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Euroleague Arms Race Continues, Mulaomerovic signs

Euroleague Arms Race Continues, Mulaomerovic signs
Sep 25, 2006, 12:00 am
Greek and Euroleague powerhouse Olympiakos made a huge splash today in finalizing their roster with the addition of Croatian International Damir Mulaomerovic.

The 6-5 Mulaomerovic became the first player ever to lead the Greek league in both points and assists last season, averaging 21 points and 5 assists respectively for Panellinios Athens, shooting 48% from the field and 46% from behind the arc. His signing comes as a reaction to the serious Achilles injury suffered by Arvydas Macijuasksas last week, which will keep the Lithuanian sharpshooter out of action for the Reds for at least 4 months. Mulaomerovic was initially close to staying with Panellinios and then was already announced as being signed by PAOK Saloniki according to an announcement made by the club, but apparently never officially signed on the dotted line, something that obviously infuriates the club and it’s supporters. He will reportedly be paid around 700,000 Euro this season.

Just in terms of it’s budget and the ridiculous amount of signings it made this summer, Olympiakos has positioned itself early on as one of a handful of favorites for the Euroleague crown, along with rivals Panathinaikos, Spanish powerhouse Tau Vitoria, defending champs CSKA, and possibly Barcelona.

A recap of the incredible summer that Olympiakos had on the player market:

-Olympiakos started off the summer by signing Maccabi Tel Aviv head coach Pini Gershon to a two year, 1.8 million Euro (2.3 million dollar) contract.

-Former Ohio State combo guard Scoonie Penn followed him to Piraeus for near an identical contract as his new coach, nearly tripling his salary from last season, to 1.9 million Euro over two seasons.

-23 year old Alex Acker was surprisingly lured away from the Detroit Pistons for a salary in the ballpark of 1 million Euro, after catching the eyes of Gershon and the Maccabi Tel Aviv staff in 2005 as they sat right next to DraftExpress at the Las Vegas Summer League.

-Sofoklis Schortsianitis resigned with the Reds for multiple years, but preserved his chances to play for the Clippers in the future by insisting on a $500,000 NBA buyout. He signed a four year extension, and will be paid 500,000 Euro this season.

-Arvydas Macijauskas signed what is believed to be the 2nd largest contract in European basketball history (after Theodoras Papaloukas of CSKA), putting his signature down on a 4 year, 9 million Euro deal.

-Lost in the shuffle was the signing of American Henry Domercant (also possessing a valuable European passport courtesy of Bosnia), who signed for a reported 2 years, 1.6 million Euro.

-Big man Ryan Stack was signed to a two year contract for an undisclosed sum.

-Gerry McNamara signed a one year deal for what appears to be the most any undrafted American free agent receive this past summer, $250,000 (just ahead of JP Batista’s 225K from ULEB Cup bound Lietuvos Rytas). Because of Greek league restrictions on the number of Americans who can play in their domestic league, McNamara will likely only play in the Euroleague portion of Olympiakos’ schedule. With the type of depth he is competing with on the roster, it will be a surprise if he manages to significantly crack the team’s rotation on a consistent basis. Recent rumors in the Greek media say he will attempt to secure an Irish (and therefore an EU) passport thanks to his heritage.

-Panagiotis Vasilopoulos continues on the 2nd year of his 4 year contract for 1.1 million Euro total.

-Promising young Greek big man Yiannis Bourousis signed a 4-year contract over the summer for around 1 million Euro.

-Croatian International big man Andrija Zizic continues for a second season after averaging 8 points and 4 rebounds per game in the Euroleague.

All sums are reported in NET amounts, after taxes, as opposed to NBA contracts which are reported in GROSS amounts. European contract amounts can generally be doubled to reveal their equivalent in NBA terms, as they also usually include bonuses, housing, agent fees, a car and other amenities on top of the reported base salary.

Olympiakos Depth Chart

PG: Scoonie Penn / Christos Charissis/ Gerry McNamara
SG: Damir Mulaomerovic / Henry Domercant / Manolis Papamakarios
SF: Alex Acker / Panagiotis Vasilopoulos
PF: Ryan Stack / Andrija Zizic / Nikos Barlos
C: Sofoklis Schortsianitis / Yiannis Bouroussis

Injured: Arvydas Macijauskas (will return in January/February)

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