<
>

NBL Free Agency: Every team's roster and their No.1 priority analysed

One week has passed since the Sydney Kings lifted the NBL22 championship trophy, which means attention very quickly turns to free agency as the road to the 2022-23 season begins.

The defending champs have more questions than any other team heading into the transaction period, which is set to tip-off on Friday, May 20.

To get you set, we have all the key names from each roster set to hit free agency, with one key player each team will be desperate to retain.


ADELAIDE 36ERS

KEY ROTATION FREE AGENTS

Unrestricted:

Cam Bairstow, Tad Dufelmeier, Isaac Humphries, Manny Malou

Restricted:

Todd Withers, Dusty Hannahs

Contracted

Sunday Dech Hyrum Harris Daniel Johnson Mitch McCarron Kai Sotto Nick Marshall (DP)

No. 1 PRIORITY

It has to be Isaac Humphries. It's been an incredibly frustrating two seasons for the former NBA player, with Humphries unable to shake multiple lower body injuries.

Despite the health concerns, the 36ers should be looking at the turnaround of Xavier Cooks in NBL22, with the best of Humphries very much a dominant force in the league.


BRISBANE BULLETS

KEY ROTATION FREE AGENTS

Unrestricted:

Deng Deng, Anthony Drmic, Tanner Krebs, Jack Salt, Tamuri Wigness

Restricted:

Robert Franks, Isaiah Moss, Lamar Patterson

Contracted

Jason Cadee, Tyrell Harrison, Nathan Sobey

No. 1 PRIORITY

With Sobey locked away, attention should quickly turn to Robert Franks. The import big man was a star in the league despite the roster limitations of the Bullets.

Franks joined Jo Lual-Acuil, Vic Law, Yannick Wetzell Xavier Cooks and Jarell Martin as the only players in the league to average 15+ points and 8+ rebounds this season. A full season alongside Sobey should be the plan.


CAIRNS TAIPANS

KEY ROTATION FREE AGENTS

Unrestricted:

Nate Jawai, Jarrod Kenny, Jordan Ngatai, Kouat Noi

Restricted:

Scott Machado, Tahjere McCall, Stephen Zimmerman

Contracted

Majok Deng, Mirko Djeric, Bul Kuol, Keanu Pinder

No. 1 PRIORITY

Machado has been a star for the franchise, but Tahjere McCall is the player the Snakes need to lock down.

A versatile defender, McCall also led the offence this season for the Taipans, joining MVP Jaylen Adams as the only player league-wide to average 15+ points, 5+ rebounds and 5+ assists.

From day one with the franchise he emerged as a locker room leader, which is exactly what the Taipans will need on a roster that is likely to once again carry plenty of young talent.


ILLAWARRA HAWKS

KEY ROTATION FREE AGENTS

Unrestricted:

Harry Froling, Emmet Naar, AJ Ogilvy, Duop Reath, Isaac White

Restricted:

Antonius Cleveland, Xavier Rathan-Mayes

Contracted

Sam Froling, Akoldah Gak, Dan Grida,Tyler Harvey, Alex Mudronja

No. 1 PRIORITY

NBL22 was a learning experience for Duop Reath, with the big man adjusting to a featured role on offence. Used largely as a floor spacer in Europe, the Hawks correctly wanted Reath to become a focal point.

If the big man decides to stay in Australia, he is a legit MVP talent in the league. Securing a local star would be a huge coup after Brian Goorjian has moved on from the head coaching role.


MELBOURNE UNITED

KEY ROTATION FREE AGENTS

Unrestricted:

David Barlow, Callum Dalton, Jo Lual-Acuil, Dion Prewster

Restricted:

Caleb Agada

Contracted

Matthew Dellavedova, Chris Goulding, Shea Ili, Brad Newley, David Okwera, Mason Peatling, Jack White, Zac Triplett (DP)

No. 1 PRIORITY

With the majority of the local veterans on the roster locked up, United will be hoping JLA decides to stay in the NBL.

After a season where he emerged from a bench role to become an MVP finalist, it's expected Lual-Acuil will have plenty of interest from overseas clubs. United clearly need to hunt the import market to fill glaring holes in the roster but losing the big man in the middle would be a tough blow.


NEW ZEALAND BREAKERS

KEY ROTATION FREE AGENTS

Unrestricted:

Rasmus Bach, Isaac Davidson, Finn Delany, Kyrin Galloway, Will McDowell-White, Yannick Wetzell - released from contract

Restricted:

Jeremiah Martin - released from contract Peyton Siva

Contracted

Tom Abercrombie Hugo Besson Rob Loe Sam Timmins (DP)

No. 1 PRIORITY

It was a difficult season for Finn Delany, with his production and efficiency well down on his monster NBL21.

Perhaps the toll of living on the road for a second consecutive season was a factor, but he is still only 27 years old and an important part of the Breakers bouncing back next season.


PERTH WILDCATS

KEY ROTATION FREE AGENTS

Unrestricted:

Todd Blanchfield, Matt Hodgson, Jack Purchase, Jesse Wagstaff, Kevin White

Restricted:

Michael Frazier, Vic Law

Contracted

Bryce Cotton, Majok Majok, Mitch Norton, Corey Shervill, Luke Travers, Oliver Hayes-Brown (DP), Kyle Zunic (DP)

No. 1 PRIORITY

It can only be Vic Law.

An ankle injury ended Law's season, but for much of the campaign he was in MVP calculations, forming a lethal duo alongside Bryce Cotton. The Wildcats tried to upgrade at the big man position midseason unsuccessfully and it will remain a major priority, but securing the signature of Law would immediately put the team back in championship calculations.


SOUTH EAST MELBOURNE PHOENIX

KEY ROTATION FREE AGENTS

Unrestricted:

Cam Gliddon, Tohi Smith-Milner

Restricted:

Brandon Ashley, Xavier Munford, Zhou Qi

Contracted

Mitch Creek, Ryan Broekhoff, Kyle Adnam, Izayah Le'Afa, Dane Pineau, Reuben Te Rangi

No. 1 PRIORITY

Defence. SEM would ideally like to retain Zhou Qi for a second season, but more than anything they need defence on the perimeter.

For the third straight season since joining the league, the Phoenix ranked near the bottom of the league for defensive efficiency and it ultimately cost them a postseason spot.

Munford would be a nice signature to retain if they could secure a top defensive wing to take the major defensive assignments and lighten some of the load on Creek.


SYDNEY KINGS

KEY ROTATION FREE AGENTS

Unrestricted:

Shaun Bruce, Xavier Cooks, Matur Maker, Wani Swaka, Lo Buluk, Dejan Vasiljevic, Tom Vodanovich

Restricted:

Jaylen Adams, Jarell Martin, Ian Clark

Contracted

Biwali Bayles, Jaylin Galloway, Angus Glover, Jordan Hunter

No. 1 PRIORITY

Xavier Cooks, Jaylen Adams and Jarell Martin could all be destined for brighter lights next season, but all three are of the highest priority.

Just hours after the Kings lifted the trophy, conversation surrounding free agency was already buzzing around Qudos Bank Arena, with the Sydney front office well aware it will be a costly mission to keep the championship core together.

I honestly am unable to separate the three, so let's just say is Sydney can roster two of their star trio they will be in excellent shape.


TASMANIA JACKJUMPERS

KEY ROTATION FREE AGENTS

Unrestricted:

N/A

Restricted:

Josh Magette Josh Adams MiKyle McIntosh

Contracted

Jarred Bairstow Matt Kenyon Fabijan Krslovic Will Magnay Sam McDaniel Jack McVeigh Clint Steindl Jarrad Weeks

No. 1 PRIORITY

The JackJumpers have a decision to make with Josh Adams.

He's a game winner, a big shot taker and maker but he's also erratic and can allow his emotions to get the better of him at times.

The JackJumpers biggest priority is finding more consistent offence, if they can keep Adams and secure another scorer with an import spot it could be considered a successful offseason.