Unheralded heroes make moves in NBL free agency

THE FREE agency period in the NBL continues to deliver exciting and unpredictable moves, with some of the competition’s biggest names still uncontracted and in search of a new deal.

Monday morning saw a pair of eye-catching moves hit the news, and a big shift for the Tasmania JackJumpers, who are building towards a different look next season.

Defensive specialist Matt Kenyon has crossed the bass strait, departing the JackJumpers after being an inaugural member of the team over the past two years. He will join the SEM Phoenix on a two-year deal, and should bring plenty of spark on the defensive end.

It was an area in which the Phoenix were lacking in their disappointing finish to the 2022/23 season, often conceding big scores to some of the competition’s best. For the JackJumpers, Kenyon was frequently tasked with taking on the league’s big guns, and shone with smothering performances against the likes of Bryce Cotton.

Under new head coach Mike Kelly, the Phoenix are looking to implement a stronger defensive game, and the addition of Kenyon further emphasises this. The 25-year-old has played under Kelly in the past at a Uni Games tournament, so the pair already have an established relationship that should convert to the court.

Jack McVeigh and Anthony Drmic will be reunited with the latter joining the Tasmania JackJumpers. Photo: The Advertiser

The second move of the morning saw the JackJumpers look to fill Kenyon’s shoes with the acquisition of Anthony Drmic, who will bring a wealth of experience to a Tasmania side that has been yearning for a veteran presence at times.

Drmic has 199 games of NBL experience to his name, and has proven a valuable contributor on any team he has suited up for. The guard joins the team on a one-year deal and should be a vital cog for Scott Roth‘s side.

He joins the JackJumpers after his latest stint with the Adelaide 36ers, where he has spent most of his NBL career. In the 2022/23 season, he posted numbers of 10.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists across 25 appearances.

Roth will call on Drmic in some big moments, with the guard showing some serious offence over the course of his career. When Josh Magette was injured for the finals, Tasmania yearned for an experienced head at various stages, and that veteran presence will be filled by Drmic, who has been open about his desire to claim a title by the time his career finishes. The JackJumpers still see themselves among the contenders, so it seems a strong match.

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