The professional basketball team Jeonju KCC has decided to call it quits after the 2022-2023 season and dive into the free agency market. They added two of the league’s most popular players, guard Heo Woong and center Lee Seung-hyun. After finishing first in the regular season in 2020-2021, but failing to win the title and falling to ninth the following year, KCC invested and bounced back this year by sneaking into the playoffs in the sixth round. They brought in Dae-er Choi Jun-yong from Seoul SK as a free agent.
With Heo, Lee, Lee Seung-hyun, and Ragan, 토토사이트 KCC’s lineup has been dubbed a “super team,” with the addition of the super-powerful forward. They’ve quickly become championship contenders.
The 2023-2024 Korean Professional Basketball League opens on the 21st. The six-month campaign, with 54 games per team, will begin with a game-changing free agency period, and the new rivalries that have formed will add to the excitement.
This season, KCC’s new home in Busan will be the favorite to win the title, with many expecting them to form a “two-river” system with Seoul SK. The team that gained Choi Jun-yong and the team that lost him have become rivals on paper.
After winning the 2021-2022 season as overall champions, SK established itself as an undisputed powerhouse last season, finishing third in the regular season and runner-up in the championship game. At the center of SK’s power was Choi Jun-yong, but a foot injury at the end of last season that kept him out of the entire playoff stage caused a rift that eventually led to his departure.
When the free agency market opened, SK signed Osegun early to fill the void and build a veteran system with guard Kim Sun-hyung. Without Choi Jun-yong last season, the championship was Osegun’s to lose, and the matchup of two of the league’s best forwards who switched teams at the same position is one of the biggest stories in the league this season.
Choi, who led KCC to victory in the pre-opening cup competition, has been diagnosed with a groin injury that will keep him out for four weeks. KCC will start the season without Choi, and a change in firepower will be key this season. KCC and SK’s first match of the season is not scheduled until December 2 due to a stadium issue, so it is expected to be a head-to-head matchup between Choi Jun-yong and Lee Se-geun.
The chain reaction didn’t end there. Changwon LG, who retooled under new head coach Cho Sang-hyun and finished second in the regular season and made the playoffs for the first time in six years, acquired forward Yang Hong-seok. With the addition of Yang’s length, speed, and perimeter shooting, LG has been touted as a threat to the two-headed monster of KCC and SK.
After releasing Yang Hong-seok, Suwon KT bolstered their defense by bringing in Moon Sung-gon from champion Anyang Jeongwanjang.
The returning players from the Sangmu will also be of interest. Heo Hoon and Song Kyo-chang will leave the organization in November to join their original teams KT and KCC. KT will have a strong lineup when Heo returns, led by Moon Sung-gon and national team center Ha Yun-ki. KCC will have a complete super team after Song’s return, which could be another major upset in the league.
New coaches should also be on the radar. Wonju DB‘s Kim Joo-sung will make his official debut after being relieved of his duties as acting head coach, while KT’s Song Young-jin and KCC’s Kang Hyuk will also be in their first season at the helm.
How the three teams that missed out on the playoffs last season fare with their new managers will also be important to watch this season.