It was worthy of being called ‘epic’. The highly anticipated 2023 free agency period was filled with news that shocked fans on a daily basis. In addition to the reunion of a basketball film duo, there were also teams that formed one of the greatest ‘super teams’ in history.
This article was published in the June issue of Jump Ball, a specialised basketball magazine, and reflects only the results of free agency.메이저사이트
IN_Yang Woo-seop, Choi Won-hyuk (re-signed), Oh Se-geun
OUT_Jun-yong Choi, Sung-won Choi
Retired_Jang Moon-ho, Jeon Jeon-joon
SK deserves an A+ for their resourcefulness in free agency. Despite losing key contributors Choi Jun-yong and Choi Sung-won, they managed to acquire the best big men in the KBL. SK added Oh Se-geun, who had haunted them in the championship until early May, to build a team that could contend for the title again next season. Oh is now a veteran in his late 30s, but he’s still one of the best big men in the league. He wasn’t a compensated free agent, so there was no hemorrhaging of cap space. Kim Sun-hyung, who was named the playoff MVP in the 2021-2022 season after winning the championship, is also healthy. Kim Sun-hyung and Oh Se-geun, who won the playoff MVP in each of the two seasons, will play on the same team. They are also the duo that led Chungang University to a 52-game winning streak. With Choi holding down the fort as a backup, Oh has a fresh start with minimal pressure on his playing time. Choi Joon-yong’s place as a lubricant in the defence will be filled by Ahn Young-joon, who will be discharged from the army.
IN_Choi Jun-Yong, Lee Ho-Hyun
Despite being dubbed the ‘big guns of the free agency market’, not many expected KCC to spend a fortune in 2023. Last year, KCC invested heavily in Lee Seung-hyun and Heo Woong to bolster the squad, which resulted in a salary cap exhaustion rate of 108.65 per cent. After seemingly pulling out of the free agency market by offering Lee Ho-hyun an above-market price for their No. 1 reinforcement, KCC created a whirlwind at the end of the free agency period. Shortly after SK’s signing of Oh Se-geun was officially announced, they contacted Choi Jun-yong to bolster their ranks again. Choi only made 26 appearances last season, but when he was healthy, he proved to be a force to be reckoned with in the league. His versatility will be a big boost for KCC, who are still unsettled at the top of the order. Despite the salary cap being saturated, KCC’s track record of investing in their basketball team suggests that there will be no major bleeding. They already have Lee Seung-hyun and Heo Woong, Ragan-ah, Choi Jun-yong, and Song Kyo-chang, who is about to be discharged from the military. In name only, KCC has become one of the best ‘super teams’ in KBL history.
IN_Jung In-duk (re-signed), Yang Hong-seok
OUT_Kim Jun-il, Shin Min-soo
LG’s eyes were set on one man. It was Yang Hong-seok, whom coach Cho Sang-hyun strongly requested at the end of the season to bolster the forward line-up. Although his performances last season were below expectations, Yang is still a ‘young blood’ who is only in his mid-20s. He has already shown that he can be the centrepiece of a team, being named in the top five twice in his debut. Hyundai Mobis also expressed interest, but LG spent big to sign Yang as a boost to coach Cho Sang-hyun, who led the team to a regular season runner-up finish in his first season in charge. The signing of Yang Hong-seok is not only a good move for the present, but also for the future. The midfielder is scheduled for military service after the 2023-2024 season. After his military service, the team is ready to rebuild with Yang Hong-seok and Yang Jun-seok. In addition, Kim Jun-il has left the team, but the gap will be minimised by Park In-tae and Park Jung-hyun, who will be discharged from the military next season. LG also re-signed Jung In-duk, who has been doing the dirty work, to take some of the pressure off Yang Hong-seok. It remains to be seen who KT will name as compensation for Yang Hong-seok, but it’s been a successful offseason for LG in terms of balancing the roster position by position.
IN_Han Hee-won (re-signed), Moon Sung-gon
Just as LG went all-in on Yang Hong-seok, KT went all-in on Moon Sung-gon. Along with Heo Hoon, Yang Hong-seok was expected to be the future of KT, but in the end, the team failed to win a championship. Seeing the need for a change, KT brought in Moon Sung-gon, a completely different type of player from Yang Hong-seok, to change the team’s colours. The logic of the market is that when there is competition, the price will naturally rise. Moon was also a priority for SK before they signed Oh Seong-geun. Despite paying more than expected, KT, which had failed to sign Dae-er several times in the past, paid a lot of money for Moon to avoid repeating their mistakes. As most of the main players are young and Heo Hoon’s salary does not count against the salary cap, there was less pressure on the salary cap. With Heo, Moon, Sung-gon, and Ha, KT also retained backup power by re-signing Han Hee-won, who was highly sought after by many teams.
Goyang Day One_B-
IN_Kim Min-wook, Ham Jun-hoo
Kim Min-wook, in particular, was like a ‘sore finger’ for Kim Seung-ki. Although he was traded due to internal circumstances during his time at KGC, Kim tried to bring him back several times afterwards. A trade didn’t work out, but the pair reconnected through free agency. Kim Min-wook also received offers from teams with big man resources, but he wanted a team that would give him more opportunities to play. Ham Jun-hoo, who played the fewest games since his debut last season (five), was also reunited with Kim Seung-ki, with whom he had a priestly relationship during their time at KGC, and lit the final spark. In truth, it’s not so much about giving the team a grade for reinforcements in the free agent market. I’m hoping something happens to give them an A+ for their acquisition negotiations.