The first sign of summer is here.
Maccabi Tel Aviv began yet another
rebuilding process on Tuesday, signing Georgian center Giorgi
The 23-year-old 2.16-meter giant joins from Italian club
Bennet Cantu after a breakthrough season, impressing especially in a pair of
Euroleague Top 16 games against Maccabi.
Shermadini averaged 10.9 points
and 5.5 rebounds over 16 Euroleague games as the backup center for Cantu,
registering 14.0 points, 7.5 boards and 3.0 assists against
“Shermadini is a very active player in the paint with a good
sense for offensive rebounds and with an excellent shot, both from mid-range and
the free-throw line,” a Maccabi press release read.
“He’s a superb
pick-and-roll player and has an impressive presence on defense.”
Shermadini can do even half of what Maccabi is building him up to be, the
yellow-and-blue has made an excellent deal.
The Georgian is expected to
carry a heavy load with Greek center Sofoklis Schortsanitis and Richard Hendrix
all but certain to leave after two seasons and fellow big-man Shawn James still
waiting to hear whether he’ll be back.
Even if James should continue,
Maccabi will want to bring in another center, preferably one in the mold of
Sofo, considering the lanky Shermadini and James could struggle to defend
Europe’s sturdier big-men.
Much of the rest of the rebuilding of the
roster will depend on the decision made by guard Keith Langford next
Maccabi has exercised its option to keep the American with the
team, but Langford can still buy-out his contract by next Friday for a
relatively low sum and take a better offer elsewhere.
Yogev Ohayon, Guy
Pnini, Devin Smith and Lior Eliyahu are all guaranteed to continue, while Yotam
Halperin looks certain to return home after four seasons
Maccabi’s biggest problem will be replacing David Blu, who
announced he is taking the next few months off to pursue media studies in the
Blu was not only a key cog in coach David Blatt’s teams, but he is
also an Israeli citizen and leaves a massive void.
stays, coach Blatt would have three more empty spots to fill on his roster, a
guard, forward and center.
All three could be foreigners, although Blatt
may also target a naturalized Israeli like Sylven Landesberg to try and fill