Credit: BNS
Credit BNS

The newly-built Zalgiris Kaunas team opened up to the media and shared their thoughts during the open practice.

Coach Martin Schiller had a lot to say about the roster - Emmanuel Mudiay in particular - and the additions of Tyler Cavanaugh and Niels Giffey who will provide reliable long-distance shooting to the Lithuanian giants.

"The first couple of days are always about getting to know each other, seeing in which shape everybody is, and feeling those things out. Guys are in really good shape and that's the main thing. For now, our roster is very good, but we'll see the reality when the games start. We're very happy with what we've put together, with having these guys and characters in here. Now it's about putting them together and then we'll see what the result will be. We got players who we really wanted in here", Schiller said at the beginning of the club's media availability.

He then went on to discuss some issues regarding some players on the roster and his personal feelings before the start of his second season in Kaunas.

On Emmanuel Mudiay and how he signed with Zalgiris: "It was less about convincing and more about him waiting and evaluating his NBA options; seeing how legitimate they were for him. That's why the process was a little bit longer. Also, taking into consideration that the Summer League was a month later than normal, that shifted a lot of things back and made the process longer. He was very interested and intrigued by the EuroLeague chance with Zalgiris early on in the talks. When things shaped out, it was pretty quick to get him over and we will get started soon."

Tyler Cavanaugh, having arrived to Zalgiris from Tenerife this summer, added:

“It’s been great, I’m here for almost two weeks now. My wife and I are getting adjusted to the city,” the American forward said. “Now I’m getting used to new guys on the team, and it’s been great – everyone welcomed me with open arms. I’m excited to get going. I’m just happy to be here and be a part of this great organization. I’m here to do whatever the team needs me to do to help them win. Winning is the most important thing. I also want to improve individually as a player, continue to get better throughout this year and my career. Just, hopefully, to improve and to help the team to win as many games as possible."

Asked about what he knew about Zalgiris before signing, he recalled: "I was in Berlin two years ago. We came to Kaunas, the crowd was amazing and we lost by a lot. I heard a lot of great things from a lot of different players and people from basketball. When the opportunity to come here came, I was very excited and my agent and I jumped on it pretty fast."

Zalgiris Kaunas

Position Player Status
PG Emmanuel Mudiay (story) Signed until 2022
PG Mantas Kalnietis Signed until 2023
PG Lukas Lekavicius Signed until 2022 +1
SG Janis Strelnieks (story) Signed until 2022
SG Arturas Milaknis Signed until 2022
SG Karolis Lukosiunas Contract option +1
SF Niels Giffey (story) Signed until 2022 +1
SF/PF Edgaras Ulanovas (story)
Signed until 2022
PF Tyler Cavanaugh Signed until 2023 +1
PF Paulius Jankunas (story)
Signed until 2022
C Joffrey Lauvergne Signed until 2022 +1
C Josh Nebo (story) Signed until 2022 +1
C Marek Blazevic Signed until 2023
Coach Martin Schiller
Expired contract Thomas Walkup (not coming back), Marius Grigonis (not coming back), Augustine Rubit (not coming back), Patricio Garino (not coming back)
Rumored to leave Nigel Hayes (story), Martinas Geben (not coming back), Rokas Jokubaitis (not coming back), Steve Vasturia (not coming back), Tomas Dimsa (loan)
Interested Roster is completed
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