NBL: Melbourne boasting while Sixers, Kings shift gears in free agency frenzy
The NBL free agency period is well and truly kicking into gear with Melbourne United continuing on their strong off-season with reports that Chris Goulding will return to his old stomping ground. In addition to the star shooter who left the Melbourne 'Tigers' to play for Zaragoza in Spain, United are rumoured to announce the signing of reigning NBL most valuable player Brian Conklin.
Conklin, who has spent the past two seasons improving his game in Townsville after coming over from the New Zealand NBL, has become a force in the league with a host of different assets. View image | gettyimages.com Goulding, who was named in the Australian Boomers squad for the first time in his career last year, will make the switch back down under in a bid to take the Melbourne franchise to a coveted title. He played 50 games for Zaragoza across 2014/15, averaging 22.5 minutes per game for 9.62ppg at 37%FG.
Conklin on the other hand, had a standout season with the Crocodiles averaging 16.3ppg and 4.8rpg on 49%FG shooting in 24 games. The Crocs did not make the finals.
With the Crocs conceding that Conklin has been cut loose, they have already locked in an up and coming centre with Nick Kay expected to be announced.
Kay with the put-back - Courtesy of Metro State University
Having recently graduated from Metro State University in Denver, the 6ft9 big man became a valuable asset according to Boti Nagy.
Kay finished his MSU career ranked second in school history for made free throws (449), games played (114) and minutes (3,969), third in free throws attempted (578) and games started (114), fourth in rebounds (863) and field goals made (637), fifth in points (1,766); sixth in field goals attempted (1,275), ninth in blocked shots (77), 10th in steals (173), 13th in points per game (13.4) and rebounds per game (6.5) and 15th in assists (203). - As per Boti Nagy
With Melbourne securing high talent on their roster for the upcoming season, Mark Worthington's bold bid to head to Europe has fallen short. Instead, according to Downtown, he will sign a deal with the Cairns Taipans.
United's club most valuable player last year, Worthington looks set to don a Snakes jersey for the next two seasons, Cairns being the hometown of his wife Andrea.
This will be Worthington's fifth NBL club, having represented Australia in between all of the shifting. He now joins Matt Burston, Alex Loughton and Cameron Tragardh in the Taipans frontcourt.
The Adelaide 36ers have entered the contract stakes with the Sixers planning to add three players to this seasons roster within the coming days. Captain Adam Gibson and Anthony Petrie are expected to re-sign with the club, while Nathan Sobey will come down from Cairns as the third.
Sobey played sporatic minutes under Aaron Fearne last season, mostly due to the inconsistencies of Corey Maynard's ability to hit the floor due to injury. With the promise he showed during his 10 games he played last season, the Sixers are prepared to show faith and look for an improving guard for their squad.
Lastly, the Sydney Kings will announce today that hometown hero Julian Khazzouh will return to the NBL. Playing for Lebanese club Sagesse, Khazzouh averaged 15.3ppg and 9.5rpg.
This is a massive coup for the Kings, who are currently still waiting on a decision from Josh Childress in regards to what direction they take in terms of future signings.