Captain Powell returns to Incheon via trade

The Incheon ET Land Elephants welcome home their captain Carlos Powell after finalizing a trade with KCC that sends Herbert Hill  to Jeonju.

Since Powell’s first appearance in the KBL, Incheon has become his official home away from home. He first put on the Elephants jersey in 2008, and after three solid seasons with the club he was named team captain (the first foreigner to ever hold that title). This off-season, the relationship between Powell and Incheon came to an end during after KBL commissioner Kim Young-ki implemented a new rule restricting teams to re-sign their foreign players.

In July, Powell was drafted in the second round by the KCC Egis. This season, he’s averaging 14 points and just under seven rebounds per game. As for Herbert Hill, after going undrafted in the 2015 KBL Draft, the former first overall pick was called up by Incheon to replace import Andre Smith. In his 14 games with the Elephants, Hill averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds. His solid play made him a valuable asset for Incheon to trade for their captain.

How a KBL trade goes down

The rule for trading imports is you can’t trade a 1st round pick for a 2nd round pick. Hill replaced Andre Smith who was a 1st round pick, but since Hill is a replacement, his salary falls under the 2nd round category. In this trade, it’s a 2nd round salary player for a 2nd round salary player.

Both players are called by the team translator who gives them the news. They are told to pack their stuff and immediately report in the lobby. The translator prepares the team vehicle and drives the player with his belongings to his new team dorm. A team insider once told me that these drives are often awkward. Sometimes the players are vocal about it (meaning they are angry), and sometimes they are quiet about it (meaning they are happy). The team translator (driver) arrives to the other team’s dormitory with the new player. An awkward goodbye followed by a warm welcome from his new team makes the player feel much more comfortable.

Nick Bedard (@bedardnick) is the editor-in-chief of

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