After retaining the EuroLeague title, Anadolu Efes is hoping to enter the European basketball pantheon.
Should the Turkish side celebrate the three-peat, they join ASK Rigas and KK Split as the third team in history with such an achievement.
It is a fact that this will not be easy. Nevertheless, this off-season is getting better and better for Anadolu Efes. The most pleasant news for the Turks is their success in keeping the championship-winning core together.
The two top players Shane Larkin (averaging 14.7 points and 5.3 assists last season) and Vasilije Micic (averaging 18.2 points and 4.6 assists) are not going anywhere, making Anadolu Efes a favorite to win all titles next season.
Especially for the two-time EuroLeague Final Four MVP, this summer has been a roller-coaster, as he was highly anticipating an NBA opportunity. The fact that both Micic and Larkin are staying is music to head coach Ergin Ataman’s ears.
The departure of players like Chris Singleton, James Anderson and Adrien Moerman are considered harmless for the team chemistry.
On the contrary, Anadolu Efes has already signed four players. EuroLeague star forward Will Clyburn (averaging 14.9 points and 5.2 rebounds last year with CSKA Moscow) has joined the roster.
Furthermore, former Maccabi Tel Aviv center Ante Zizic (averaging 12.2 points and 5 rebounds) has also signed with the reigning champions, along with Achille Polonara and Amath M’Baye.
These additions will certainly provide even more talent to the team. Coach Ataman has to put the pieces together in order to celebrate the three-peat. I think he is more than capable and experienced to do so.
For its part, the roster is pretty good at the moment. It is up to the players now to do their best to return to the Final Four, which is expected to take place in Istanbul, and make their fans happy for the third year in a row.