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Creek nets 10-day NBA deal

IT was another huge "Australia Day" today in the NBA, with former Adelaide 36ers' NBL captain and 2018 club MVP Mitch Creek elevated into the Brooklyn Nets' team on a 10-day contract.

Creek's promotion from Brooklyn's G-League affiliate Long Island Nets means he becomes the record 11th Aussie in the NBA this season, joining Ben Simmons and Jonah Bolden (Philadelphia 76ers), Joe Ingles and Dante Exum (Utah Jazz), Matthew Dellavedova and Deng Adel (Cleveland Cavaliers), Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs), Aron Baynes (Boston Celtics), Thon Maker (Milwaukee Bucks) and Ryan Broekhoff (Dallas Mavericks).

The 26-year-old, 196cm swingman is averaging 14.4 points at 55 percent, 5.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 25 games with Long Island and fills the roster opening created when Brooklyn waived Kenneth Faried last week.

Standard 10-day contract values wary between $30,000 and $60,000, contingent on a player's experience.

The NBL today was quick to acknowledge its role in Creek's development, with CEO Jeremy Loeliger predicting more players would now utilise the NBL as a route to the NBA.

"This is a fantastic achievement by Mitch and another tremendous endorsement of the NBL and its status as one of the world's premier basketball leagues, outside of the NBA," Loeliger said.

"Mitch, who had a distinguished career at Adelaide, joins a growing list of players who've made the transition from the NBL to NBA in recent seasons including Terrance Ferguson (Adelaide to OKC) and Torrey Craig (Brisbane to Denver)."

Creek's success as a kid from Horsham in country Victoria who debated playing Aussie Rules but stuck with his first love, is inspirational.

In eight years with the 36ers, he became the face of the franchise, steering them into two Grand Final Series (which both went the distance) and won a role in the Australian national team.

By the time the Boomers won Gold at their historic first FIBA Asia Cup in 2017, Creek was a starter and extremely unlucky not to be named in the tournament's All Star Five.

Last season he won the People's Choice fan vote for league MVP and was named in the NBL Second Team, having averaged 14.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.2 steals with Adelaide.

Introduced in his NBA debut today for two seconds with 3:33 left in the 109-99 win over the New York Knicks, Creek shot two free throws, scoring one.

IT'S DONE: Flashback to Mitch Creek signing his NBA deal, with solicitor Stephen Kellis and agent Jye Watson. The dream is now a reality.

FUN FACT: In November, Creek also made his debut at Long Island Nets against the New York Knicks' G-League affiliate Westchester Knicks.

Jan 26

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