Reath’s dream realised with big man bound for Portland

FOLLOWING a strong campaign at the 2023 FIBA World Cup, Aussie big man Duop Reath has finally made his way onto an NBA list, joining the Portland Trail Blazers for the upcoming 2023/24 season.

He joins a growing list of Aussie basketball players in the NBA as scouts continue to look down under for some of the next great players in the world’s best league.

Reath was one of Australia’s key frontcourt figures in the World Cup, proving extremely important for the Boomers with his ability to constantly score. He stood up in the absence of Jock Landale as the team’s starting big man and delivered in a big way for the Boomers. Although Australia did not get the job done in Japan and the Philippines, Reath was one of the shining lights, further putting his name forward for NBA contention.

During the World Cup, the 27-year-old put up 8.6 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks on 81 per cent shooting from the field and 75 per cent shooting from behind the arc, showcasing his versatility. Impressively, Reath did all of this in less than 15 minutes of court time, given Xavier Cooks was preferred later in the tournament down the stretch.

The former Illawarra Hawk has impressed at NBL level in the past, playing just one season on Australia shores before heading overseas for broader opportunities.

Reath also impressed at the NBA Summer League, playing for Portland and catching the eye with his innate scoring ability. Despite coming off the bench, he posted double-digits in nearly every game, clearly doing enough to impress Portland’s coaching staff with his high work rate and consistent level of play.

At six-foot-10, Reath may be undersized against some of the bigs in the NBA, but should matchup well against a lot of opponents, while his skillset should make up for any height difference. He can stretch the floor and knock down shots from both midrange and behind the arc, which is fitting for the way the NBA is heading in the modern era.

He will join fellow Boomer Matisse Thybulle on the Trail Blazers, with the defensive stopper recently traded to Portland where he will look to lock down some of the best players in the NBA. Alongside the likes of Landale and Joshua Giddey, Reath will grow Australia’s presence in the best basketball league on the planet, having fully earnt his one-year deal.

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