Lee Dae-heon (196 cm, F) is a consolation prize for Daegu KOGAS.
The team lost both Lee Dae-sung 토토사이트 (190 cm, G) and Jung Hyo-geun (200 cm, F), who were key free agents. Lee Dae-sung chose to play overseas, while Jeong Hyo-geun signed a three-year, 2023-2024 contract with a total compensation of 500 million won (salary: 400 million won, incentive: 100 million won) to play for Anyang KGC Ginseng Corporation.
Starting with the 2021-2022 season, Lee Dae-sung led all Korean players in scoring for two consecutive seasons. In particular, in the 2022-2023 season, he single-handedly led the collapsed Korea Gas Corporation as a boy captain. He also played the role of field commander. He also showed leadership.
Jung suffered a major injury in August 2021 when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his knee, but he came back healthy in the 2022-2023 season. In 40 regular season games in 2022-2023, he averaged 10.5 points and 3.7 rebounds in 24 minutes and 27 seconds per game, which was excellent for his playing time.
Lee Dae-sung, the team’s leading scorer, and Jeong Hyo-geun, a key depth resource, left at the same time. Shooter Jeon Hyun-woo (193 cm, F) also joined the military. It is difficult for KOG to fill the gap of key players with its current strength. The team hasn’t been able to transfuse power from outside.
KOGAS will have to accept the losses to some extent. They will have to go into the 2023-2024 season with less power than they had in the 2022-2023 season, or hope for the growth of young players such as SJ Belangel (177 cm, G), Yang Jun-woo (186 cm, G), and Yeom Yoo-sung (187 cm, G).
However, KOGAS gave Daegu fans some good news on Nov. 19. Through a press release, the organization announced, “We have re-signed forward Lee Dae-heon, who is a free agent. The contract period is four years, and the total compensation for 2023-2024 is 550 million won (440 million won in salary and 110 million won in incentives),” the press release said.
Lee’s retention is a positive sign for KOGAS. Post-ups and kick-out passes, mid-range jumpers and penetration, three-pointers. He’s a big man who can show multiple options to match up with opposing defenses. He’s also an athletic and intelligent player. With Lee’s retention, KOG is relieved of the concern of a hole at the 4 position.
Nevertheless, KOGAS’ forward line is thinner without Jung, and that’s a fact that can’t be helped. However, it’s not like they don’t have alternatives. Shin Seung-min (195 cm, F), with his combination of strength, speed, and activity, can take some of the pressure off Lee Dae-heon.
Kim Nak-hyun (184 cm, G), a longtime partner of Lee Dae-heon, is returning from the military. Although he’ll be joining the team during the season, he’s the perfect card to synergize with Lee. If Kim Nak-hyun and Lee Dae-heon are consistent on the court, KOGAS could improve on last season’s results. KOGAS, which is looking to redeem itself, will begin off-season training in the first week of June.