The draft orders for the Schick 3x3 Cup drafts have been revealed, and now it's time to start speculating on who might go where next Wednesday night. We'll start with the men...
Ahead of Wednesday night’s draft order reveal every NBL 3X3 team captain had an idea of the players they were lining up to select at next week’s Player Draft.
However, creating confusion, angles and opportunities is what a draft will do. It’s a game of strategy and a little bit of illusion – but who will be the NBL’s best illusionist?
The Nelson Giants hold the aces with the first pick, and while there is a train of thought they will select locals in the draft, Captain Sam Dempster suggests that may not be the wisest strategy, saying "Having the number one pick changes a few things for sure. We always want to get our local guys, but with this pick we should be able to get the best player in the draft and our local guys. Players like Hyrum, Derone, DKP etc are pretty tough to turn down. We've got plenty to think about before the draft."
The Hawke’s Bay Hawks have landed pick three and have made no secrets they want Derone Raukawa, but does the nifty guard fall to them or will they need be an active player on Trade Weekend? And could the Nuggets number 4 pick be a chance to reunite them with the Showdown winning centre Jordan Hunt?
And what about finding a bolter, surely there will be one – perhaps rising star Tafara Gapare will sneak up the draft order and be claimed by a team looking for some youth and enthusiasm?
The Airs will have to develop an interesting plan with back-to-back selections, which can help a team select a balanced pair, rather than being too guard or forward heavy.
So get set for a week of rumour and speculation. The savvy teams will play their cards close to their chest and won’t narrow their selection targets until draft night, preferring instead to play the draft game and cast their net wide.
And of course things could change in the coming days with the likes of Jayden Bezzant, Zach Riley and Dontae Russo-Nance yet to register for the draft.
Taking an approach mixing best available talent and also some local sway in places, the first Mock Draft of the 3X3 season has dropped. Check it out.
3X3 Men’s Mock Draft
Each team will also get a third-round selection with the order for the round randomly decided on draft night (after round two).
And here’s a reminder of this year’s team captains. All up, teams will head to the Schick 3X3 Cup with four players.
Airs – Tai Wynyard
Bulls – Denhym Brooke
Giants – Sam Demspter
Hawks – Ethan Rusbatch
Huskies – Chris McIntosh
Nuggets – Richie Rodger
Rams – Max Darling
Saints – Kenneth Tuffin
Sharks – Jonny Helu
United – Mike Karena