Despite having a guaranteed contract for next season, Guy Goodes (center) may have coached his final game for Maccabi Tel Aviv.
(photo credit: ADI AVISHAI)
While Hapoel Jerusalem and Hapoel Eilat are preparing for the BSL final, Maccabi Tel Aviv already made its first signing for next season on Sunday, announcing the addition of the Euroleague’s top scorer from 2014/15, Taylor Rochestie.
The current holder of the Alonzo Ford trophy was handed a two-year contract with an option for a third year.
The 29-year-old left-handed guard is coming off a breakout season at Russian club Nizhny Novgorod where he averaged a Euroleague-high 18.9 points per game. He did so extremely efficiently, hitting 52 percent of his shots from two-point range, 50% from beyond the arc and 92.5% from the foul line. Rochestie also averaged 5.7 assists per game (sixth in the Euroleague).
“I’m very excited and proud to be joining Maccabi Tel Aviv, not only to play basketball at the highest levels in Europe, but also to experience the country of Israel and play for the best fans in the world,” said Rochestie, who played with Israeli Gal Mekel last season.
“Maccabi has an amazing tradition. Everyone in Europe and the US knows it, and I’m ready for the big challenge. I’m well aware of the high level of expectations in Maccabi Tel Aviv; I’ve talked about it a lot with Tyrese Rice and Gal Mekel.”
Rochestie, who graduated from Washington State University, went undrafted in 2009 and has since played in Germany, Turkey, France, Spain, Italy and Russia.
“We are happy that Rochestie is joining the Maccabi family,” said head coach Guy Goodes, who seems set to remain at the club despite the shock exit in the BSL semifinals at the hands of Eilat last week.
“Taylor finished the season as one of the best point guards in the Euroleague. He has a lot of variety to his game offensively with a fantastic threepoint shot and the ability to create for others and to distribute important assists. He brings with him a lot of energy and he can contribute a lot to Maccabi.”
Rochestie’s addition in a contract believed to be worth in the region of one million dollars per season likely means Maccabi will part ways with fellow expensive American guard, Jeremy Pargo.
Only six players from the 2014/15 roster seem certain to continue for another season, with Americans Devin Smith and Brian Randle and Israelis Yogev Ohayon, Guy Pnini, Jake Cohen and Sylven Landesberg all under contract.
Sofoklis Schortsanitis, Marques Haynes, Joe Alexander and Nate Linhart will all leave, with Maccabi facing a struggle to keep center Alex Tyus, who is hoping to receive a more lucrative deal abroad.