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Sixers high on Jack as Bullets fire up


THREE days into the NBL’s official free agency period and Brisbane has landed big fish in Cam Gliddon and Mika Vukona, while Adelaide’s sharks are circling Aussie tyro Jack McVeigh.

First things first. It’s just amazing how much can get done in just a couple of days, isn’t it?

Gliddon informed Cairns Taipans of his intent to leave a fair while back, although Vukona – a five-time NBL champion – probably was amenable to leaving New Zealand from the moment it was clear Paul Henare would not return as coach.

Vukona, the man most NBL players would want to have in the trenches with them, has signed a two-year deal with the Bullets who also shortly should announce ex-36ers “big” Matt Hodgson in their frontcourt.

(Then Jason Cadee in their backcourt.)

The Bullets are among a bunch of NBL clubs chasing the signature of Illawarra Hawks’ free agent power forward Nick Kay.

With possibly Kay and Vukona at power forward, Brisbane has cooled on two-year forward/centre free agent Daniel Kickert.

It appears two seasons of 90-50-40 were not as impressive as two seasons in the bomb shelter for the Bullets.

Kay is no sure thing to leave the Hawks but with suitors such as the Bullets and Perth Wildcats – not to mention Sydney and Melbourne - he has some serious thinking to do.

* * *

THE 36ers are keen to quicken up their frontcourt and McVeigh, a 204cm star for Australia at junior level, and Harry Froling, a 208cm forward with a huge upside, fit the bill.

Both have NBA potential making the Adelaide program – with its recent track record in that area – an attractive option and announcements appear imminent.

McVeigh (pictured above), is 22 in June and has been refining his craft at University of Nebraska where he recently confirmed he was NBL-bound.

Competing for Queensland in 2012 at the Under-18 Australian Championship, he dominated with an average 17.6 points and 12.4 rebounds. The following year, he bumped his numbers up to 24.3 points with 10.8 rebounds.

Last year he played for Australia at the World University Games and captained the Australian team at the 2015 FIBA Under-19 World Championship.

He made his Boomers’ debut in 2014 in the late-lamented Sino-Australia Challenge series.

Froling logged just enough games for Townsville Crocs in 2015-16 as a replacement for injured Luke Schenscher to be ineligible for next season’s Rookie of the Year award. (For more on Harry, go here.)

The duo would suit the style of Sixers coach Joey Wright, who has some history with both from his own time in Queensland.

These will be exciting signings for the 36ers.

* * *

NEW Breakers coach Kevin Braswell is expected to lure Melbourne United free agent and former New Zealand teammate Tai Wesley back across the ditch and with Vukona departed, there most definitely is a spot for him.

That's Wesley, pictured, battling it out with Nathan Sobey during the NBL Championship Series.

Working with a lesser budget than most clubs, Cairns Taipans will likely reach out to United’s Majok Majok.

When Melbourne’s championship-winning coach Dean Vickerman left Sydney where he was assisting Andrew Gaze, he took under-utilised Craig Moller with him to United.

Expect new Taipans coach Mike Kelly to follow suit by luring Majok north with him.

The Kings shortly should make their recruitment of versatile guard Tom Wilson public knowledge, allowing Cadee’s locker to cool off before breaking the news.

Teaming Cadee with Gliddon - who has signed in Brisbane for three years - and Adam Gibson is a calculated move. Cadee and Gliddon have co-existed smoothly on the Boomers teams of Bullets coach Andrej Lemanis, while Cadee and Gibson previously were teammates at both Gold Coast Blaze and Adelaide 36ers.

For more on Wilson at the Kings, head here.

Apr 18

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