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Cologne to host the 2020 EuroLeague Final Four

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Cologne, Germany will be the place to be next May.

The 2020 Final Four will take place in Cologne, Germany, EuroLeague informed via press release on Wednesday. The four best teams of Europe’s premier competition in the 2019-20 campaign will meet in Germany between May 22nd and May 24th.

Lanxess Arena of Germany’s fourth-largest city by population will gather European basketball’s elite to conclude the upcoming EuroLeague season. Cologne will host the Final Four for the first time with the fans at more than 18,000-seated venue witnessing the next champion.

Berlin previously hosted the Final Four in 2009 and 2016, but Cologne will become the second Germany city to host the event this center, the fourth city without a local EuroLeague club to receive the Final Four as well.

“To open a new decade dedicated to bringing the EuroLeague to new fans, we are proud to choose Cologne as our next Final Four host,” Jordi Bertomeu, President and CEO of Euroleague Basketball, took out. “After Prague in 2006, Paris in 2010 and London in 2013, we again bring the continent’s biggest basketball event to a new place where our sport has thrived so that fans there can see the best basketball in Europe where they live. At the same time, we could not have chosen a better arena or a more vibrant, welcoming city for the many fans who will travel to the Final Four from around the world.”
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Τhe Top 10 EuroLeague salaries of 2019-20

It’s time to present the Top 10 EuroLeague salaries of the upcoming season and set the record straight on many reports about European salaries

Νikola Mirotic, FC Barcelona 5,400,000 $

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Mirotic’s contract is a matter of debate all over the world, from the initial reports about a seven-year deal. Longtime Barcelona journalists Jose Ignacio Huguet presented a great analysis of the contract situation at “Mundo Deportivo”. According to Eurohoops sources, Mirotic will be paid on average $5,4 million annually during the four years of his deal.

However, even if you take into account the lowest number mentioned in Huguet’s report ($4,4 m.), he still makes the top of the list. The fact remains that Mirotic’s contract is comparable only with the historic contract of Olympiacos with Josh Childress back in 2008. Childress signed a $20 million deal for three years, not including taxes, in an era where Greek taxation was friendly to athletes’ contracts. He received practically more than the equivalent of an NBA mid-level exception of that time and reportedly turned his back on a $36 million offer from Atlanta. It makes sense since if taxes are taken into account, the total offer of Olympiacos was at least two million higher and included the usual perks given to import players by European clubs, like paid accommodation and a car. So Mirotic’s deal with Barcelona is practically almost the same as the reported $45 million offer he had on the table from the Utah Jazz. As for the 70 million for seven years rumor, according to Madrid’s media, it was the initial asking price from the side of the player. Still, he got pretty much what he wanted and a contract which is currently at the top two of the All-Time deals in Europe.

Alexey Shved, Khimki Moscow Region 4,000,000 $

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Since his return from the NBA to Khimki Moscow Region in 2015, he was sitting on the thrown of the highest-paid played n Europe. His second contract in 2017 raised the bar even higher and only the record deal of Nikola Mirotic surpassed him this year.

Shved is a household name in Russia, one of the biggest EuroLeague and VTB United League stars, so this number makes sense. It has to be noted that this is the last season of his deal and it remains to be seen if he will get one more record deal next summer. The fact that Russia’s taxation is much more manageable compared to other parts of Europe, doesn’t hurt his chances for a raise since he is Khimki’s cornerstone.

Edy Walter Τavares, Real Madrid 3,000,000 $

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After being a mid-season addition last year and ultimately emerging as the starting center of Real Madrid, Eddy Walter Tavares got paid. His contract is also rare since it’s a five-year deal. Contracts that last more than three years – usually including opt-out clauses – are unusual in Europe, unless they are offered to young NBA prospects with a much, much more modest salary.

Tavares essentially will get $15 million in the next five seasons. For the shake of comparison, that would mean a $30 million, five year deal in the NBA, where Tavares in two seasons made just $2 million, including taxes.

Nando De Colo, Fenerbahce BEKO 2,600,000 $

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The EuroLeague champion with CSKA Moscow who since his return to Europe in 2014 remains one of the top players of the old continent wanted a change of scenery. His initial goal was an NBA return, where the Raptors are still holding his rights, he was mentioned as a Real Madrid target, but when Fenerbahce lost Marko Guduric, they moved fast and secured his services on a two-year deal.

Practically De Colo kept the same status he had with CSKA Moscow and pretty much the same salary. So it’s a win-win situation for him, even if he had to put aside his NBA aspirations. If the Raptors wanted to match what Fenerbahce offered him, they should have given him a $5 million annual salary.

Nick Calathes, Panathinaikos 2,550,000 $

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The leader of Panathinaikos remains on the upper echelon of the EuroLeague salaries and he has two seasons left on his current contract. Considered the best pure point guard in Europe, Calathes gets almost one million more compared to the second-highest-paid player of Panathinaikos, who is Jimmer Fredette.

Yes, Fredette’s two-year contract will pay him $1,65 million annually, of course not including taxes. Panathinaikos paid up in order to create one of the most intriguing backcourt duos in Europe and it remains to be seen what will be the on-court result.

Jan Vesely, Fenerbahce BEKO 2,430,000 $

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Jan Vesely managed to be the EuroLeague MVP and also couldn’t finish the season on a high note due to his injuries. However, he also has two years left on his deal with Fenerbahce, which made him once of the highest-paid players in Europe.

Vesely in Europe has emerged as a totally different player compared to his three seasons in the NBA. Practically he changed his position, playing almost exclusively as a center. The fact that he is just one of the three front line players on the Top 10 of salaries, speaks volumes about his status in the EuroLeague.

Sergio Llull, Real Madrid 2,200,000 $

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The longtime star of Real Madrid will probably go down to the basketball history annals as the last big European star who elected to stay in Europe and never give to the NBA a chance.

His contract ends in 2021 when he will be 33 years old and while the idea of the NBA may still be on the back of his mind, it seems safe to say that the window has closed. Of course, if you want to keep a player like Llull away from the NBA, you have to pay him handsomely and that’s exactly the case here.

Sergio Rodriguez, AX Armani Exchange Milano 2,000,000 $

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Sergio Rodriguez had the option to stay in CSKA Moscow for one more year and a $ 2,5 million salary. He decided to leave and the alternative was not shabby at all. “Chacho” is the new leader of Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan with a three-year contract which will pay him in total a little more than $ 6,5 million.

So he remains in the elite, he has a new challenge ahead of him under coach Ettore Messina and while being 33 years old, he is still one of the top point guards in Europe.

Alex Abrines, FC Barcelona 2,000,000 $

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His return to basketball is the feel-good story of this summer and of course, he felt safer playing at his home country. At 25 years of age, he is by far the youngest player of this list and that demonstrates not only his potential but also his current rank in European basketball.

Considering his presence in the NBA – which was not spectacular, but solid – the fact that he is among the top paid perimeter players in the EuroLeague is not a surprise. Plus, local talent always gets a premium, due to the domestic league rules that demand a specific number of local players on each roster.

Kostas Sloukas, Fenerbahce BEKO 2,000,000 $

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Kostas Sloukas was one of the most coveted free agents in Europe and he finally decided to stay put in Fenerbahce. That’s his third contract with the Turkish club since he decided to leave Greece and Olympiacos back in 2015 and the biggest on his career so far.

Considering the fact that he is 29 years old and he is on his prime, it’s only natural that he got such a deal since his club was informed that he will use the opt-out clause in his contract and test the market. However, despite having similar offers from other teams, he elected to remain in Fenerbahce.

Corry Ηiggins, FC Barcelona 2,000,000 $

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After four seasons in CSKA Moscow and two EuroLeague titles, Higgins will be part of the “superteam” created by Barcelona. The Catalans are paying up big this summer and they are together with Fenerbahce the only two teams with three players each on this list, while Real Madrid follows with two.

Higgins has proven in CSKA that he can be an efficient part of a unit that includes other top players, but this is also his chance to shine. The general consensus around Europe is that Higgins was somewhat underappreciated and stayed in the shadow of Nando De Colo. In Barcelona that will not be the case. He is the only US import on the Top10 since Calathes has dual citizenship and he is also Greek.
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Panathinaikos announced the signing of Wesley Johnson

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Wesley Johnson is officially the new member of the Greens

Panathinaikos OPAP announced the addition of Wesley Johnson, confirming the earlier reports.

Per Panathinaikos:

Panathinaikos BC OPAP announces the one-year agreement with Wesley Johnson.

Wesley JaMarr Johnson, who was born in July 11, 1987, played college basketball for Syracuse University and Iowa State University. He was selected with the fourth overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

In high school, he averaged 15.2 points, 9.7 rebounds and 4.3 blocks as a senior at Corsicana High School. He was a first-team all-district pick in 2004 and 2005. He also played for the Dallas Mustangs AAU team.

As a freshman at Iowa State, Johnson was named to the Big 12 all-Rookie team and earned honorable mention freshman All-America honors after averaging 12.3 points and 7.9 rebounds, starting 30 of 31 games.

Johnson missed five games and played with an injured ankle throughout the majority of the season. He still was named an honorable mention all-Big 12 selection after averaging 12.4 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. Johnson scored 20 points behind a 5-of-11 effort from 3-point range against eventual NCAA Champion Kansas.

He made the decision to transfer following the 2008 season, and selected Syracuse.

Johnson became a starter for the Orange in his first year with the team. He was named Big East Player of the Year on March 9, 2010, finishing with season averages of 16.0 points and 8.4 rebounds.

On April 12, 2010, Johnson declared himself eligible for the NBA draft, forgoing his final year of college eligibility.

Johnson was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the 4th pick in the 2010 NBA draft. On March 18, 2011, Johnson scored a career-high 29 points on 11-for-21 shooting in a loss against the Los Angeles Lakers.

On July 27, 2012, Johnson was traded to the Phoenix Suns in a three-team deal. In his first game with the Suns, Johnson scored a three-pointer in a close victory against the Detroit Pistons. On March 1, 2013, Johnson scored a season high 15 points and added six rebounds and two steals in a 92–87 victory against the Atlanta Hawks.

On July 15, 2013, Johnson signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. In his first season with the Lakers, Johnson averaged career highs in points, rebounds, steals and blocks. On November 29, 2013, Johnson recorded 27 points, along with 6 rebounds and 3 blocks, in a 106–102 victory against the Detroit Pistons. He tallied four double-doubles over the course of the season, a career high. On July 28, 2014, Johnson re-signed with the Lakers on a one-year deal.

On July 9, 2015, Johnson signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Clippers and on July 8, 2016, he re-signed with the Clippers.

On October 15, 2018, he was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Alexis Ajinça.

On February 7, 2019, Johnson was traded to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Markieff Morris and a 2023 second-round pick.
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Probably one of the best upcoming season in the history of Euroleague.
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Yep.But EuroLegue is pretty easy and there are some teams that are on top
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Olympiacos parts ways with David Blatt

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Olympiacos announced the departure of David Blatt from the team on Sunday.

Olympiacos announced the end of their co-operation with coach David Blatt after one season.

The team’s discouraging performance against ASVEL in the EuroLeague opener added up to a peculiar season, thus it was decided that they will go on with a different coach in the bench.

“After a long and respectful talk between the team owners and me, we decided to part ways for the best interest of both sides. The time I spent in Greece with Olympiacos had substance and meaning. I feel grateful for the people and the family I found in here. I have nothing but respect for the administration, the players, the staff that I enjoyed working with and I wish them the best”, commented Blatt upon his departure.

Kestutis Kemzura will serve as the team’s interim coach for the upcoming EuroLeague game against Valencia.
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Ayon out for a couple of weeks, Zubkov for months

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Bad news for Zenit Saint-Petersburg, Gustavo Ayon and Andrey Zubkov.

Zenit Saint-Petersburg updated both Gustavo Ayon’s and Andrey Zubkov’s injury status on Monday via announcement. The 34-year-old center will remain out for one or two more weeks and the 28-year-old Russian forward will be sidelined for a few more months.

Ayon is out with a broken nose and is now awaiting for his facial mask. Afterwards will get back in action as soon as possible.

Zubkov’s medical test results on his adductor strain are pending. However, the Russian club is already expecting him to be out for several months.

Both players were injured in Zenit’s EuroLeague opener against ALBA Berlin at Germany.
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Thinking about Baskonia ML. Khimki bought some interesting and well known players but their style is still the same and it's still all about Shved and his performance. When you have a player who has the freedom to do what he wants then you have a weak piece of the puzzle that helps other teams to analyze or at least to neutralize that one piece of the puzzle. So if Baskonia will be able to stop the Shved or Shved will have a bad shooting performance there is a lot of chance for Baskonia to fight for the victory. And the odds just great @2.80 Bet365
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Jordi Bertomeu: We cannot be contaminated by what happens in domestic leagues

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What happens in domestic leagues, stays at domestic leagues for Bertomeu.

EuroLeague CEO Jordi Bertomeu talked about the unprecedented decision of Olympiacos Piraeus to play only in continental games this season and not participate in any domestic competitions. Bertomeu said that the intention of EuroLeague is to not get involved in domestic league affairs.

“First of all, Olympiacos has to be read in terms of Greek problems. And as I said many months ago, we cannot be contaminated by what happens in domestic leagues. It’s a consequence of something going wrong in the Greek championship, and we don’t want to be involved. We don’t see this as an example, and not even a trend, for our clubs,” Bertomeu said when asked about the decision of Olympiacos in a press conference held in Tel Aviv, per EuroLeague Basketball. The presser was held also as a celebration of Maccabi legendary president Shimon Mizrahi’s 80th birthday.

Bertomeu added the following regarding EuroLeague’s relation with domestic leagues: “The fact that we stay at 18 teams and don’t go forward and expand to more than 18 is because 18, in our opinion, is a good balance between our distribution in the European territory, the quality of the teams, and compatibility with the domestic leagues. So if we would want to go further, it’d probably be a situation where our clubs would not be able to play their domestic leagues. If this happens, and when, is something that no one knows. And of course, I do not know.”

When asked about David Blatt’s departure from Olympiacos and his legacy, Bertomeu mentioned the following: “David is one of the most amazing persons that I’ve met in my short history in European basketball. In these 20 years, David impressed me many times. Of course as a coach, but last time we talked we only talked about how much he impressed me as a person. I think he’s a guy who’s teaching us all how to face not only difficulties but how to understand basketball in ways that go beyond the sport. It’s something that, to me, the way he can communicate – probably other colleagues have a similar vision – but the way he’s able to communicate these values is unique. Of course, we are not happy that he’s not on our courts, coaching a team, but that’s something that belongs to his personal life. Our duty as a league is to be sure that his conditions and everything goes in the right way. And, of course, while he’s not on the court, we miss him very much.”
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