| Kim Tae-sul, the most coveted free-agent player in professional men`s basketball league in Korea has put on the uniform of the Jeonju KCC Egis. Anyang Korea Ginseng Corporation (KGC), Kim`s former team, said Thursday that it had agreed to sign a five-year 620 million-won (604,288 U.S. dollars) contract in a sign-and-trade deal with KCC. KGC will trade Kim for Kang Byung-hyun and Jang Min-guk from KCC. Under the Korean Basketball League`s regulations, the trade will be carried out on June 1.
Teams that wanted Kim asked for a sing-and-trade deal with KGC because of concern that after the negotiation deadline, multiple teams` bidding for him would make him more expensive. KGC also decided that having sing-and-trade deal would be better for it than receiving a compensation player (excluding four protected ones) for Kim. By having Kang (193 cm), KGC can form a tall guard squad with Park Chan-hee (189.5 cm). Jang Min-gook (193 cm) is also expected to add vigor from the outer court.
Kim, who said he wanted to "make a turning point" in his career, can now have a shot at championship with KCC. As a point guard, Kim will work with shooting guards Kim Min-gu and Park Kyung-sang. Ha Seung-jin (221 cm), who has just completed his mandatory public service, will also join the team. Attention is also drawn to whether KCC coach Huh Jae, who is known for his luck in draws, can snatch Lee Seung-hyun (197cm) in this year`s rookie draft.
On the same day, Seoul Samsung Thunders announced that Kim Seung-hyun, one of the best point guards in the 2000s, has decided to retire. Kim joined the Goyang Orions in 2001 and had a splendid debut by grabbing the Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player titles. Until last season, he played 507 games in his 12-year career, recording an average of 10.6 points, 3.1 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 2 interceptions a game.
Meanwhile, Han Seon-gyo, commissioner of the Korean Basketball League, announced in Seoul on Thursday that he would give up running for re-election and step down from his position. His term in office ends on June 30. Under the league regulations, a new commissioner has to be elected at least one month before the end of the incumbent`s term. Likely candidates include Kim In-kyu, former president and CEO of Korean Broadcasting System, and Kim Young-ki, former KBL commissioner.