After their teams were unable to qualify for the NBL finals, Cairns Taipans star Mitch McCarron and Sydney Kings centre Isaac Humphries have signed deals in Europe.
Following a standout season with the Cairns Taipans, McCarron has signed with Slovenian club Olimpija Ljubljana, the same club for which fellow Australian Aron Baynes last played for before making the jump to the NBA.
— Petrol Olimpija (@petrol_olimpija) February 27, 2018
McCarron comes off a stellar NBL season with the Taipans in the NBL, having averaged 11.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game. Known for his tenacity and energy on court, he is a terrific defender and can score inside and out. He also recently played for the Australian Boomers in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers, having averaged 5.5 points, 4 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.5 steals across 4 games which were all wins.
His signing marks a return to Europe for McCarron who last played for Spanish second division side Palencia in 2014-15 after graduating from Metro State, a college career which was capped off by earning NCAA Division II Player of the Year honours.
“The history was really appealing. I was really excited to hear about their interest,” McCarron told foxsports.com.au. “Obviously some big name players have played there, including Baynesy and (Goran) Dragic. So it was a no brainer for me.”
McCarron joins Olimpija in their push to win back-to-back Slovenian national league titles, but also to bolster their push for an Adriatic League crown.
Sydney’s 2018 NBL Rookie of the Year Isaac Humphries announced during the league awards that he has signed with FMP Belgrade — the same club that helped launch Jonah Bolden’s European career that resulted in being drafted to the NBA.
The 7’0 Humphries who left Kentucky early after receiving little opportunity, has slowly established himself as being one of the best young big men in the NBL for the Kings. He posted 6.8 points and 3.6 rebounds in 16.3 minutes per game, edging Melbourne’s Craig Moller for rookie of the year honours, despite the Kings finishing last.
The big man has good touch around the rim, a good mid-range jumper and just needs more time on court to continue his development. Given FMP’s success with Bolden, the signing looks like it could be a win-win for both parties. The 20-year-old will join FMP, who like McCarron’s Olimpija, seeking to qualify for the Adriatic League finals, currently sitting in 6th position.