays defense and, perhaps most important of all, makes those around him better, which is the ultimate praise for a basketball player.