How Perth would feel if they could regain 'Dolla' Beal
|Steve Chalmers||Oct 18, 2016|
It was a much discussed topic over the NBL off-season when the reigning champions Perth Wildcats decided that they no longer required Jermaine 'Dolla' Beal's services.
One of just the (then) two permitted restricted players, the 28-year old combo guard had spent the past three years with the hottest team in the land, playing a vital part in their most recent successes.
However, the decision had been made; Jermaine Beal was not going to be a Perth Wildcat in season 2016/17.
The club had informed members that they had dismissed Beal in order to accommodate a different type of player.
"The Wildcats' goal this season is to use these (import) players to enhance the teams athleticism, speed and rim pressure.
"To achieve this, the position held by 'Dolla' needed to be filled by a different type of player."
Not long after that statement, the Wildcats had announced NBA D-League stalwart Jaron Johnson as the direct replacement.
Johnson lasted three games before being given the boot. The reasoning?
The team lacked a spot up, knock down shooter. Johnson just wasn't the right fit.
"We believe for us to challenge for the championship this season, we need to make this move," Head Coach Trevor Gleeson told media yesterday.
"While Jaron is a very good player, we don't believe he is the right piece of the puzzle for this team."
“Jaron has been here for two months and he’s a quality person. With the profession that we’re in – don’t disrespect your job and don’t disrespect playing hard and what it means to play for the Wildcats. It’s a gentle reminder.”
While the Wildcats have lined up a US-based guard to fill Johnson's shoes before the start of round three of the NBL season, how easy it could have been for Gleeson and his crew if they had have stuck fat with what they knew best - their players.
The old saying goes, you don't know what you've got until it's gone.
Two-time NBL Champion, 2014 Larry Sengstock medallist (Grand Final MVP), holds the NBL record for most three pointers in a game (10 vs. Melbourne United last season).
"NBL record for most three pointers in a game."
Beal would still be the perfect fit to this Perth Wildcats outfit after already playing three years in the system.
"It is what it is - it's a business," Beal said shortly after being released by the Wildcats, saying he'd rather let his play do the talking.
He gave Perth a preview in round one with 14 points in a seven point victory in Brisbane.
In round nine, he'll remind all of Perth when he returns to the city for the first time.
Steve Chalmers is an NBL writer for The Pick and Roll, you can follow him on Twitter @cp_chalmers.