With the Euroleague regular season coming to an end coinciding with the festive season, Nathan Jawai and Aleks Maric have found new teams and an opportunity to reignite their careers in Europe in 2015.
First it was 2014 FIBA World Championship representative Nathan Jawai who left Turkish Euroleague side Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul leading up to Christmas. His departure followed his club falling on difficult financial circumstances that resulted in the team having to shed some costly contracts. The fallout meant that 4 players, including Jawai who averaged 3.5 points and 2.2 rebounds across 6 games in Euroleague, agreed to part ways.
ISTANBUL, TURKEY - SEPTEMBER 24: Nate Jawai, #11 poses during the Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul 2014/2015 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Basketball Media Day at Abdi Ipekci Sports Hall on September 24, 2014 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Aykut Akici/EB via Getty Images)
For the imposing 2.08m, 120kg Jawai, deciding to leave Euroleague club Galatasaray was an opportunity to seek out a new club that needed his services immediately and a chance to play a key role with more court time. That opportunity came in the form of MoraBanc Andorra in the Spanish ACB. He arrives back in Spain after a stint with FC Barcelona in 2012/13 and is relishing the opportunity to finally receive an opportunity to play with a team that needs his interior size and presence.
"After a while without basketball what interests me is to play" - Nathan Jawai.
Aleks Maric of Maccabi Tel-Avi - Courtesy Euroleague
Reigning Euroleague champions Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv decided not to renew Aleks Maric's contract, leaving the 2.11m center as a free agent on Boxing Day. Maric's deal in Israel was only signed under a short term contract to help cover key injuries earlier in the season. With the key players back, his opportunities to play were severely limited, averaging just 2.3 points and 2.3 rebounds per game in a reserve role over 8 Euroleague games this season.
With Galatasaray needing to bolster their squad following the aftermath of their budget cuts and player releases, they were quick to pounce on the high experienced Maric who they hope will help them rebuild. Maric signed just 1 day after being released by Maccabi and is expected to be joined by a number of other signees over the next week. With Galatasaray qualified for the Final 16 of Euroleague, he will now face former club's Maccabi and Panathinaikos in the next round of games.
For both Jawai and Maric, they now have chance to reignite their careers with new teams that require their talents.