Khimki lands veteran guard Zoran Planinic
BC Khimki Moscow Region snapped up veteran guard Zoran Planinic from local rival CSKA Moscow on a multi-year deal.
Planinic (199, 28) agreed to a two-year contract with an option for the 2012-13 season. He has proven himself to be a game-changing player who has reached the Euroleague Final Four in each of the last four seasons. Last year with CSKA, Planinic averaged 7.5 points and 2.1 assists per game in the Euroleague and 9 points and 3.4 assists in the Russian League, where he helped CSKA beat Khimki in the finals. He is a product of the youth system at Cibona Zagreb in his native Croatia, where Planinic burst onto the scene as a teenager, averaging 12.1 points on 50% three-point shooting in his second Euroleague season, 2001-02. In the summer of 2003, Planinic signed for New Jersey of the NBA, where he served as the backup for Jason Kidd. Planinic took part in 148 NBA games over three seasons helping his team win its regular season division twice in that span. He returned to the Euroleague in 2006 and became a key player for Tau Ceramica. Among Planinic's career highlights are winning two Croatian league and Cup doubles, one Spanish championship and two Russian League crowns. Planinic has represented his country at the 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009 European Championships and the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. He is expected to be part of the Croatian side at the World Championships in Turkey this summer.
"Planinic is one of the best playmakers in Europe," BC Khimki director general said. "In recent years, he was one of the leaders of CSKA and Croatia and has extensive experience in tournaments at the highest level. Last season, our team has some problems at point guard and we needed to strengthen ourselves. We paid very close attention to Planinic and I am very pleased that Zoran has joined the ranks of our team."