It was a hectic month in the BBL in July as teams went about signing players, appointing coaches and coming into existence. The following is a whistle stop of some of the biggest moves in the BBL since the Playoff Final.
The Leeds Force lost their BBL Franchise thanks to an abysmal on-court performance compounded by off-court issues which saw them finish dead last in the league picking up just one victory all season and playing in front of an empty gym on a Wednesday afternoon.
There was a buzz around the BBL about who would fill the void left by Leeds it was a franchise steeped in history stepping into the BBL. The London City Royals, based in the historic Crystal Palace, are leaning heavily into British Basketball royalty with the Royals name but currently with no players signed it will be interesting to see what they will bring to the BBL.
The London Lions have made a number of signings, bringing back important pieces such as Justin Robinson and Brandon Peel but arguably the most exciting addition in the entire league is rookie Londoner Jordan Spencer. Spencer played for the Lions before an American college career that had him on the wish list of teams across Europe.
Spencer played for the Lions in their exhibition game against Vytautas and impressed all in attendance with his excellent three-point shooting, plus passing and directness to attack the basket. A backcourt of Spencer and Robinson will have fans across the league tuning into Lions games week in week out.
The Lions aren’t the only side to be bringing back old faces as Darius Defoe and Rahmon Fletcher were announced to be coming back to Newcastle. Fletcher, league MVP in 2016-17 played in Europe last joins Defoe, who is entering year 15, with the quest for a title. The Eagles will be in the hunt for a title next season, assuming they can keep hold of head coach Fab Flournoy throughout the campaign.
Plymouth has a new coach for the new campaign in the experienced Paul James, formerly of Worcester Wolves. Plymouth fans and players alike will be delighted by the appointment, after seasons of instability and underachievement the Raiders will be targetting the playoffs under their new leadership. The Raiders have brought back some key pieces from last season, including Great Britain’s seven-footer Zak Wells.