After a disappointing season in the EuroLeague, Anadolu Efes Istanbul has gone about spending big in the off season to re-load for 2018-19. Australian forward Brock Motum remains part of their plans, with team management taking up an option to bring back the 2016 Rio Olympian for one more year.
The 27-year-old signed a 1+1 deal (second year – club’s option) with the Turkish side last summer after two seasons in Lithuania with BC Zalgiris Kaunas, with the team taking up the second year option.
Motum averaged 8.7 points and 3 rebounds in 19 minutes across 29 EuroLeague games last season, yet was even more efficient in the Turkish Basketball League, posting 14.1 points and 3.8 rebounds in 27 minutes of action. In the Turkish league playoffs he played more minutes (30min), grabbed more rebounds (3.83) and had three times more assists (2.5 from 0.9) but scored less (8.2). Anadolu Efes won the Turkish Cup in February but finished last in the EuroLeague and was eliminated in Turkish league semifinals by Tofas Bursa. Yet Motum’s value and output increased throughout the season, gaining the confidence of the coaching staff and team management.
“I was a little skeptical initially moving to Istanbul, but it’s a great place and so many things to do and nice places to eat,” said Motum in speaking to The Pick and Roll during the middle of last season. “The people are great and really friendly and welcoming.”
Motum recently returned home to Australia after getting married in Italy. In looking to stay in shape and keep improving on his game in the off season, he has spent some time with the Brisbane Bullets who are coached by Australian Boomers head coach Andrej Lemanis.
“My family lives here, and this is where I live when I finish playing, so I come back in the off season just to rest,” said Motum recently in an interview with the NBL side.
Motum will soon head back to Istanbul, with a different mindset as his club reloads for a big season ahead.
Anadolu Efes’ budget increased by a whopping 25% comparing to last season, and their General Manager has not wasted any time in spending the cash injection. The Turkish club has already signed contracts with a host of new players, including Metecan Birsen, Sertac Sanli, Bugrahan Tuncer, Vasilije Micic, Rodrigue Beaubois, Adrien Moerman, James Anderson, Tibor Pleiss, and brought back Shane Larkin from NBA.
With significantly deeper roster than last season, Motum will have to continue to work hard to maintain his standing in the pecking order.