After long weeks of searching, Maccabi Tel Aviv last night finally managed to get their hands on a reinforcement player for the interior positions when they announced the signing of Suleiman Breimo, who will come to the club as a replacement for the injured Alex Poithers, who ended the season about a month and a half ago.
The American-Nigerian interior player (33, 2.03 m) is well known to basketball fans in Israel and played four seasons in Israel, one in Hapoel Eilat and another three in Hapoel Jerusalem, where he also collaborated with Oded Ketch.
Braymo, who has never played in the Euroleague, started the season with Topaz Bursa in Turkey, but when it did not qualify for the last 16 of the FIBA Champions League, and due to the fact that the transfer window for players in the Euroleague had already closed, the invitations to join him were made, and the Yellows jumped on it. This season in Turkey, he averaged 8.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 24 minutes of play.
The number 4 position of the Tel Avivs has been an Achilles' heel since the beginning of the season, and now Ketch will have the opportunity to try and solve the professional problems that were created precisely because of the combination between Poithers and Josh Niebo.
On paper and although he was not the first option of the yellows, the forward has the basket of tools that Katz was looking for for a long time.
In the opinion of many, he is a positive and egoless personality, and professionally he can professionally complement Niebo and Sorkin, and even play alongside them due to the offensive variety he presents, and mainly because of his three-point shooting that has been there throughout his career but is fading this year.
Welcome Su 🔥#WeAreMaccabi pic.twitter.com/4JZA9ri2OS
— Maccabi Tel Aviv BC (@MaccabitlvBC) January 19, 2023
Braymo's name came up a month ago, but the Yellows preferred to try other options.
Finally, when the other candidates failed, for financial and professional reasons, it was decided, as in the case of Jaylen Adams, to go for a player who knows the league and the country, which will hopefully ease the adaptation process. The addition of Suleiman Braymo to the existing staff.
"He has an amazing character, he is a good teammate and of course I know him well. As we know, he is also familiar with the Israeli league and in light of all these reasons we came to the conclusion that this is the player that suits us at this stage."
A lot of question marks
However, along with the professional compatibility and familiarity with Ketch, there are also quite a few question marks in the deal, which may be interpreted in retrospect as warning signs.
Breimo, like his teammate who also came from Po'el Jerusalem, has never played in the Euroleague and does not have proven experience in the factory, so on paper and according to his character, he may fit in more as a complementary rotation player and not as the open forward of the yellows, as Poithers was.
In addition to this, the forward recorded a disappointing personal season, and his numbers are relatively low for his career, beyond the arc he recorded the lowest figure of his career (22% in the Turkish league).
Topash Bursa, who signed him in the summer from Jerusalem for big money, marked him as a leader with experience and as one who would help her make the jump in the FIBA Champions League, but the team failed there and did not pass the play-in stage.
A good enough substitute?, Photo: Oded Karni
"He certainly did not live up to the early expectations of him. Topash as a club increased its budget and aspired to reach higher in Europe than last year with its new coach Pripitis, but no success. However, not only Braymo failed to meet expectations, but almost every player on the roster," he says in a conversation with "Israel Today" Turkish journalist Samih Tuna.
"Breymo's experience, his ability to play both 4-5 positions, made this signing make sense on paper, but we saw very little of that experience on the pitch. He didn't look in very good physical condition, especially as the season progressed, I think it has to do with his age And for a natural decline that he experienced. His shot from the outside was really disastrous and with bad percentages. His time in Turkey ends in a big disappointment. You can clearly see that he is a good character and a comfortable person even on TV, but on the field, he did not contribute much for the team", analyzes Tuna.
In Turkey, the transfer of the player to Maccabi Tel Aviv surprised quite a few people, and they, as those who saw him on a weekly basis, did not think that the forward would leave for the Euroleague in its current version.
"Unfortunately, even the experience gained by the player and the experience in the Israeli sector is not enough for me to understand the logic behind this signing. He did not succeed this year, it is not realistic to think that he can replace Poithers even if it is a short-term deal. Yes, it is difficult to find players for the position 4-5 this month, I know that clearly, but even if that's the case, you can find much better players in my opinion," Tuna concludes.
At the age of 33, fate took its course and Suleiman Breimo, precisely in his weakest season personally, received the biggest opportunity of his career.
Which version of the player will we see?
The one who starred in Hapoel Eilat and Hapoel Eilat or the one who pales in Turkey?
Only time will tell.
Suleiman in Raimo.
On the way to the hall, photo: Danny Maron
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