Despite a disturbing tendency to allow teams to come back from big deficits, Brose Baskets still are overwhelming favorites to finish off their double-three-peat of Beko BBL and Top Four Cup titles. But Bamberg GM Wolfgang Heyder may face the biggest task yet in putting a team together for next season as more and more parts of his successful club appear to be on the move.
Power forward/center Markus Slaughter has been hearing rumors for months about heading to Spain – most specifically Real Madrid. And all arrows are pointing to center Tibor Pleiß heading to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
And now a report has come out that Bayern Munich is one of the players – along with teams from Spain – to be hunting Bamberg star PJ Tucker. That report came from mass daily Bild, which also said Bayern are trying to pry Defensive Player of the Year Anton Gavel away from Bamberg.
Heyder meanwhile said they will not let Tucker go so easily, being quoted in Bild as saying: “For him we will go to the absolute limit.”
One player often rumored as an option for Bamberg would be German talented big man Maik Zirbes. But the TBB Trier center is likely going to be too expensive, especially since he knows the next step of the BBL’s foreigner regulations makes him even more valuable.
In addition, the contracts of defensive specialist Karsten Tadda and up-and-coming playmaker Daniel Schmidt are also expiring for Bamberg. And there has yet to be talk about point guard Brian Roberts – who was only brought back before the season at the last second when floor general John Goldsberry was ruled out for the season and Roberts had not yet signed a contract.
Heyder and Bamberg have plenty of work ahead of them. Stay tuned.
Fellow semifinalists ratiopharm ulm have in the past two weeks re-signed two of their main pillars for the superb surprise season. Point guard Tommy Mason-Griffin signed on for the 2012-13 season and was followed with the same deal by forward Dane Watts.
Alba Berlin meanwhile are considering heavily what direction they want to go for next season after another season without a title.
“We have to completely analyze our elimination, leaving no stone unturned. You can only avoid mistakes in the future if you are honest in your talks,” Berlin GM Marco Baldi said in the Berlin Kurier.
Even though head coach Gordon Herbert has a contract for next season in the German capital, but the Canadian coach and the club have an option. Herbert said Berlin’s first round loss to s.Oliver Baskets was the “biggest disappointment in his coaching career” and he claimed full responsibility for Alba’s exit.
“Once the coaching question is resolved will the team be built,” said Baldi. “We would like to clear things up by mid-June.”
Playmaker DaShaun Wood, center Yassin Idbihi and young talent Joey Ney have contracts for next season while it appears likely that Bryce Taylor and Heiko Schaffartzik will be brought back, the report said.
EWE Baskets Oldenburg are looking to get back to the playoffs and they hope the re-signing of Robin Smeulders will help. The center signed for next season and joins fellow returnees Rickey Paulding (signed for two more years), Adam Chubb, Ronnie Burrell and Dominik Bahiense de Mello.
Fraport Skyliners are bringing back playmaker Devin Gibson as the club and 22-year-old agreed on a contract for next season with an option for the 2013-14 season. The Skyliners and Tim Ohlbrecht are reportedly working on keeping the German international in Frankfurt – with both sides apparently thinking about a two-year deal according to the Frankfurter Neue Presse.
American power forward Jason Cain will remain in Germany, signing on a two-year contract with BBC Bayreuth after spending last season with Eisbären Bremerhaven – his fifth year in Germany. Bayreuth also added 24-year-old Lithuanian small forward Arvydas Siksnius and extended by two years the contract with Kevin Hamilton.
And Phoenix Hagen kept their main man as 31-year-old Davin White has agreed to come back to Hagen after helping the Phoenix stave off relegation in the season finale against LTi Giessen. The WAZ newsite reported that the length of the contract is yet undetermined – with two years a possibility. White joins Zygimantas Jonusas in returning to the club as two of the team’s top leaders.
There has also been a couple of coaching moves in the Beko BBL.
Steven Kay took over as head coach at EnBW Ludwigsburg in December 2011 and kept the team in the top flight. And the 44-year-old American was rewarded with a contract for the 2012-13 season.
Björn Harmsen was unable to keep LTi Giessen 46ers in the BBL – they now are trying to stay in the league with a wild card – and that ended up costing the 29-year-old head coach his job. The coach and club agreed to resolve their contract for next season.