Zalgiris next season: reduced budget, young squad

Zalgiris hopes to open a new page in its history by repaying the accumulated debts in a few years and relying on local talent until the club is clean of debts.

Paulius Motiejunas, Zalgiris GM, held a press conference today in order to explain the situation at the club and to answer the questions by the media.

He revealed that the club has debts of 21.5 million litas (6.2 million euros), 18 million of which are debts to current and former players, coaches and agents.

Zalgiris expects to have a budget of 15 million litas (4.3 million euros) next season. One third of the budget will be used for the repayment of the debts. This leaves just 10 million litas (2.9 million euros) for players and staff placing Zalgiris among the bottom Euroleague clubs in terms of the size of the budget.

Despite a significant budget reduction, the club continues to hold talks with former coach Ilias Zouros who is expected to give a final answer in two weeks. If the deal is not reached, Lithuanian coach will be appointed instead.

It is clear that the club will not retain its most expensive players. Motiejunas confirmed that the search is on to find good teams for Lavrinovic brothers who still have one year left in their contracts with Zalgiris.

Other players will either be offered contracts with a salary cut or will have to look for jobs elsewhere. The club hopes to build a team that would consist of 3-4 experienced foreigners and Lithuanian players.

The goals for next season are to get into the Top 16 in Euroleague, to reach VTB United League playoffs and to win LKL title.