The prospects for next season are looking bleak for the last-place Seoul Samsung in the Korean Professional Basketball League. Despite the departure of key players, the team has not been able to secure a stable foreign player pool.

Based on the results of foreign player re-signings and free agent (FA) signings announced by the KBL on Thursday, the gap between the top and bottom teams from last season is expected to widen. Last-place Seoul Samsung failed to re-sign any foreign players, while fellow local team Seoul SK, which made it all the way to the championship game, retained both Jamil Warney, the reigning foreign MVP, and Leon Williams, the longest-serving foreign player.

Samsung’s recruiting efforts didn’t produce any results. Instead, they lost their leading guard to KCC in Lee Ho-hyun, who was considered a step up last season, averaging 8.28 points and 2.68 assists per game. They also tried to sign the biggest name in free agency, Choi Jun-yong, but were once again outbid by KCC. SK, on the other hand, is a strong favorite to win the title after acquiring championship MVP Oh Se-geun from KGC.

This leaves Samsung’s most pressing problem, their lackluster offense, seemingly unsolvable. Last season, Samsung averaged 74.3 points, 15.4 assists, and 6.8 three-pointers per game, all of which ranked last in the league. With no reinforcements, the team will have to rely on the development of its No. 1 overall draft pick for the second straight year in 2020.

Lee Won-seok, the No. 1 overall pick in 2021, was the team’s mainstay last season, averaging 9.49 points and 6.08 rebounds. However, his overall impact was disappointing as second-ranked KT’s Ha Yoon-ki and third-ranked Jumper’s Lee Jung-hyun exploded for MVP-caliber performances with 15.29 points, 6.35 rebounds, and 15.02 points and 4.23 assists, respectively, while “first high school graduate” Cha Min-seok averaged just 3.29 points in 14 games due to injury. For now, the growth and performance of these two players is Samsung’s only answer to breaking through.

A resurgent ace is also essential. With Lee Ho-hyun gone, the only legitimate point guard left is Kim Si-rae. However, last season, Kim was plagued by nagging injuries, averaging 7.04 points and 3.17 assists in 22:36 minutes, his worst performance since his rookie season.메이저놀이터

The club says it is exploring various options, including foreign players. “It’s not that we didn’t intend to sign players or that we didn’t make any moves,” a Samsung official told The Seoul Shinmun on Thursday. “We are not in a concrete stage yet, but we are comprehensively considering foreign players, Asian quotas, trades, and rookie selections,” the official said.

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