Euroleague officials announced a pair of contract signings to kick off the week today: AJ Milano stole away long-time Zalgiris player Jonas “The Bull” Maciulis from his homeland of Lithuania, inducing him to sign a two-year deal in Italy. On the other hand, Maciulis’ countryman Ksistof Lavrinovic will stay right where he has played for two seasons, as the center re-upped with Montepaschi Siena through 2011-12.
And Lithuania was involved in a third deal as well when Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv officially announced the day’s coup: The signing of Chuck Eidson, who led Lietuvos Rytas to a ridiculous five titles last season, including the EuroCup competition in which he was named MVP.
(Euroleague.net) – Armani Jeans Milano took another step forward in building its roster for the 2009-10 season with the signing of Jonas Maciulis, who agreed to a two-year deal. Maciulis (198, 24), nicknamed “The Bull” for his intensity and fighting spirit, was born in Kaunas and raised at Zalgiris, where he played the better part of his career to date. He averaged 14 points and 5 rebounds in 10 Euroleague games for that club last season. In his four seasons as a full member of the Zalgiris first team roster, Maciulis helped the club to back back-to-back Lithuanian League titles in 2007 and 2008. Maciulis also lifted the Lithuanian Cup and the Baltic League titles in 2008. Maciulis led Zalgiris to victory at the first-ever edition of the Euroleague International Junior Tournament at the 2003 Final Four in Barcelona. He has also played for Nevezis Kedainiai. Maciulis is a regular member of the Lithuanian national team and has won a bronze medal at EuroBasket 2007 and reached the 2008 Olympic semifinals.
Montepaschi Siena has announced a new deal with center Ksistof Lavrinovic, who extended his contract until the end of the 2011-12 season. Lavrinovic was an All-Euroleague second team selection in the 2007-08 season, in which he helped Montepaschi to make it to the Final Four. In his two seasons with Montepaschi, Lavrinovic helped his team to win back-to-back Italian League titles and also lifted the Italian Cup trophy this year. Lavrinovic has also played for Unics Kazan, Dynamo Moscow and Ural Great in Perm, as well as for Alita Alytus in his native Lithuania. Lavrinovic won the 2004 Russian Cup title with Ural Great and reached the Russian League finals with Dynamo in 2005 and with Unics in 2007. His twin brother Darjus Lavrinovic joined Real Madrid two weeks ago. He is also a regular member of the Lithuanian national team, who he helped to win the gold medal at EuroBasket 2003. Lavrinovic also won a bronze medal with Lithuania at EuroBasket 2007 and also made it to the Olympic Games semifinals in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008. “I am very happy about this new deal. I feel really well in Siena, a great city for my family,” Lavrinovic said. “By inking a three-year deal, I have chosen to be part of the Mens Sana project. I will do my best to live up to the confidence that the club has shown to me.”
One of the best small forwards in European basketball switched Euroleague teams when versatile swingman Chuck Eidson inked a two-year deal with Israeli powerhouse Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv. Eidson (201, 28), the 2009 Eurocup MVP, is coming off a spectacular season with Lietuvos Rytas, whom he led to five titles – the Eurocup, Baltic League, Lithuanian League, Baltic President’s Cup and Lithuanian Cup. Eidson averaged 15.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.1 assists in 15 Eurocup games last season, playing all three perimeter positions. This will be his second stint in the Euroleague after averaging 12.2 points on 48.9% three-point shooting, 4.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.2 steals in 18 games for Lietuvos Rytas in the 2007-08 campaign. His best game of that season came against Maccabi in Tel Aviv, when he torched the hosts for 28 points in an Lietuvos Rytas win. Eidson has also played for Strasbourg in France, the Giessen 46ers in Germany and North Charleston in the NBDL. Before this, Eidson played college basketball at the University of South Carolina.