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Creek again the lone wolf

WITH six points today, Mitch Creek created his own piece of NBA history as the highest scoring Aussie playing in a debut game for Minnesota Timberwolves.

Creek, whose original 10-day contract with the T-Wolves was extended to close out the regular season, is the fourth Australian to don a Minnesota uniform.

A three-time NBA champion at the Chicago Bulls and the first Australian into The Show, Luc Longley started his career at Minnesota when he was drafted at #7 in 1991.

Due to a contract stall, he only debuted a month into the 1991-92 season and went scoreless in his first NBA game. 

So too Shane Heal who was with the Timberwolves in 1996 and also had an egg in his debut match.

Cairns Taipans free agent and an NBL champion at Perth, Nathan Jawai was drafted in 2008 by Indiana Pacers, traded to Toronto Raptors, in 2009 becoming the first indigenous Australian to play in the NBA.

In October, 2009, he was traded to Minnesota where he had four points in his Timberwolves debut.

For almost a decade the face of the Adelaide 36ers' NBL club and its 2018 Most Valuable Player, Creek broke into the NBA this season initially with two 10-day contracts at Brooklyn Nets, in between playing the G-League season with the franchise's affiliate Long Island Nets.

Creek saw 11:31 of action in Minnesota's 100-120 loss to Toronto Raptors, scoring six points on 3-of-6 shooting, with two rebounds, an assist and a steal.

The 196cm swingman who turns 27 later this month, will play his last NBA game of this regular season against the Western Conference's second-placed Denver Nuggets, featuring former NBL forward Torrey Craig.

If he returns to the NBL next season, it will be as the first major signing of the new South East Melbourne Phoenix club but it does appear there will be more NBA doors ajar now for him.

Meanwhile, SEM has signed Melbourne United free agent forward Dan Trist to go with championship winners Tai Wesley and Adam Gibson, plus former NBL scoring champ Ben Madgen and human highlight reel Chima Moneke.

The Phoenix missed out on 36ers free agent Nathan Sobey (Brisbane Bullets) and in other moves, Perth Wildcats' free agent swingman Sunday Dech has signed a two-year deal at Illawarra Hawks, joining Todd Blanchfield, AJ Ogilvy, Daniel Grida, Emmett Naar and Tim Coenraad at the Wollongong-based inaugural NBL club.

Championship-winning long-range shooter Clint Steindl will be back in Wildcats' red for the next two years while three-time championship-winning assistant coach Matt Nielsen is returning to the US to further pursue his coaching development, with the NBA's San Antonio Spurs still believed to be his preferred destination.

Apr 10

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