Ransom hovers over status… ‘Winner’ Lagana eyes next move

Foreigner or Korean. After leading Busan KCC to the championship in the 2023-2024 season, where will Ragan-ah, 35, go?

The “four-way contract” between Lagana, the Korean Basketball Association, the KBL, and KCC ends at the end of this month. The KBL will soon hold a board meeting to discuss Lagana’s status. “The date hasn’t been set yet,” a KBL official said on Aug. 8, adding, “We won’t come to a conclusion immediately, but we will discuss 텍사스홀덤 what we need to do to organize his status.”

Born in the U.S. in 1989, Lagana made waves in the league when he joined the Ulsan Hyundai Mobis under the name Ricardo Ratliff in the 2012-2013 season, and became the eponymous “Yongin Rassi” when he was granted Korean citizenship through special naturalization in 2018. Although he became Korean, he was a stranger in the league. He was categorized as a foreigner in the KBL’s regular season MVP voting, and his team was subject to the KBL’s rule that only one foreigner can take the court except in the Asian quarter.

After joining Hyundai Mobis in the April 2018 Special Naturalized Player Draft, Lagunia signed a three-year contract with the league that included national team eligibility, and was re-drafted by KCC in May 2021. In both contracts, Ragan-ah agreed to split his salary between the Korean Basketball Association and the KBL if he played for his country. With this type of contract in place, Lagana has been a league player and national team member for six years.

The question now is how the KBL’s board of governors categorizes him as a domestic or foreign player. Some believe it’s time to recognize him as a domestic player. If he becomes a domestic player, then the question becomes whether he should be acquired through free agency or the draft. The problem is that Lagana’s skills are still competitive. He’s averaged 20.2 points, 11 rebounds, and 1.4 blocked shots per game in big games like the best-of-seven championship series. If Lagana is recognized as a domestic player, the team that signed him would effectively be playing with three foreign players, raising the issue of equity.

If he remains a foreign player, there’s a chance he won’t get picked up. Lagana hasn’t been enough of a foreign ace this season, averaging just 15.6 points and 8.4 rebounds in 53 games, which means no team will sign him and he’ll have to leave the country to play. Calling him up for the national team in this situation could be controversial, not only in terms of pay, but also when his team refuses to play him.

A basketball player said, “As the Korean Basketball Association pushed for Laguna’s special naturalization, they should take responsible measures to the end.” “If this issue is not tied up in a clean knot, it may be difficult to find a second specially naturalized player to play with the Korean flag in the future,” he said.

Meanwhile, the KBL held a briefing session for players who became eligible for free agency at the KBL Center in Gangnam-gu, Seoul. Kang Sang-jae and Kim Jong-kyu, who led Wonju DB to the top of the regular season, as well as Changwon LG’s Lee Jae-do, will participate in this year’s free agency market, which just opened on July 7. Lee Dae-seong, who played in the Japanese B League, is also returning. They will hold voluntary negotiations with 10 clubs, including Wonso, until the 21st.

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