Big names on the board as free agency opens

IN THE most exciting portion of the offseason, the NBL free agency period opens on Thursday, March 30 at 9am, and there are some big names to either commit to new extensions, or find new homes.

After a memorable 2022/23 season that had plenty of exciting moments and storylines, the landscape of the league will change ahead of the next fixture. Last year’s free agency window saw the Brisbane Bullets and Adelaide 36ers catapult into championship contention with the addition of some big name imports. While it did not end up coming into fruition for either side, it showed the importance of the signing period.

There are a number of big names set to hit the market tomorrow morning, so expect some announcements to come early into free agency.

Headlining the list of free agents is New Zealand Breakers superstar William McDowell-White, who has cemented himself as one of Australia’s best point guards.

He has emerged as a genuine gun during his time with the Breakers, but will have a line of suitors in free agency, with the likes of the Perth Wildcats (wanting to pair Bryce Cotton with a star point guard in a bid to return to the finals) and the Brisbane Bullets (McDowell-White’s hometown). At just 24 years of age, he has plenty of basketball ahead and has one of the biggest decisions to make.

Will McDowell-White is one of the biggest free agents. Photo: via NBL

Another big name potentially in the mix for a new team is Tasmania JackJumpers import Milton Doyle, who has not extended his contract with the team from the Apple Isle. Doyle enjoyed a magnificent debut season with the JackJumpers, culminating in a selection on the All-NBL First Team.

He was Tassie’s go-to guy on the offensive end, and delivered in a number of clutch situations. The biggest threat to Scott Roth and the JackJumpers is the potential for offers to come from overseas, in similar vein to how the side lost Josh Adams last year. However, Roth is confident in the team’s negotiating position, so an announcement could be imminent.

Tasmania is confident in re-signing Milton Doyle. Photo: Simon Sturzaker/Getty Images

After winning his second consecutive NBL’s Most Improved Player award in historic fashion, Cairns Taipans big man Keanu Pinder is also out of contract and likely to attract some big offers. However, given the individual and team success achieved and the fact that he missed Cairns’ finals campaign, it is hard to see Pinder switching jerseys.

Keanu Pinder is likely to return to Cairns. Photo: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

One of the biggest intrigues of the offseason will be where Luke Travers ends up. The Perth Wildcats young gun was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers, but returned to the NBL for the 2022/23 season and had a career-best campaign. The Cavaliers GM watched a handful of Perth games, but the team has not made an announcement surrounding Travers joining the team in the U.S., so he is every chance to return to the NBL. With that in mind, there will be a number of teams putting in some flattering offers in the coming weeks, so he could opt for a change of scenery.

For the full free agency list, click here.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments