Will pro basketball’s ‘new recruit farming’ work?

The 2023-2024 professional basketball season kicks off on October 21. The 10 teams are reorganizing their rosters and training hard for the upcoming season. There are also changes in the composition of foreign players.

Three teams – KGC Ginseng, SK, and LG – will continue with two existing foreign players next season. Hyundai Mobis re-signed one (Gage Prim). The rest of the teams will be pairing up with new foreign players. They are largely divided into veterans and rookies who are new to the Korean League. 스포츠토토 KOGAS signed Isaiah Hicks and Anthony Moss from Samsung. On the other hand, KT’s two foreign players (Paris Bass and Mike Eric) are rookies who have never played in the Korean League.

A “half-and-half” combination of domestic league experience and rookies is the norm. Sono signed Jarrod Jones, who played for KT last season, and rookie Anthony Bennett. Bennett has attracted interest because he was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. KCC added rookie Alize Johnson as a partner to naturalized player Lagunia. DB brought in Dedrick Lawson, who played for Day One (Sono) last season, and rookie Garrison Brooks. Hyundai Mobis chose to keep the established Prim and rookie Kebe Aluma. Including Samsung’s Kofi Coburn, there are seven rookie foreign players making their Korean debut.

Foreign players are a big part of the roster. If they are selected well, they can exceed expectations, and if they are selected poorly, they can have a negative impact and create a dissonance with the domestic players. A player with experience in the domestic league has the advantage of being proven and understanding the Korean players and the Korean professional basketball. This means there is less risk. On the other hand, a foreign player who is new to the domestic league needs time to prove himself and integrate into the organization, but has the advantage of being able to bring in a fresh breeze. That’s why clubs and managers prefer the ‘half-and-half’ combination.

“If Jones can guide Bennett, who is making his debut in the Korean professional basketball league, we can achieve a positive synergy,” said Sono head coach Kim Seung-ki.

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