Star import Sydney-bound as Hogg becomes a King

THE NBL’s reigning champions have reportedly pulled off a huge coup as they prepare for their quest for a remarkable third consecutive title, according to ESPN.

After winning back-to-back championships over the past two seasons, the Sydney Kings have acquired the services of star forward DJ Hogg in one of the biggest signings of the 2023 NBL free agency period.

The Kings lost their biggest star in reigning Andrew Gaze Trophy winner Xavier Cooks, who signed a two-year deal in the NBA, along with head coach Chase Buford and there was plenty of speculation as to where Sydney would go from here.

However, the addition of Hogg is a perfect demonstration of their intention to stay at the top of the competition, with the import fresh off a magnificent debut season in the NBL.

DJ Hogg was a standout for the Cairns Taipans. Photo: Getty Images

Hogg joins the team from the Cairns Taipans, where he starred for the team as one of the best offensive players in the competition. He was named to the All-NBL second team for his efforts after averaging 18.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists on 44 per cent shooting from the field.

He showed his ability to put a team on his back during the play-in, where he exploded and dropped a 30-piece on the Perth Wildcats in a match-winning performance, so he should deliver similar performances for the Kings.

He is one of the best in the NBL at attacking downhill and putting pressure on the rim, seemingly unfazed by any sort of interior defence and conjuring consistent offence in the paint.

Given the strength of his campaign last time around, there was plenty of interest around the NBL for Hogg’s services. The attraction of immediate success with the Kings would have played a key role in securing his signature, and the focus for the reigning champs now turns to filling the point guard position, where they have had plenty of success over recent years.

Cairns has now lost its two biggest names from the last season in Hogg and Keanu Pinder, and will now take a different looking roster into the upcoming season.

Hogg looks set to fill the almighty shoes of Cooks, and while producing such dominant numbers may seem like a daunting task, he has shown an impressive ceiling, and could be in the race for the MVP award at the end of the season.

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