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NBL 23/24 SEASON PREVIEW

Here is a rundown of the teams for the upcoming season and all the information to know before the season starts.





ADELAIDE 36ERS


COACH: CJ Bruton CAPTAIN: Mitch McCarron 22/23 SEASON FINISH: 8TH



SQUAD INS & OUTS


IN:

Akech Aliir, Alex Starling, Harvey White, Isaac Humphries, Jacob Rigoni, Jacob Wiley, Jason Cadee, Keanu Rasmussen, Tohi Smith-Milner, Trentyn Flowers, Trey Kell III.


OUT:

Craig Randall III, Robert Franks, Antonius Cleveland, Ian Clar, Daniel Johnson, Athony Drmic, Kai Sotto, Hyrum Harris, Deng Acuoth, Cameron Thew, Fiston Ipassou.


RETAINED: Fraser Roxburgh, Kyrin Galloway, Mitch McCarron, Nick Marshal, Sunday Dech.


23/24 PRE-SEASON STARS


JASON CADEE


Cadee’s on-court performance’s during the NBL pre-season & Blitz rivalled his season averages for the 22/23 season in a short period of time and can only improve following his move to the 36ers from the Bullets.


ISAAC HUMPHRIES


Humphries, another off-season recruit for the 36ers this season was on of the brightest shinning lights in the lead up to the 23/24 NBL season. His connection with Cadee will be vital to the franchise’s on-court success.


NBL NEXT STAR


TRENTYN FLOWERS


Next Star Trentyn Flowers was one of the stand out guards for the 23/24 pre-season on the court for the 36ers. His ability to rebound the ball, push the pace up in the court in transition and score will ease the pressure on Cadee and Humphries immensely.


MOST IMPORTANT PLAYERS


JASON CADEE & ISAAC HUMPHRIES


The experience and variety in attack Cadee and Humphries will be the cornerstone of the 36ers turning the franchise around from their 22/23 season. The combination these two form will be important, not only for the success of the club, but for their teammates who should be afforded more opportunities to score with less pressure.



 


BRISBANE BULLETS

COACH: Justin Schueller CAPTAIN: Nathan Sobey 22/23 RESULT: 9TH



KEY INS & OUTS


OUTS:

Tyler Johnson, Jason Cadee, Devondrick Walker, Tanner Krebs, Andrew White III, Harry Froling, Gorjok Gak, Kody Stattmann, Keon Sapwell, Lual Diing, Hunter Clarke.


INS:

Chris Smith, Gabe Hadley, Isaac White, Josh Bannan, Mitch Norton, Sam McDaniel, Shannon Scott, Tristan Devers, Rocco Zikarsky.


RETAINED:

Tyrell Harrison, Nathan Sobey, DJ Mitchell, Aron Baynes.


23/24 PRE-SEASON STARS


ISAAC WHITE


Isaac White’s move from the JackJumpers to the Bullets looks to be a positive one for both parties early following his all-round on court success in the lead up to the regular season. White did it all by scoring, rebounding, assisting and even grabbing the odd steal to prove a handy replacement for Jason Cadee.


DJ MITCHELL


DJ Mitchell looks to have improved following his first season in the NBL last summer. In the 23/24 pre-season his perimeter shooting and work off the ball with his rebounding, stealing and blocking abilities have improved sharply to help Aron Baynes in the front court.


NBL NEXT STAR


ROCCO ZIKARSKY


Rocco Zikarsky has shown not only his incredible individual talent throughout the 23/24 pre-season, but his ability to support Baynes in the centre position for the Bullets. His length, perimeter shooting and rebounding abilities will be enormous for the Bullets this season.


MOST IMPORTANT PLAYERS


NATHAN SOBEY


Captain Nathan Sobey will shoulder enormous responsibility on the court this season as a leader, scorer and facilitator for his team mates. Without Cadee on the court his role will be much simpler to understand and execute which should lead to an improved season for the Bullets.


ARON BAYNES


Aron Baynes pre-season form has been fantastic with the Bullets big man shooting and rebounding at will to lead in the front court. His unrivalled NBA experience will be vital to the Bullets becoming a successful franchise on the court again.



 



CAIRNS TAIPANS

COACH: Adam Forde CAPTAIN: Sam Waardenburg 22/23 RESULT: 3RD



KEY INS & OUTS


INS:


Akoldah Gak, Alex Mudronja, Bobi Klintman, Josh Roberts, Kian Dennis, Lachlan Anderson, Taran Armstrong, Sam Mennenga, Patrick Miller.


OUTS:


DJ Hogg, Keanu Pinder, Shannon Scott, Majok Deng, Ben Ayre, Gabe Hadley, Mirko Djeric.


RETAINED:


Tahjere McCall, Sam Waardenburg, Bul Kuol, Jonah Antonio, Lat Mayen, Josh Davey.


23/24 PRE-SEASON STARS


AKOLDAH GAK


Akoldah Gak has embraced his move from the Hawks to the Taipans in the 23/24 pre-season improving every statistical aspect of his game. Gak will be central to the Taipans ability to succeed following the departure of Keanu Pinder.


SAM MENNENGA


Sam Mennenga has shown so far in his short time on the court in Australia that he could be a force to be reckoned with in the NBL. Mennenga can do it all from the front court and is certain to create headaches for teams across the league.


NBL NEXT STAR


BOBI KLINTMAN


Bobi Klintman is projected to be drafted as high as 9th in the next NBA Draft and his NBL pre-season performances have supported the claim. Klintman will also play a huge role for the Taipans to fill the void left by Pinder.


MOST IMPORTANT PLAYERS


TAHJERE MCCALL


The experience Tahjere McCall has gained on the court for the Taipans will be needed in this season more than ever to improve on their 3rd place finish last season. His scoring efficiency and playmaking abilities will be the tip of the Taipans attacking spear.


 


ILLAWARRA HAWKS

COACH: Jacob Jackomas CAPTAIN: Sam Froling 22/23 RESULT: 10TH


KEY INS & OUTS


INS:


AJ Johnson, Biwali Bayles, Gary Clark, Harry Morris, Hyunjung Lee, Lachlan Olbrich, Luca Yates, Mason Peating, Todd Blanchfield.


OUTS:


Michael Frazier II, George King, Peyton Siva, Deng Deng, Mangok Mathiang, Lachlan Dent, Tim Coenraad, Alex Mudronja, Harry Morris, Akoldah Gak, Kevin White.


RETAINED:


Sam Froling, Justin Robinson, Daniel Grida, Wani Swaka Lo Buluk, William Hickey, Tyler Harvey.


23/24 PRE-SEASON STARS


SAM FROLING


Sam Froling stood out again in the 23/24 pre-season with his rebounding and scoring abilities for the Hawks. The captain’s consistency in combination with Harvey and Blanchfield will be key to on-court success this season.


HYUNJUNG LEE


Hyunjung Lee showed in somewhat limited court time the positive impact he could have in the NBL for the Hawks. Lee has already declared “I’m the best shooter in the NBL” and the Hawks will need that to be true to improve on their dreadful 22/23 season.


NBL NEXT STAR


AJ JOHNSON


AJ Johnson has showed why he could push for selection in the top-10 of the upcoming NNA draft with his well-rounded game at the guard position. His ability to facilitate scoring opportunities for his team mates will likely be the focus of his game this season.


MOST IMPORTANT PLAYERS


SAM FROLING


Captain Sam Froling will need another strong season for the Hawks this year in their bid for greater on-court success. Without Froling’s scoring and rebounding, along with his active hands on defence to steal and block the ball, the Hawks will struggle immensely.


TODD BLANCHFIELD


Todd Blanchfield’s decade-long NBL career and experience will be invaluable to a young and struggling NBL side looking to improve this season. Blanchfield will need to continue scoring efficiently and rebounding to assist his team mates as best he can.



 


MELBOURNE UNITED

COACH: Dean Vickerman CAPTAIN: Chris Goulding 22/23 RESULT: 7th




KEY INS & OUTS


INS:


Ariel Hukporti, Campbell Blogg, Flynn Cameron, Ian Clark, Jo Lual-Acuil Jr, Kyle Bowen, Luke Travers, Malith Machar, Matthew Dellavedova, Robert Loe, Shae Ili, Tanner Krebs.


OUTS:


Rayjon Tucker, Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Isaac Humphries, Marcus Lee, Jordan Caroline, Mason Peatling, David Okwera, David Barlow, Lachlan Barker, Makuach Maluach, Callum Dalton, Joshua Duach.


RETAINED:


Chris Goulding, Brad Newley, Zac Triplett.


23/24 PRE-SEASON STARS


MATTHEW DELLAVEDOVA


An NBA Champion in 2016 with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Matthew Dellavedova has hit the ground running for United in the 23/24 pre-season in every facet of his game. His grit, aggression and experience will be key to United challenging for the title this season.


LUKE TRAVERS


Luke Travers has embraced his move from the Wildcats to United in the pre-season boosting his all-round scoring ability, while being a force with his rebounding and playmaking. Travers will play an enormous role in filling the void left by Rayjon Tucker and Xavier Rathan-Mayes.


NBL NEXT STAR


ARIEL HUKPORTI


NBL Next Star Ariel Hukporti made an impressive return to United in the pre-season by dominating the paint with his scoring and rebounding while also showing skills with his passing and having active hands to steal and block the ball. He will be vital to replacing Humphries in the middle.


MOST IMPORTANT PLAYERS


CHRIS GOUDLING


Chris Goulding is returning to United following his stint with the Boomers at the FIBA World Cup in Japan. Goulding’s experience will be key, but more importantly, he will need to score consistently in order to take pressure off his team mates and allow them the opportunity to succeed on the court.


IAN CLARK


Former NBA champion Ian Clark has made a solid start to his career at United and his combination in the backcourt with Goulding & Dellavedova will be imperative to the franchises season success.

 

NZ BREAKERS

COACH: Mody Maor CAPTAIN: Cameron Gliddon 22/23 RESULT: 2nd


KEY INS & OUTS


INS:


Carlin Davison, Dane Pineau, Dominique Kelman-Poto, Finn Delany, Justinian Jessup, Mangok Mathiang, Manthas Rubstavicius, Max Darling, Parker Jackson-Cartwright, Zylan Cheatham.


OUTS:


Barry Brown Jr, Jarrell Brantley, Derek Pardon, Rayan Rupert, Thomas Vodanovich, Sam Timmins, Jamaal Brantley, Isaac Davidson, Jayden Bezzant.


RETAINED:


Alex McNaught, Cameron Gliddon, Daniel Fotu, Izayah Le’Afa, Tom Abercrombiee, Will McDowell-White.


23/24 PRE-SEASON STARS


PARKER JACKSON-CARTWRIGHT


European import Parker Jackson-Cartwright has shown why he was the Bundesliga and French LNB Pro MVP in 2022 & 2021 with his start to his to his Breakers career in the lead up to the 23/24 season. His all-round scoring ability and playmaking skills will be enormous in the Breakers hunt to break their eight year championship draught.


MANGOK MATHIANG


Mangok Mathiang is thriving already in his move from the Hawks to the Breakers through the 23/24 pre-season. His physical presence, interior scoring and rebounding will be crucial for an already physical Breakers front court.


NBL NEXT STAR


MANTAS RUBSTAVICIUS


Mantas Rubstavicius will be a brilliant addition to the Breakers backcourt this season given his experience and success overseas and for Lithuania at the FIBA World Cup.


MOST IMPORTANT PLAYERS


CAMERON GLIDDON


Cameron Gliddon is expected to captain this Breakers side following his decade-long NBL career. The former Phoenix forward impressed during the pre-season with his perimeter shooting and playmaking ability which will be vital to the success of his fellow frontcourt players and the Breakers.


WILL MCDOWELL-WHITE


The constant improvement of McDowell-White’s game throughout the last three years at the Breakers has been incredible, and any more improvement should see the Breakers continue to challenge for the championship again. His scoring and playmaking ability in the backcourt will be vital to the clubs success in the 23/24 season.



 

PERTH WILDCATS

COACH: John Rillie CAPTAIN: Bryce Cotton 22/23 RESULT: 6th


KEY INS & OUTS


INS:


Alexandre Sarr, Ben Henshall, David Okwera, Dontae Russo-Nance, Hyrum Harris, Jack Andrew, Jordan Usher, Keanu Pinder.


OUTS:


Luke Travers, Mitch Norton, Todd Blanchfield, Majok Majok, TaShawn Thomas, Brady Manek, Oliver Hayes-Brown, Corey Shervill, Jack Andrew.


RETAINED:


Bryce Cotton, Corey Webster, Tai Webster, Jesse Wagstaff, Kyle Zunic, Michael Harris.


23/24 PRE-SEASON STARS


COREY WEBSTER


Corey Webster’s first season at the Wildcats last summer was a success and his lead-up to this season suggests there could be more improvement to come. Webster’s active hands on defence led to numerous steals that, during the regular season, could turn the Wildcats into an offensive juggernaut.


BEN HENSHALL


Ben Henshall continued to impress during the 23/24 pre-season with his all-round shooting ability, rebounding and passing ability. His presence in the front court with new team mate Keanu Pinder and Jesse Wagstaff will make them tough to defend in the paint.


NBL NEXT STAR


ALEXANDRE SARR


Alexandre Sarr has shown throughout the 23/24 NBL pre-season why he is projected to be the highest pick of the NBL Next Star cohort in the upcoming NBL draft. Sarr has the rebounding, passing and scoring ability to take it to some of the best players in this league.


MOST IMPORTANT PLAYERS


KEANU PINDER


Keanu Pinder’s move from the Taipans to the Wildcats places his new franchise in the argument for championship heavyweights for the 23/24 season. His combination with Cotton and Webster will be the deciding factor in whether or not the Wildcats return to Championship success.


BRYCE COTTON


Bryce Cotton battled injury throughout the 22/23 season, yet in this year’s pre-season he has shown he could be back to the best form of his career. With Pinder added to the side, Cotton may see less pressure in offense which will open up his scoring and opportunities to involve his teammates.



 

S.E. MELBOURNE PHOENIX

COACH: Mike Kelly CAPTAIN: Mitch Creek

22/23 RESULT: 5th


KEY INS & OUTS


INS:


Austin Rapp, Ben Ayre, Craig Moller, Gorjok Gak, Kody Stattmann, Luke Rosendale, Matt Kenyon, Rhys Vague, Tyler Cook, Will Cummings.


OUTS:


Trey Kell III, Ryan Broekhoff, Kyle Adnam, Zhou Qi, Malcolm Bernard, Junior Madut, Tohi Smith-Milner, Dane Pineau, Grant Anticevich.


RETAINED:


Alan Williams, Mitch Creek, Anzac Rissetto, Owen Foxwell, Reuben Te Rangi, Gary Browne.


23/24 PRE-SEASON STARS


BEN AYRE


Ben Ayre has begun his career at the Phoenix strongly with his pre-season performances. His ability to score the basketball is impressive, as his is ability to facilitate for teammates which will be key to involving Mitch Creek and co. in the game.


GARY BROWNE


Equally with Gary Browne, his ability to score and involve team mates in the game was brilliant throughout the pre-season. In his second year at the Phoenix, he will play a huge role in making this franchise a championship contender.


MOST IMPORTANT PLAYERS


MITCH CREEK


Mitch Creek was a contender for the MVP award in the 22/23 NBL season, and this year he will continue to do so as the leader of this new-look Phoenix side. A powerful combination with Alan Williams and Reuben Te Rangi will be key to the Phoenix success this season.


REUBEN TE RANGI


In his forth season at the Phoneix Reuben Te Rangi has continued to improve aspects of his scoring and rebounding abilities. His effectiveness in the back court will be key to the success of Creek and Williams up front.



 

SYDNEY KINGS

COACH: Mahmoud Abdelfattah CAPTAIN: Shaun Bruce 22/23 RESULT: 1st



KEY INS & OUTS


INS:


Alex Toohey, Denzel Valentine, DJ Hogg, Jaylen Adams, Jonah Bolden, Jordan Hunter, Klairus Amir, Makuach Maluach, Sam Timmins.


OUTS:


Derrick Walton Jr, Xavier Cooks, Dejan Vasiljevic, Tim Soares, Justin Simon, Biwali Bayles, Iggy Mitchell, Archie Woodhill.


RETAINED:


Kouat Noi, Angus Glover, Jaylin Galloway, Shaun Bruce, Jackson Makoi, Zac Gattorna.


23/24 PRE-SEASON STARS


JORDAN HUNTER


Jordan Hunter was incredibly impressive during the 23/24 NBL pre-season and will play a massive role in filling the MVP-sized void left by Xavier Cooks. Hunter’s ability to score and rebound the ball throughout the pre-season needs to translate to the regular season if the Kings are any hope of winning a third-straight NBL Championship.


Like Hunter, Kouat Noi will play a much larger role in this Kings frontcourt to replace Cooks this season. His size and strength in the paint will be key to the Kings succeeding on both sides of the basketball.


NBL NEXT STAR


ALEX TOOHEY


Alex Toohey showed he can do it all throughout the 23/24 NBL pre-season and is one of the best prospects to come through the Next Stars program since Josh Giddey. Such is his skill and potential, Toohey made his debut for the Boomers in the FIBA World Cup and will be eager to continue on his upward trajectory.


MOST IMPORTANT PLAYERS


JONAH BOLDEN


Jonah Bolden is one of the most intriguing prosects leading into the 23/24 NBL season following stints in the NBA for the Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns. With Cooks, Derrick Walton Jr and Dejan Vasiljevic leaving the Kings in the off-season, Bolden will should the lofty expectations that comes with being a Sydney King.


DENZEL VALENTINE


Similarly to Bolden, Denzel Valentine spent years in the NBA with the Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers and Utah Jazz. Valentine will be the biggest name in this Kings roster to feel the pressure of expectation if he cannot maintain the lofty standards this franchise has.



 


TASMANIA JACKJUMPERS

COACH: Scott Roth CAPTAIN: Clint Steindl 22/23 RESULT: 4th



KEY INS & OUTS


INS:


Anthony Drmi, Jacob Richards, Jordan Crawford, Junior Madut, Lachlan Barker, Majok Majok, Majok Deng, Marcus Lee.


OUTS:


Rashard Kelly, Josh Magette, Sam McDaniel, Isaac White, Matt Kenyon, Jarrad Weeks, Tristan Forsyth, Josh Tomasi.


RETAINED:


Walter Brown, Jarred Bairstow, Clint Steindl, Fabian Krslovic, Sean Macdonald, will Magnay, Jack McVeigh, Milton Doyle.


23/24 PRE-SEASON STARS


MAJOK DENG


Majok Deng showed his brilliant scoring abilities through the 23/24 pre-season following his departure from the Taipans over the off-season. His offensive presence will bring much-needed relief for Milton Doyle and give opposition defence more headaches than previous seasons.


LACHLAN BARKER


Lachlan Barker has made the move from Melbourne to the JackJumpers and showed in the lead-up to the 23/24 regular season he could play a vital role in the back court to take pressure off Doyle as well and create scoring opportunities around the court.


MOST IMPORTANT PLAYERS


MILTON DOYLE


Milton Doyle has hit the ground running in the lead-up to the 23/24 NBL season with brilliant performances in the pre-season. With Drmic and Deng in the side, his role will become much simpler which could sharply improve his on-court performances.


ANTHONY DRMIC


Anthony Drmic has made the move from the 36ers to the JackJumpers and already appears to have a larger role in his new side. His experience will be vital if the JackJumpers are to take the next step on the court towards becoming a championship contender.

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