Double transfer from Efes to Zalgiris: Taylor and Polonara

Before the start of the second round, the moment in which the transfer window for players already registered with a club during the season closed, two teams from the euroleague they have given a boost to their options. One, by sensations. Other, for needs. The efes, champion the last two years, has retouched his squad to continue winning. The zalgiris, having the Final Four at the Arena in Kaunas, wants to make a leap in level after the unfortunate Achilles tendon injury that took down point guard Keenan Evans last week. And between the two the connection does not end there but is circular.

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Ergin Ataman now has players more in line with his idea. Isaiah Taylor, ex-ACB and ex-NBA, had been signed as a temporary replacement for Shane Larkin, the electric nationalized Turkish point guard, until he recovered from the injury that kept him from EuroBasket and the start of the club campaign. With Larkin returning to the rotation as a regular, Taylor has been released from his contract to leave.

On the other hand, there was the uncomfortable situation with Achille Polonara, in whom the coach did not trust in a similar way to what happened with Filip Petrusev (now standing out at Red Star), and while his dismissal was being negotiated, he contacted an old Known: Chris Singleton. The American power forward was one of the veterans, like Simon or Anderson, who were not renewed in the summer, but he was still without a team and has been claimed by his exes to improve the benefits of that intermediate position in which he helps Pleiss and Zizic and Will Clyburn, who was acting as a patch while there were changes, was released.

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Anadolu Efes now has a set more similar to what it had in 2021 and 2022, the two years in which it was proclaimed Euroleague champion, and even better. Micic has welcomed Clyburn with open arms and together they have delivered a great performance. The contribution of M’Baye, in whom Ataman seems to trust blindly, is another of the keys to having endured the first part of the course well.

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In Lithuania they froze with the injury, in the first minute of the match against Fenerbahçe, by Keenan Evans. The player underwent surgery quickly, but will be out of the field for six to eight months. They also rushed to sign a replacement, man for man and position for position. Taylor, waiting for the moment to continue in the Euroleague, was chosen.

For Polonara there was a moment after. The Italian, according to information that emerged, was torn between Red Star and Virtus de Bologna. The Serbs can’t recruit anyone yet and the deadline would have killed him. The Italians leaked that they are not going to make signings, at least for now. The exit for the former Baskonia player was Zalgiris. With Hayes and Birutis at ‘5’, Cavanaugh and Smits at ‘4’ and counting Brazdeikis more as a pure forward than as an interior player, they could incorporate a player of proven quality if he gave them the money. This year the Final Four is being held there and it was time to make the effort. The Italian hopes to have more leadership.

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