Julian Khazzouh’s experience as an Euroleage import has been cut short after only one game for Polish team Asseco Prokom Gdynia. On Sunday the club announced that the club and Khazzouh had parted ways in a mere three days after the player’s Turkish Airlines Euroleague debut.
In his one and only game for Asseco Prokom Khazzouh scored 11 points, had 5 rebounds and blocked 3 shots over 31 minutes. Most of those points were scored against the defence of Shelden Williams, holder of 361 NBA games who was a member of the New Jersey Nets last season, who only had 8 points and 9 rebounds against the defence of Khazzouh.
Making it his release even more unusal is the fact that game he logged the second most minutes of anyone on the team.
Asseco Prokom Gdynia ‘s coach Kestutis Kemzura made a statement regarding Khazzouh’s release which said
“We decided with management that we need a different type of player in the frontcourt. That’s why we decided to part ways with Khazzouh. (He) understood our decision and it was evident that European style of basketball doesn’t suit him very well”
Khazzouh gained the attention of Euroleague scouts after a great 2012 where he averaged 16.4 points and 10.8 rebounds for the Sydney Kings, including an All-NBL First team berth. A stint playing for the Los Angeles Lakers summer team where he averaged 8 points and 4 rebounds also opened up international coaches eyes.
Whilst Sydney Kings fans will be hoping to see Julian Khazzouh return to the purple and gold it is unlikely. Not only will Khazzouh most definitely look to remain in Europe this year but due to Khazzouh being rated a 10 point player in the NBL there is no current NBL team who could fit him into their line-up without releasing some big name players. Khazzouh would also be commanding a large salary, which would NBL teams would struggle to fit within the $1 million NBL salary cap.
The NBL player points system, has often come under fire as although it was implemented in order to create a competitive balance amongst the league it often results in talented players unable to compete for NBL teams.
Khazzouh has said that if he returned to the NBL he would want to play for the Sydney Kings. “I would definitely consider playing in Australia in the future and would love to come back and play for the Sydney Kings once again after my time in Europe is over” Julian said in May.
Julian Khazzouh Summer League Highlights
16 points (4/5 3PT, 6/7 FG), 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 blocks