Kim Han-byul and Kang I-seul ‘BIG2’ open the WKBL FA market
Women’s professional basketball, which finished the 2022-2023 season, begins preparations for the next season.
The Korea Women’s Basketball Federation announced that the FA negotiation period would begin on April 1st, confirming 16 FA targets for 2023. The first two FA candidates (Hana One Q Kim Ye-jin and BNK Some Lee Sa-bin) who obtained the FA qualification for the first time after their debut have a 10-day period of preferential negotiations with their original clubs, and then can negotiate with other clubs in the event of a breakdown. On the other hand, the 14 candidates for the second free agency can negotiate with all clubs immediately from April 1 without prior negotiation with the original club.
In the free agency market in 2022, franchise star Kim Dan-bi, who had been active only at Shinhan Bank Sbird for 15 years after his professional debut, surprised basketball fans by moving the team to Woori Bank Woori One. This time, basketball fans are focusing their attention on what decisions the players representing each club will make, such as Kim Han-byeol (BNK), Kang I-seul (KB Stars), and Kim Jin-young (Shinhan Bank). Meanwhile, Han Chae-jin of Shinhan Bank, who was among the candidates for the second FA, announced his retirement from active duty, ending his 20-year career as a player.
‘Stefan Isul’ who got FA status again after 2 years
Among the 16 free agents, the player with the highest contribution this season is BNK’s mixed-race player Kim Han-byeol, who ranked 8th in contribution. Kim Han-byeol, who seemed to be starting an aging curve (declining skills with age) with 9 points, 5.78 rebounds and 3.67 assists in 27 games in the first season after transferring to BNK, succeeded in rebounding this season with 13.19 points and 8.85 rebounds. In particular, the offensive rebound using excellent physicality and the ability to score using second chances are by far the best in the league.
The problem is that as Han Chae-jin retired, Kim Han-byeol became the oldest player in WKBL. It is clear that Kim Han-byul still boasts outstanding skills, but recruiting the oldest player in the league as a free agent is inevitably burdensome. Another element of concern for Kim Han-byeol is that there were almost no seasons in which he played full-time due to a lot of minor injuries since his days with Samsung Life Insurance Bloomings. Attention is focusing on whether there will be a club that will recruit Kim Han-byul while taking these parts.
Most basketball fans unanimously say that the biggest practical word in the FA market this time, instead of veteran Kim Han-byeol, who is in his mid-thirties, is ‘Stephen Dew Seul’ Kang Dew Seul. Kang Isul, who signed a free agent contract with KB in April 2021 for a contract period of 2 years and an annual salary of 390 million won, will test his value in the free agency market again after 2 years. Kang Iseul is still 29 years old even after his birthday on April 5th, so many clubs can still keep an eye on him.
Kang I-seul, who played in Hana 1 Q and wore the KB uniform for the past two seasons, spent two seasons of extremes. In the 2021-2022 season, while playing in combination with Park Ji-soo, he made a big success with 18.04 points, 5.32 rebounds, and a 3-point success rate of 42.9%, experiencing his first championship win in his debut. However, Park Ji-soo recorded 15.24 points and 6.59 rebounds this season, in which he played only 9 games, but his 3-point shot success rate was less than 30% (29.9%) in 9 seasons since the 2013-2014 season.
This season, Lee So-hee (BNK) gave up the 1st place in 3-point shooting and lost the 3-point queen position for 6 consecutive seasons, but Kang Isul is still the best shooter in the league. In addition, Kang Iseul is not a player who only shoots from the outside, but is also a player who can attack under the goal using his good height of 180cm. It means that if he meets only good teammates, he can show the level of performance in the 2021-2022 season. This is why Kang Isul is very likely to receive love calls from various clubs in this FA market.
There are also quasi-class free agents such as Kim Jin-young and Go Ara.
Although the attention of the FA market is focused on ‘BIG2’ Kim Han-byeol and Kang I-seul, there are not a few players who can do their part no matter which club they go to. The representative player is Kim Jin-young, who played the role of Shinhan Bank’s housekeeper this season. Kim Jin-young, who recorded 8.73 points and 7.00 rebounds in the 2021-2022 season during BNK, has grown rapidly with 12.00 points, 6.07 rebounds and 2.70 assists this season after transferring to Shinhan Bank.
Although he is only 176 cm tall, he has an excellent fighting spirit at the bottom of the goal and can grab a lot of rebounds compared to his height, and his 3-point shot, which did not have a big advantage, has also increased to 32.3% this season. On top of that, he is a player who energizes the team with his active defense and excellent energy level. Kim Jin-young, who made the best season in his professional debut after being nominated by Shinhan Bank as a compensation player for free agent Han Eom-ji (BNK) in 2022, is waiting for a good contract by obtaining FA qualification this year.
Woori Bank’s oldest player, Kim Jong-un, also obtained FA status after the season. Kim Jong-un, who stayed at 8.33 points, 3.93 rebounds, and 3-point shooting success rate of 27.8% in the regular league, showed his best performance by recording 12.67 points, 6 rebounds, and 3-point shooting success rate of 55.56% (10/18) in 3 matches against BNK. However, as he is a veteran player who needs strict playing time management in the regular league, clubs trying to recruit Kim need to make a bold decision. 카지노사이트
This season, he won his first championship after 15 years of professional debut, and Go Ah-rado, who is scheduled to marry Bae Byeong-joon of Anyang KGC Ginseng Corporation in men’s professional basketball, became a free agent player. Go Ara, who recorded 5.71 points and 3 rebounds in the regular season this season, recorded 18 points and 10 rebounds, including 4 3-pointers, in the second game of the playoffs against Shinhan Bank, leading Woori Bank to the championship game. The ‘strong heart’ that does not shake even in such a big game is Go Ara’s great strength.
Kim So-dam, who had been active as Park Ji-soo’s backup center until the 2021-2022 season, took advantage of Park Ji-soo’s absence this season and recorded the second most playing time (23 minutes and 6 seconds) after his professional debut, also obtained FA qualification. Although he is not a player who scores a lot from the front, he is a versatile center resource who is good at dirty work and even has the ability to shoot outside. Above all, the good height of 184cm, which is not common in the league, will serve as a great advantage for Kim So-dam in the free agent market.