By Antonis Stroggylakis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
There has been no shortage of “suitors” for Kenny Gabriel this summer. He appeared in the list of Unicaja Malaga, was in heavy negotiations with Olympiacos for quite some time and also linked with Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Not so long ago, Lokomotiv Kuban also emerged as a team quite invested in acquiring the American power forward. Right now, the Russian club is waiting for his answer to a quite lucrative offer, perhaps the best he currently has on his table.
In the meantime, Gabriel’s focus has naturally been channeled towards the NBA. Actually, he has already received an invitation to take part in the Cleveland Cavaliers training camp, according to Eurohoops’ sources. The NBA champs liked what they saw from the 27-year old player in the Las Vegas Summer League, where he averaged 7.4 points and 3.7 rebounds per game wearing their jersey. Of course, the Cavs didn’t wait for this tournament in order to discover out Gabriel’s positive elements, which he has been steadily developing over the years.
Showcasing a much sought combination of sky-scraping leaping abilities (he has won Slam Dunk contests in Greece and Turkey, during the last three years in Europe) and long range shooting (31/76 three-pointers, for over 40% in last season’s Euroleague and Eurocup games with Pinar Karsiyaka) that might provide solid spacing to any offense, it’s not surprising that Gabriel’s case looks appealing to the Cavaliers. Of course, it could also arouse the attention of more NBA teams that are looking to enrich their roster depth with someone who displays his attributes.
This is is why a sound interest might soon appear from other NBA clubs with more invitations for training camp arriving.
If Gabriel will ultimately choose to continue his career overseas, then Lokomotiv Kuban appears to have the advantage over other teams. Not only is their offer attractive enough to persuade him to move in the city of Krasnodar, one of the warmest places in Russia mind you, but it will also bring him more money than what he expects to find in the NBA right now.
Such an option has generally many merits for Gabriel indeed and not only for financial reasons. If he preserves, or perhaps even turn up the rate of improvement that has been characterizing him in recent seasons, he can hope to also see an increase in the number and quality of opportunities that will be laid in front of him during next summer’s transfer market.
Right now it’s Lokomotiv or NBA, everything is possible but his decision will come quite soon.