EuroLeague Offseason Grades: Anadolu Efes

Anadolu Efes made several great moves ahead of the 2022-23 season after repeating their triumph in the EuroLeague for the second consecutive season. The Turkish powerhouse was able to hold most of its core intact and added depth and more star power this offseason.

More importantly, they revamped their veteran team with the likes of former EuroLeague Final-4 MVP Will Clyburn along with Maccabi‘s breakout star Ante Zizic. Both players are addressing issues the team had last year despite winning the EuroLeague title.

Even more important than adding to their core was the retention of Vasilije Micic and Shane Larkin, who will remain the vital well of creativity that they are for the Turkish giants throughout next season.

Efes lost veteran leaders like Chris Singleton, Adrian Moerman and Krunislav Simon, but added athleticism, energy, hustle and scoring ability with Clyburn, Zizic, Achille Polonara and Amath M’Baye.

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Moreover, they also re-signed key parts of last season’s squad like Tibor Pleiss, Bryan Dunston and back-up guards Rodrigue Beaubois and Dogus Balbay. Pleiss was crucial in the EuroLeague Final and next season will likely be Ante Zizic’s back-up.

Also, Ergin Ataman will be at the head coach position securing the continuity of success to the Istanbul club. Since Ataman returned to Efes, the club has made two EuroLeague final appearances and consecutive Final-4 appearances.

This offseason, an already successful team addressed their obvious lack of depth after the departure of six players. They added players with a strong presence around the rim, like Zizic and Clyburn, who can serve as a secondary playmaking option from the wing.

With Shane Larkin and Vasilije Micic, who was named Final-4’s MVP two consecutive seasons, remaining with the team, Efes kept its two primary shot creators that led the team in scoring and assisting.

Signings like Clyburn and Zizic will provide an extra dimension in the Efes’ offense. The Croatian center finished the past season with averages of 12.2 points and five rebounds in the EuroLeague.

He was vital in Maccabi‘s last two-month regular season in the EuroLeague that helped the team return to the playoffs for the first time in 8 years.

For the Turkish club, the only possible downside is obviously the loss of defensive versatility after parting ways with the likes of Chris Singleton and James Anderson. However, if the team can meet its standards in the offensive end, then it won’t matter.

Key Additions: Ante Zizic, Will Clyburn

Key Departures: Chris Singleton, James Anderson

Key Retentions: Shane Larkin, Vasilije Micic, Bryant Dunston

Grade: A+

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