Veteran point guard Kenny Hayes will suit up for a new team in Turkey after signing with Gaziantep Basketbol in the Turkish Basketball Super League. Hayes, the 2019 BSL leading scorer with Buyukcekmece Basketbol, has yet to sign for a team this season. He's played in Turkey the past two seasons, and last season he scored 19.8 points per game and dished out 4.8 assists per game for Buyukcekmece before the season ended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gaziantep currently sits in the middle of the BSL standings with a 7-10 record, but are hoping to snap out of a four-game losing streak at the moment. Hayes joins fellow Americans Rashard Kelly, Brynton Lemar and Trevis Simpson on the squad.
Ethan Happ is moving teams in Italy after signing with Dinamo Sassari Jan. 18. The second-year power forward started the season with another team in Italy's Lega Basket SerieA, Fortitudo Pallacanestro Bologna 103, where he averaged 14.1 points and 9.2 rebounds per game across all competitions, including the Basketball Champions League.
Happ will play for his third different team in Italy's top division. He spent his rookie season for Vanoli Basket, where he averaged 16.5 points per game. Dinamo Sassari currently sits in third place in the Lega Basket Serie A standings with a 10-5 record, and sits solidly in second place in its Basketball Champions League group with a 3-2 record. The Wisconsin grad will join fellow American Jason Burnell on the squad.
Swingman Taylor Braun is moving to a new team in Israel after signing with Maccabi Haifa in the Israeli Winner League. Braun, who has yet to sign for a team this season, has played in Israel before. The seventh-year pro laced up with Hapoel Be'er Sheva during the 2018-2019 season and again in 2020, splitting the 2019-2020 season between the Brisbane Bullets in Australia and Hapoel Be'er Sheva.
He averaged 6.8 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game for Brisbane, and will look to infuse some more offense into Haifa's squad, as the team is off to a 1-6 start in Winner League play. He will join fellow Americans Michael Brisker, Chris Dowe, Davon Jefferson and Donta Smith on the team's roster.
Dario Hunt has moved teams in Italy after signing with Fortitudo Pallacanestro Bologna 103. Hunt changes teams in Italy's first division after starting the season with Virtus Roma, where he averaged 11.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists in the first seven games of the season. Last week, Virtus Roma withdrew from Lega Basket Serie A amid financial uncertainty and the lack of a prominent main sponsor. While their long-term future is up in the air, players were released from their contracts this season, paving the way for Hunt's move to Fortitudo.
The team could use the big man's help, as they've gotten off to a 2-8 start in league play. He joins fellow Americans Adrian Banks, Tre'Shaun Fletcher, Ethan Happ, Wesley Saunders and Todd Withers on the roster.
Jalen Jones, a 27-year-old swingman with NBA and NBA G League experience is taking his talents to Italy for the 2020/2021 season after signing with Pallacanestro Varese in Italy's Lega Basket SerieA. Jones is entering his fifth season of pro hoops having mostly played in the United States along with stops in Spain and Portugal.
The Texas A&M product had a prolific season last year for the Capital City GoGo, averaging 19.1 points and 7.9 rebounds per game for the Washington Wizards' NBA G League affiliate. He joins a Varese team that is off to a 2-5 start in SerieA despite having former NBA players in Luis Scola and Toney Douglas, and Jones will be looked to contribute immediately on both sides of the floor. In addition to Douglass, Americans Anthony Morse and Jason Rich are also on this year's team.
Erik McCree will return to BCM Gravelines-Dunkerque after signing with the French team for the rest of the 2020-2021 season. After starting the season with Bakken Bears in Denmark (playing in two games, including one in the Basketball Champions League, ), the fourth-year pro will return to a Gravelines team he played for last season.
McCree averaged 15.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game for Gravelines-Dunkerque, and that offense will be needed for a team that currently sits near the bottom of the LNB Pro A standings after starting the season with a 1-4 record. The Louisiana Tech product joins fellow Americans Corey Davis, Quincy Ford and Cameron Wells on the roster.
James Blackmon Jr. will continue his pro career in Turkey after signing with Besiktas J.K. in the country's top division. Blackmon joins Besiktas having played in Italy for the past two seasons after starting his pro career in the NBA G League. He spent last season with Aquila Basket Trento, where the 6'4 guard averaged 13.7 points and 3.0 rebounds per game, which included competing in the 7Days EuroCup.
He signs with a Besiktas team that is looking for a bit of a boost after an 0-4 start to the Turkish Basketball Super League. Besiktas will also need reinforcements since they're also competing in the FIBA Europe Cup. Blackmon joins fellow Americans Isaiah Blackmon, Markell Johnson and De'Jon Davis on this season's roster.