McDowell-White stays put while big men make moves

THE NBL free agency period has seen some big moves over the past few days, but for the New Zealand Breakers, the less moving, the better.

The Breakers were eager to retain the services of young gun William McDowell-White, but there was plenty of interest with the likes of the Perth Wildcats and the Brisbane Bullets extremely keen on the services of one of Australia’s best guards.

Having fully emerged as a star of the competition over the past couple of years, McDowell-White had his pick of the litter coming into free agency.

However, the Breakers breathed a sigh of relief by signing the guard to a two-year deal earlier this week, signalling their intentions to look to go one step further than their recent appearance in the Championship series.

The Wildcats added Keanu Pinder alongside Bryce Cotton, and were extremely eager to form a big three with McDowell-White, but lost out to New Zealand, who shot from the bottom of the table to one win away from the ultimate prize.

The Breakers will now be looking internationally, to try and either bring back the likes of Barry Brown Jr. or Dererk Pardon, or try and bring in some different talent as imports.

Meanwhile, Melbourne United took a big hit, losing two of their big men in the space of a few days.

The Wildcats acquired the services of David Okwera, who showed strong potential early in the season for United, and should continue to develop.

Also opting for a change of colours was Mason Peatling, with the forward heading north-east to join the Illawarra Hawks. With a slim number of contracted players entering free agency, Peatling will be the first of a few additions for the Hawks.

The Adelaide 36ers have added the services of guard Jason Cadee, who joins the team after a five-year stint with the Bullets. Cadee previously played for the 36ers between 2012 and 2014, and will bring a strong scoring capability to an Adelaide team that struggled with its ability to generate offence at times.

Yet to put pen to paper are Luke Travers and Milton Doyle, both of whom are coming off strong campaigns with their respective sides. Travers has informed Perth of his desire to find a new landing spot, having developed in a big way during his time with the Wildcats. He likely has a number of suitors in waiting. Tasmania JackJumpers coach Scott Roth has been bullish about his side’s ability to re-sign Doyle, but the talented import is yet to recommit to the team, likely considering offers both internationally and domestically.

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