Zalgiris Kaunas fortified its roster with a double signing on Friday. Former All-Euroleague big man Darjus Lavrinovic and swingman Tremmell Darden both agreed to terms with the Lithuanian champs. Lavrinovic (2.12 meters, 31 years old), who was an All-Euroleague Second Team selection after the 2005-06 season, when he last played for Zalgiris, penned a two-year deal.
Darden signed a one-year deal with a team option to extend it until the end of the 2013-14 season. Lavrinovic returns to his homeland after a season in Russia with CSKA Moscow, where he averaged 4.7 points and 2.7 rebounds in 15 Turkish Airlines Euroleague games last season in helping the team to the title game.
Lavrinovic also collected Russian League and the VTB League titles as well. He played a total of three Euroleague seasons with Zalgiris between 2003 and 2006, during which Zalgiris won back-to-back Lithuanian League titles in 2004 and 2005 and claimed the Baltic League trophy in 2005. He nest season from an individual standpoint was 2005-06, when he posted 14.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. He led the Euroleague in blocked shots that season with 2.7 rejections on average.
Lavrinovic previously played for Alytus Alita in Lithuania, Unics Kazan and Dynamo Moscow in Russia, Real Madrid in Spain and Fenerbahce Ulker in Turkey. He helped Fener to win the Turkish League and the Turkish Cup titles in 2011. Lavrinovic has also been a member of the Lithuanian national team. He helped Lithuania to win the bronze medal at EuroBasket 2007 and reach the Olympic Games semifinals in Beijing 2008.
Darden (1.94 meters, 30 years old) arrives from Unicaja Malaga, where he averaged 8.3 points and 3.5 rebounds last season in his Turkish Airlines Euroleague debut. He was limited to just 10 games by a broken finger suffered midway through the season. Darden made to Unicaja from SLUC Nancy, which he helped to win the 2010-11 French League title with 17 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.9 steals in 37 games.
Darden has also played for Strasbourg in France, Melbourne South Dragons in Australia, Spirou Charleroi and Passe Partout Basket Groot Leuven in Belgium and Erdemirspor Belediyesi in Turkey. Among his career highlights are winning the Australian League title in 2009 with Melbourne and the Belgian League trophy with Spirou in 2008.