Elephants, Kites put faith in a five-man tradeIn need of a turnaround, the ET Land Elephants and KT&G Kites pulled off the first big trade of the season yesterday, one that involved five players.
“We have sent Chris Daniels and Kim Sung-chul to KT&G in exchange for Rashad Bell, Lee Hyun-ho and Lee Sang-jun,” stated an ET Land Elephants official yesterday.
In acquiring the three players from the Kites, ET Land adds speed to its roster and gets a much-needed boost on the offensive side of the ball. With Seo Jang-hoon, Amal McCaskill and Chris Daniels at center, ET Land were lacking speed up-front. Bell, who is averaging 19.6 points and 6.8 rebounds, is expected to provide speed as well as an inside and outside scoring punch to the Elephants. Lee Sang-jun is another player with a solid perimeter shot. Lee Hyun-ho is expected to boost the team’s interior defense.
As of yesterday, KT&G is sitting ninth in league standings while ET Land lies in last place. The Elephants were especially in need of some shake-up as they have lost their past 10 games. The first big change for the Elephants came on Monday when the team announced it has decided to go with assistant coach Yoo Do-hoon as the team’s interim head coach. Park Jong-chun had recently collapsed from fatigue and stress and Yoo had been temporarily filling in.
The Elephants are hoping a roster shake-up will have the type of positive impact it had on the team last season. Having failed to make the playoffs for four consecutive seasons, ET Land had a record of nine wins and 11 losses when they traded rookie Kang Byung-hyun, Cho Woo-hyun and Jung Sun-kyu in exchange for Seo Jang-hoon and Kim Tae-hwan from KCC Egis. ET Land went on to make the playoffs last year before losing to the eventual champions, KCC, in five games.
In acquiring Kim and Daniels, KT&G gets an outside threat and an upgrade in their frontcourt play. Kim has played in two All-Star games and was the 1999-00 season’s top rookie. Daniels, who is averaging 12.4 points and 5.9 rebounds, is a center who can provide size and strength in the paint.
While the trade was completed yesterday, the Kites will have to wait a few days before they can use their new acquisitions. As of yesterday, ET Land has played 12 games and KT&G has played in 10 games. Hence, Bell, Lee Hyun-ho and Lee Sang-jun can suit up for the Elephants tonight against Daegu Orions. However, Daniels and Kim will have to wait until the Nov. 18 game against LG Sakers.
“The trade went through easily because both ET Land and KT&G have holes to fix,” said Kim Hyo-kyeom, the director of operations at KT&G. “Kim and Daniels will be a big boost for us.”
The two sides have some interesting ties. Yoo, the current interim head coach of ET Land once served as the head coach of KT&G during the 2007-08 season. Kim returns to the team that drafted him after leaving KT&G via free agency in 2006. Lee Hyun-ho and ET Land’s Seo Jang-hoon in the past both played for the Samsung Thunders.
By Kim Eun-kyung, Jason Kim [firstname.lastname@example.org]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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