The 2022-2023 SKT Adot Professional Basketball regular league, which opened last October, has already entered the third round. Teams that did not achieve satisfactory results at the beginning of the season urgently need to change their strength. Replacing foreign players is the most immediate and easiest way to change the power. In the last 2-3 years, most teams have signed guarantee contracts with foreign players for a certain period (3 months or 3 rounds), so the replacement period tends to be much later than in the past.
Suwon KT, which is at the bottom with 7 wins and 13 losses, started to replace foreign players as soon as the guarantee period was met. Change both Landry Nnoko and Jei Anoshike at once. It is a winning move that contains the will of KT coach Seo Dong-cheol to create a new game. Head coach Seo Dong-chul, who was very disappointed with Laren’s defensive ability last season, initially recruited Eunnoko as an option to strengthen the team’s defense. As for the second option, it was planned to complement the strengths and weaknesses of the two players by choosing Anoshike to fill the points that Nnoko lacked, but as a result, this failed.
The first option that KT ambitiously recruited is Jerrod Jones (32, 206cm). Although he has no NBA experience, he is a veteran forward with strong bones in prestigious European leagues such as Italy, Turgiye, France, and Spain. He averaged 13.7 points and 7.7 rebounds in 34 games as a back-up to NBA player Jahil Okafor. Since the conversion to the free agent system, he has been a player who has been constantly receiving attention from KBL clubs and talked about ‘wouldn’t he come someday?’, but he finally came this time.
This season, he played in 4 games for Badalona, Spain 토토 (ACB), averaging 6.0 points and 4.0 rebounds, before signing a new contract with KT. He acts as a big man on defense, but his offense is practically a small forward. More than half of his shooting attempts are three-pointers. He also made 10.9 shots per game for China, 6 of which were 3-pointers. He is a player who mainly shoots outside, so he tends to fill records with his volume rather than his efficiency. Recruiting Jones can be said to be a choice that shows the concerns of director Seo Dong-cheol, who judged that it was difficult to utilize the space in using Ha Yoon-gi and Eunnoko at the same time.
The second option is center Lester Prosper (34, 210cm). He is a big man with a solid physique and control of the paint zone. He played in the Philippine (PBA) Commissioner’s Cup until recently. He averaged 28.7 points and 15.6 rebounds in 10 games. A naturalized Indonesian player, he scored 25 points against Laguna in a match against the Korean national team in the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers last year. Originally, he was an orthodox big man who rarely threw 3-pointers, but since 2018, when he continued his career in the Philippines, the frequency of 3-pointers has increased dramatically.
However, he is not a player with good efficiency for a big man, so he needs to play a lot of time to show a certain level of productivity. With Jones playing as the first option, it is unclear how productive Prosper, who will play for a short time, will be able to produce.
Prosper and Jones have already entered Korea and will be put into the game when the paperwork, such as transfer agreement and visa issuance, is completed.
If KT’s number of wins by replacing two foreign players at once has the expected effect, it is expected to affect other teams that are considering replacing foreign players.