LG Brings in Hong-Seok Yang, More Importantly, Holds on to Maray-Cunningham

Changwon LG’s current challenge is to re-sign two foreign players.

Changwon LG exceeded expectations in the 2022-2023 season. After being favored to miss the playoffs, the team finished second in the regular season and qualified for the best-of-four playoffs. Much of the credit goes to LG head coach Cho Sang-hyun’s control of the team and the change in mindset of the players.

However, without the contributions of foreign players, no team can perform well. LG was no different. Asem Marei (202 cm, C) and Dante Cunningham (203 cm, F) played their roles well and made a positive difference for LG.

Marray has done his part as the first option foreign player. Despite playing less minutes in 2022-2023 (24:49 per game) than he did in 2021-2022 (30:54 per game), he averaged 15.0 points, 12.5 rebounds (4.3 offensive), 2.0 assists, and 1.8 steals.

He also contributed in ways that don’t show up on the stat sheet. He drew collaborative defense with post-ups and paint-zone battles, then passed to the open man. His presence alone created derivative options, and his wide defensive range, high defensive activity, and thorough boxing out formed the foundation of LG’s fast break offense.

While Mariota was the primary option out wide, Cunningham ensured Mariota’s rest with his savvy and quickness in transition. Despite playing just 15 minutes per game, Cunningham averaged 8.0 points, 5.1 rebounds (1.5 offensive), and 1.1 assists per game, providing excellent value for money. And when Marray went down with an injury, Cunningham was just as disruptive as the 1 option.

LG head coach Cho Sang-hyun said during the season, “I’ve been very blessed since my first season. The two foreign players fulfilled the coaching staff’s orders well and spent most of the time without major injuries. The affinity and synergy with the domestic players was also good,” he said, giving a thumbs-up to the presence of the two foreign players. To that extent, Maray and Cunningham made a significant contribution to LG.

Meanwhile, after the 2022-2023 season, LG set out to bolster its roster. They brought in the pieces they needed in free agency. LG selected Yang Hong-seok (195 cm, F). With a five-year contract and KRW 750 million in total compensation for 2023-2024, the team signed the versatile shooter and rebounder.

The addition of Yang could boost LG’s power. But LG’s biggest challenge lies elsewhere. Holding onto Marray and Cunningham.

When Marray and Cunningham can anchor the lineup, as they did in the 2022-2023 season, LG’s strengths can shine through. When Marray and Cunningham are the foundation of the team, the homegrown players can carry the team colors.

That’s why the LG administration and coaching staff want to re-sign the two foreign players. They are looking at it positively. In addition, the two foreign players are so close that one of them said during the season, “I wish we could go to the EASL together.” Why LG’s reunion with Marey-Cunningham is still a green light.

Of course, there are variables. One is that Marray’s stock has risen, and other leagues may value him more highly. His departure could hurt LG, so the team needs to be on its best behavior by 5 p.m. on May 31. May 31 at 5 p.m. is the deadline set by the KBL for clubs to re-sign foreign players 메이저놀이터.

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