The most interesting free agents left on the EuroLeague market

Orazio Cauchi
Staff Writer
2022-07-19 10:30
Credit: Collage Canva
Credit Collage Canva

In this offseason, we've already seen some major moves on the market.

Jan Vesely and Tomas Satoransky moved to Barcelona, Will Clyburn joined Anadolu Efes, Scottie Wilbekin switched to Fenerbahce, Brandon Davies signed with Armani Exchange Milan, Maccabi Tel Aviv reshaped their entire roster, and Nando De Colo returned to France to join ASVEL.

With the Russian teams banned from playing in the top European competition, EuroLeague will look different next season. The arrival of Virtus Bologna, Partizan Belgrade, and Valencia will bring back some tradition, while most of the teams are spending a good amount of money to try to sneak into the playoff picture in the next season. 

Dwayne Bacon

Dwayne  Bacon
Dwayne  Bacon
MIN: 25.3
PTS: 13.9 (51.09%)
REB: 3.1
As: 1.14
ST: 1
BL: 0
TO: 1.17
GM: 29

With August on the horizon, the second phase of the market will be interesting to watch. While most of the stars have already found a place for next season, there's still some talent to be recruited for EuroLeague teams and maybe even the chance to bring back some European talent from the NBA.

So it looks like the right time to try understanding what other moves might go down in the next few weeks and who are the most interesting players remaining on the market. 

The EuroLeague market

Dwayne Bacon is one of the most intriguing free agents remaining on the market.

The former Charlotte Hornets forward joined Monaco during the season and quickly became one of the most important players on the team, with his scoring skills and his ability to use his body to operate also from the post.

He finished his first EuroLeague season, averaging 14.0 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1 steal per game. He also shot 41% from 3-point. After such a strong impact, it was clear that Bacon would attract major interest in the market.

Monaco was willing to keep him around, but so far, they haven't been unable to find a financial agreement with the player. Bacon, in the meanwhile, has drawn interest from Anadolu Efes.

The Turkish club is trying to strengthen its roster even more after the additions of Clyburn and Zizic. The potential arrival of Bacon would give another huge weapon for coach Ataman.

Other teams have also inquired about Bacon, including Virtus Bologna, a source told BasketNews, but at the moment, Anadolu Efes still look like the frontrunner to sign the American forward. 

Another wing currently available on the market is Mateusz Ponitka. After spending three seasons in St. Petersburg, the Polish forward parted ways with Zenit in March, and he's still a free agent.

Ponitka is the type of player who can always be useful for a EuroLeague team because of his versatility. He's a solid defensive player, a reliable shooter from the perimeter (he shot almost 47% from the 3-point zone last season), and can create for his teammates.

The Polish wing will turn 29 at the end of August and could be the perfect 'last piece of the puzzle' for many teams.

Ponitka has been on the radar of teams like Fenerbahce and Maccabi Tel Aviv in the past weeks, but other teams are also in the mix to acquire his talents, including Bayern Munich, a source told BasketNews. 

If anyone is in need of a veteran, Jeffery Taylor might be the right man for the situation. The Swedish forward left Real Madrid after 7 years with the club and many trophies, and he's now available on the market.

A player with tons of experience and very well-respected around Europe, Taylor is an ideal profile for a glue guy who can provide defense and 3-point shooting.

The swingman, who's now 33, can be a solid addition for teams looking for experience and leadership. Valencia showed interest in him in the past few weeks, sources have confirmed to BasketNews, but other teams might enter the mix too. 

Adrien Moerman and Chris Singleton both left Anadolu Efes, and they could become important additions for a few teams in EuroLeague. But the future of both players looks already set, with the French forward heading to Monaco and the American big man nearing a deal with Serbian side Crvena Zvezda.

Another player who left Anadolu Efes is Filip Petrusev. The Serbian big man struggled to find minutes with Efes and left the team without too many regrets. Petrusev is still very young, but he had proved how good he could be with Mega, especially in the offense.

As a redemption project, he could be an intriguing option for several teams. However, the player specified that he's only willing to sign one-year deals to keep always open the opportunity to leave for the NBA, where the Sixers hold his rights.

Bayern Munich is among the teams that looked at his case, a source told BasketNews, but his future should become more clear now that the Summer League is over. 

A return from the NBA? 

After starring in the Netflix movie 'Hustle', Spanish forward Juancho Hernangomez is currently a free agent. He finished the past season with the Utah Jazz, and then he was waived, which was highly expected since his final year of the contract was almost fully non-guaranteed.

It's not a secret that in the recent past, Real Madrid explored several times the opportunity to bring Hernangomez back to Europe, especially before Hernangomez was traded to the Timberwolves back in 2020.

This summer, though, his return to Spain looks unlikely, at least at the moment. Real Madrid looks already set in the wings department with the additions of Dzanan Musa, Mario Hezonja, and Petr Cornelie.

The player himself often stated that his focus remains on the NBA and that a return to Europe is not a priority for him right now. With Real Madrid looking out of the picture, could Virtus Bologna, coached by Spanish NT head coach Sergio Scariolo, try to recruit Hernangomez and lure him away from the USA? It looks like a long shot but never say never. 

Another player who has spent the past few years in the NBA and he's drawing interest in the European market is French swingman Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot.

Drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2016 NBA Draft with the 24th pick overall, Luwawu-Cabarrot spent the past season with the Atlanta Hawks, and he's now an unrestricted free agent.

The French swingman has received interest from multiple EuroLeague teams, including Monaco and Armani Exchange Milan, a source told BasketNews. Still, his focus remains on finding a new NBA opportunity, and he's willing to wait for that to happen. 

Despite a certain interest from Europe, it is unlikely that Facundo Campazzo and Boban Marjanovic will return to European basketball.

Campazzo, who's now an unrestricted free agent after the Nuggets declined to make him a restricted free agent, was linked to a potential return to Real Madrid for a while. Still, the player's main focus remains to find another opportunity in the NBA after playing very limited minutes last season.

Meanwhile, Marjanovic was traded by the Dallas Mavericks to the Houston Rockets as part of the move that brought Christian Wood to the Mavs. The Serbian big man is in the final year of his contract and will make $3.5 million next season.

The Rockets might try to move his contract again since Marjanovic might have more value for teams with championship ambitions while Houston is trying to rebuild. But a potential return to Europe looks unlikely at the moment for Marjanovic.

The big man was linked to Virtus Bologna over the summer, but those rumors were denied by his agent Misko Raznatovic, who confirmed the focus of his client on the NBA. 

A player who might actually make his comeback to European basketball is Lithuanian forward Ignas Brazdeikis. The player spent the past season with the Orlando Magic, averaging 5 points and 1.7 rebounds per game, but as our Donatas Urbonas reported, he's now a target of Baskonia and Zalgiris Kaunas.

Brazdeikis, who also has a Canadian passport, might be the right name to reinforce those teams on the perimeter.

The Lithuanian forward is still 23 years old, and after struggling to find a consistent role in the NBA in the past few seasons, this might be the perfect time for him to return to Europe and play an important role. 


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