Sportando's David Pick sheds light on Keith Langford (193-G/F-83, college: Kansas)'s NBA and European offers, problems with Khimki Moscow, conversations with Ettore Messina, text messages with David Blatt, interest from Barcelona and Malaga, committing to Fenerbahce Ulker and how he ended up in Milano.
Nearly three months ago, after capitalizing an outstanding Adriatic League title and Final Four Most Valuable Player honors, Maccabi Tel Aviv executives reached out to Nick Lotsos, Keith Langford's Greek-American agent. "We want Keith to play for Maccabi for the next two season."
Langford, a former NCAA noteworthy Jayhawk and until recent -- most abhorrent guard in Europe -- looked to keep hooping in Israel.
The two sides' agreement stated Langford would earn an estimated $1.1 million next season. Problem was, due to Langford's triple title season (Adriatic League champion, Israeli League champion and Israeli League Cup holder), his outstanding Euroleague run, and the fact that his market value was increasing quickly, Langford preferred to test free agent waters and declined Maccabi's two year, $2 million proposal.
According to Tel Aviv's first bid, the 28-year-old Langford would earn $800,000 next season and $1.2 million during the 2013-14 season.
Firstly, when joining Maccabi in October 2011, Langford's stint in Israel looked far from promising. After overcoming a torn MCL in his right knee, Langford played spotty backup minutes so that Jordan Farmar, Theodoros Papaloukas and Euroleague rookie Yogev Ohayon could get a breather. Maccabi fans felt cheated by Langford's poor performances.
Yet with the NBA lockout ending, Farmar returned to the United States and Langford found his rhythm, blossoming into one of the most dominant guards throughout Europe, en route to leading Tel Aviv to the Elite 8 Euroleague playoffs series versus Greek giant Panathinaikos.
Despite the Greeks clinching a 3-2 series victory, the left-handed Langford topped his regular Euroleague season numbers with 13.4 points, 2.4 boards and 2.4 dimes per game while toying with elite European defenders in Dimitris Diamantidis, Nick Calathes and Romain Sato.
The versatile explosive guard recorded Euroleague season averages of 11 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game and would raise his scoring and rebounding figures in the Israeli competition to season highs of 14.2 points and 4 boards per contest.
While other European teams took firm interest in Langford, Lotsos told Maccabi to upped their bidding. After a number of team management meetings, Tel Aviv owner Danny Federman and Chairman Shimon Mizrahi decided to raise their offer by an extra $100,000. After consulting Lotsos, Langford turned it down.
However, the European market was moving slow and Langford's "problematic" history with Russian organization Khimki Moscow began to haunt him. "Teams were asking for a detailed desc ription about Keith's situation in Moscow. They wanted to know what happened, and his (harmful) history started catching up," said one source close to the player. In addition, "Teams looked for details on Keith's interaction on and off the court in Tel Aviv," said another source.
In March 2011, Langford signed a two year contract extension with Khimki, worth a guaranteed $4.5 million, only to have it vetoed during September that year. The former Russian League All-Star dealt not only with several season injuries, but with animosity from Khimki as well.
"People were curios to know what happened in Russia," Langford told Sportando from his home in Austin, Texas. "Every team asked about my history with Khimki, including a few NBA teams. It didnt have an effect in the long run, but it intimidated some people. They became more cautious," he said.
Undisclosed NBA teams that had Langford on their recruiting radar asked for a background desc ription on his European history. Langford's NBA interest included several NBA Summer League invites and two partial guaranteed offers from two Eastern Conference Playoffs organizations. One of them causing Langford, a two time Big 12 Conference regular season champion, to seriously consider. "He was really thinking of accepting one of the NBA offers, but at this point in his career he decided to keep climbing the European ladder," said the first source.
That said, Langford's Euroleague interest began to heat up after a phone call conversation between (then) Los Angeles Lakers' Consultant Ettore Messina and Lotsos. "Langford is a name that really interest me. Let's open negotiations after I officially sign with CSKA Moscow," said Messina.
Later on, Langford understood that Messina and CSKA were building around Serbian point guard Milos Teodosic (also Lotsos' client). Knowing Teodosic's style of play and amount of ball handling he requires, Lotsos thought it be best if Langford found his own niche.
After netting 17 points in the Israeli Semi-finals victory over Hapoel Holon on May 22nd, Langford was the last player to leave Nokia Arena. Around 00:20am, some 80 minutes after the final buzzer sounded, Langford was showered with love by dozens of young Maccabi supporters while heading to his Nissan Qashqai vehicle.
The multitalented scorer appreciated the yellow-and-blue support and paid the same respect to David Blatt throughout the summer. "Blatt and I spoke a number of times this summer," said Langford. "He's dealt with situations like these before and he was real relaxed. After finalizing things with Milano, I texted him and thanked him for everything he's helped me with this past season. He wished me the best of luck," Langford commented.
During the first weeks of June, Spanish Barcelona Regal was looking to make a move for the nifty combo guard and had scheduled a post season meeting in Spain with Lotsos. However, later that month, Langford was required to inform Maccabi on whether or not he would extend his contract. With time running out and Barcelona unwilling to make a decision, Langford moved on.
Then, Lotsos received notice from a Spanish area code. Unicaja Malaga representatives were on the other line asking, "What would it take for Keith to wear green next season?"
The mid-level Euroleague team would fail to land Langford and after negotiating with most of the Turkish Euroleague teams, in addition to Italian Armani Milano, Langford verbally committed to Fenerbahce Ulker last week.
Here comes the turning point.
Langford's people called Milano's General Manager Gianluca Pascucci and had thanked him for their offer, adding that they were going in a different direction. The thought of reuniting head coach Sergio Scariolo and Langford wasn't one the Italians were willing the pass out on. According to team sources, "Milano offered Langford almost $500,000 more than their final proposal."
"We believed Keith was going to end up in Turkey," sources with information of the player's deal said. "His decision came down to one of those two teams being the best fit, and he was going to go to Turkey. Fenerbahce made it a difficult choice but it was a last second mind changing decision and Milano made the deal much sweeter," added the source.
After signing his multi-year, $3.2 million contract, Langford had coach Scariolo's cellular number locked into his phone and reached out to the Italian. "I didnt talk to coach Scariolo until after I signed the paperwork on Saturday. I called him and said 'let's get going," he said.
Along with newly acquired Richard Hendrix, Langford hopes "Malik (Hairston) stays," and "Builds a team that is ready to compete for the Euroleague final four."
Langford will arrive in Milan, Italy, sometime within the next week for physical evaluations.
Dario Scodavolpe is a newcomer at Sestu - 1 hour ago
follow us on
Serie B newcomer Pirates Accademia Basket Sestu strengthened their roster with addition of experienced 34-year old swingman Dario Scodavolpe (193-83) from Virtus Valmontone. In 25 Serie B games he recorded very impressive stats: 18.6ppg, 3.4rpg and 3.0apg last season. The previous (14-15) season Scodavolpe played at Formia Meta. He has spent his entire career in Italy playing for eight other teams: Pavia Basket, Firenze Enic, Latina Basket, Riva del Garda, Rovereto, Ostuni, Tadino and Rie... [read more]
Serie B newcomer Pirates Accademia Basket Sestu strengthened their roster with addition of experienced 34-year old swingman Dario Scodavolpe (193-83) from Virtus Valmontone. In 25 Serie B games he recorded very impressive stats: 18.6ppg, 3.4rpg and 3.0apg last season. The previous (14-15) season Scodavolpe played at Formia Meta. He has spent his entire career in Italy playing for eight other teams: Pavia Basket, Firenze Enic, Latina Basket, Riva del Garda, Rovereto, Ostuni, Tadino and Rieti. The scouts decsribe him following way:
A physically strong swingman, who defends hard and can score.
Ludovico De Paoli is a newcomer at Lecco - 1 hour ago
follow us on
Basket Lecco (Serie B) strengthened their roster with addition of 25-year old power forward Ludovico De Paoli (207-97kg-92, agency: Two Points) from Etomilu Giulianova. In 16 Serie B games he recorded 6.8ppg and 4.9rpg this season. The last season De Paoli played at BCC Corvengenze Agropoli (Serie A). But in 21 games he averaged just 0.6ppg. He helped them to end the regular season as a second best team in the league. De Paoli represented Italy at the Albert Schweitzer International Tourn... [read more]
Basket Lecco (Serie B) strengthened their roster with addition of 25-year old power forward Ludovico De Paoli (207-97kg-92, agency: Two Points) from Etomilu Giulianova. In 16 Serie B games he recorded 6.8ppg and 4.9rpg this season. The last season De Paoli played at BCC Corvengenze Agropoli (Serie A). But in 21 games he averaged just 0.6ppg. He helped them to end the regular season as a second best team in the league. De Paoli represented Italy at the Albert Schweitzer International Tournament in Mannheim (Unofficial World Championships U18) seven years ago. He has played previously for six other teams: Benetton Treviso, Treviglio, Taranto, Riva del Garda, San Severo and Roma S.Azzurra. The scouts decsribe him following way:
A promising inside player who has talent and athletic skills to play even the 3 position if needed. He's very quick for his size and excels in grabbing offensive rebounds.
Best players of Italian Serie A2 round 17 - 2 hours ago
follow us on
American Jesse Perry (200-F-89) put on an amazing game in the last round for league's second-best Treviso Basket and that's him to receive a Eurobasket.com Serie A2 Player of the Week award for round 17. The 27-year old forward had a double-double of 24 points and fifteen rebounds, while his team edged out Mantova (#5, 10-7) 71-70. Treviso Basket maintains the 2nd position in their group in Italian Serie A2. They would have been even better if they hadn't lost a few games earlier this sea... [read more]
American Jesse Perry (200-F-89) put on an amazing game in the last round for league's second-best Treviso Basket and that's him to receive a Eurobasket.com Serie A2 Player of the Week award for round 17. The 27-year old forward had a double-double of 24 points and fifteen rebounds, while his team edged out Mantova (#5, 10-7) 71-70. Treviso Basket maintains the 2nd position in their group in Italian Serie A2. They would have been even better if they hadn't lost a few games earlier this season. Treviso Basket will need more victories to improve their 13-4 record. In the team's last game Perry had a remarkable 77.8% from 2-point range. He turned to be Treviso Basket's top player in his first season with the team. University of Arizona graduate has very impressive stats this year. Perry is in league's top in rebounds (4th best: 9.9rpg) and averages solid 51.6% FGP.
The second most remarkable performance in last round's games was 28-year old American forward DeShawn Sims (203-F-88) of Rieti. Sims impressed basketball fans with a double-double of 26 points and 10 rebounds. Bad luck as Rieti lost that game 82-87 to the higher-ranked Treviglio (#10, 8-8). The game was between two teams which are definitely not main contenders for the top position in West. Rieti keeps 13th position. His team is not often considered as one of the league's best with a mere 6-11 record. Sims is a newcomer at Rieti and it seems he did not have too much trouble to become one of team's leaders. He belongs to the best scorers in the league with 19.9ppg (#5). He also registered 7.3 boards per game.
The third best performed player last round was American Cristopher Mortellaro (207-F/C-82) of Chieti (#12). Mortellaro scored 15 points and grabbed seventeen rebounds (!!!). He was a key player of Chieti, leading his team to a 83-74 win against slightly lower-ranked Bondi Ferrara (#13, 6-11). The chances of Chieti not to end season at such low position in East, however are less than slim as they have already lost 10 games, recording just six victories. With bigger assistance of his teammates, Mortellaro could try to bring Chieti's a little bit higher in the standings. Mortellaro has a very solid season. In 16 games in Italy he scored 14.1ppg. He also has 8.9rpg and FGP: 60.1%. Cristopher Mortellaro has also Italian passport and can play in the league with a status of domestic player.
Other top performing players last week: 4. Mike Myers (206-F-92) of Mens Sana 1871 - 27 points and 12 rebounds 5. Mike Hall (203-F-84) of Angelico Biella - 19 points and 17 rebounds 6. Timothy Bowers (188-PG-82) of Jesi - 23 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists 7. Jalen Reynolds (208-F-92) of Recanati - 20 points and 14 rebounds 8. Glenn Cosey (183-PG-92) of Tortona - 23 points, 5 rebounds and 8 assists 9. Angelo Gigli (209-F/C-83) of FCM Ferentino - 17 points and 13 rebounds 10. Taylor Smith (199-F/C-91) of Ravenna - 17 points and 11 rebounds
The Player of the week is chosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc. The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy. The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3* (REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4* (2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3* (2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3* (3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)
Copyright (c) 1998-2017 Eurobasket Inc. Disclaimer
Do not copy, redistribute, publish or otherwise exploit information that you download from the site !
Do not encumber, license, modify, publish, sell, transfer or transmit, or in any way exploit, any of the
content of the site, nor will you attempt to do so.