By Yoon Chul
Kim Joo-sung, of the Dongbu Promy will be the most expensive basketball player in the KBL for the fifth consecutive year. The Promy and Kim reached an agreement on a 690-million-won contract Tuesday.
/ Korea Times File
Kim Joo-sung of the Dongbu Promy will continue to be the Korea Basketball League's highest-paid player after the team announced Tuesday that they have signed the 2007-2008 Most Valuable Player to a one-year deal worth 690 million won.
Even though Kim will take a 20-million won pay cut, the 29-year-old forward will remain the league's top-paid player for the fifth-straight season.
The 2.05-meter forward averaged 13.9 points with 5.2 rebounds in 47 games last season, helping the team to finish runner-up in the regular season.
Kim, who debuted in 2002, first topped the league salary list in 2005-06 with Seo Jang-hoon of the ET Land BlackSlamer. After the Promy franchise star became a free agent for the 2007-08 season, he was again signed to the league's highest salary at 680 million won.
Ha Seung-jin also agreed to a new deal worth 280 million won with the KCC Egis ¡ª a 180 percent raise from his previous salary, representing the largest pay raise in KBL history ¡ª which will make him the league's most expensive second-year player.
The 2.21-meter Egis center averaged 10.4 points with 8.2 rebounds in 45 appearances and edged Kim Min-soo of the SK Knights as the rookie of the year.
The Egis also locked up their championship series MVP, as the league champion signed Choo Seung-gyun to a 375-million won deal.
Another rookie, Kang Byung-hyun, and American-Korean Tony Atkins also got new deals worth 140 million won and 100 million won, respectively.
Negotiations between the Daegu Orions and Kim Seung-hyun appear to have broken down as the guard was demanding a yearly salary of 720 million won, which would make him the league's best paid.
While Kim is one of the KBL's best guards, he hasn't played well over the past three years because of injuries. Last season, he averaged 9.67 points and 6.38 assists.
The Orions offered Kim 600 million won, a 50-million won raise from last season, which was rejected.
The Orions have asked the KBL to mediate the negotiation.