By Stefan Djordjevic/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2019-20 Basketball Champions League will be completed with a Final Eight starting on September 30th in Athens and all clubs have been working on figuring out the best roster for the tournament as well as to continue straight after it into the next season.
“I think it will be a great start to the season and hopefully a great end to the last season’s Champions League. It’s gonna be awesome. It will be eight teams that want that championship and eight good teams at that. Everyone has added some pieces just to make a run at this title. It’s gonna be a very unique circumstance and all teams will come together for one common goal. That’s what’s gonna elevate the level of play for everyone,” Sam Dekker, who is one of Turk Telekom’s recent additions, said on Eurohoops’ Final Eight Countdown.
In fact, Turk Telekom might have been the team with the most fruitful action in the transfer market during the hiatus.
Aside from Sam Dekker, the Turkish team added Michael Eric, Tyler Ennis and Keifer Sykes while also keeping some key pieces including maybe the most important piece of all – Kyle Wiltjer.
Impressive work indeed and it becomes even more impressive considering that all of those players were also on the radar of other top European clubs.
It’s a good thing looking from that angle, however, making big changes to the roster, and in a short time at that, comes with a price. The squad usually needs more time to ‘click’, develop team chemistry and get on the same page with each other’s style of play as well as the coach’s game plan.
That will certainly be true for the Turk Telekom squad as they go into the BCL Final Eight after just a few preseason games but, although they haven’t been together for long, there are things that could help and speed up their efforts.
The new additions are all experienced players with the luxury of having played at the biggest basketball stages and some of them also have specifically experienced the BCL itself. Keifer Sykes, for example, set records in BCL back in the day with 43 points and 43 PIR as Sigidas Avellino player.
But even more than that, three former NBAers, who are also expected to lead the charge – are connected by their stints in the NBA with the Houston Rockets.
Dekker, Wiltjer and Ennis all played for the Rockets in the 2016-17 season and that experience might be crucial for Turk Telekom going forward, short as well as long term.