Changwon LG’s current challenge is to re-sign two foreign players.

Changwon LG exceeded expectations in the 2022-2023 season. After being favourites to miss the playoffs, they finished second in the regular season and qualified for the best-of-four playoffs. Much of the credit goes to LG coach Cho Sang-hyun’s control of the team and the change in mindset of the players.

However, without the contribution of foreign players, no team can perform well. LG was no different. Asem Marae (202cm, C) and Dante Cunningham (203cm, F) played their roles well, which is why LG was able to make a positive difference.안전놀이터

Marray did his part as the first option foreign player. Despite playing less minutes in 2022-2023 (24:49 per game) than he did in 2021-2022 (30:54 per game), he averaged 15.0 points, 12.5 rebounds (4.3 offensive), 2.0 assists, and 1.8 steals.

His contributions that don’t show up on the stat sheet were also high. Inviting collaborative defence with post-ups or paint-zone battles, then passing to the open man. His presence alone created derivative options, and his wide defensive range, high defensive activity, and thorough boxing out formed the foundation of LG’s fast break offence.

While Marray was the primary option out wide, Cunningham ensured Marray’s rest time with his savvy and quickness in transition. Despite playing just 15 minutes per game, Cunningham averaged 8.0 points, 5.1 rebounds (1.5 offensive), and 1.1 assists, providing excellent value for money. And when Marray went down with an injury, Cunningham was just as disruptive as the 1 option.

LG head coach Cho Sang-hyun said during the season, “I’ve been very blessed since my first season. The two foreign players fulfilled the coaching staff’s orders well and spent most of the time without major injuries. Their affinity and synergy with the domestic players was also good,” he said, giving a thumbs-up to the presence of the two foreign players. As such, Maray and Cunningham made a significant contribution to LG.

Meanwhile, after the 2022-2023 season, LG set out to bolster its roster. They brought in the pieces they needed in free agency. LG selected Yang Hong-seok (195 cm, F). With a five-year contract and KRW 750 million in total compensation for 2023-2024, the team signed the versatile shooter and rebounder.

The addition of Yang could boost LG’s power. But LG’s biggest challenge lies elsewhere. Holding onto Marray and Cunningham.

When Marray and Cunningham can anchor the centre, as they did in the 2022-2023 season, LG’s strengths can shine through. When Marray and Cunningham set the foundation for the team, the homegrown players can carry the team colours well.

That’s why LG’s administration and coaching staff want to re-sign the two foreign players. They are looking at it positively. Moreover, the two foreign players are so close that they said during the season, “I wish we could go to the EASL together.” Why LG’s reunion with Maray-Cunningham is still a green light.

Of course, there are variables. One is that Marray’s stock has risen, and other leagues may value him more highly. His departure could hurt LG, so the team has until 5pm on 31 May to put its best foot forward. 5pm on 31 May is the deadline set by the KBL for clubs to re-sign foreign players.

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