Seven teams remain without news of a player signing for the Sal’s NBL 2023 season as free agency moved through a second successive quiet week.
Despite the lack of announcements, the negotiations behind the scenes have been fierce, highlighted by up to four teams thought to be chasing the same import.
As for week two of free agency, the Taylor Hawke’s Bay Hawks took the honours with the re-signing of talented and versatile Kiwi forward Jordan Hunt.
Highly respected for his ability to run the floor from rim to rim, as well as step outside, stretch the floor and knock down triples, Hunt is expected to feature prominently for the Hawks.
The kings of free agency week one, the Taranaki Steelformers Airs and Property Brokers Manawatu Jets, were the only other teams to add further announcements in week two.
Journeyman Marcel Jones has re-signed for the Airs and could feature as a starter alongside opening week signings Anthony Hilliard, Richie Rodger and the incoming Anzac Rissetto.
The Airs are thought to be closing in on second import announcement in the coming week.
Adding to their growing roster, the Jets signed young Kiwi star Tu Kaha Cooper, another rising talent to return to the team-in-green and continue working under Natu Taufale.
While the rest of the competition continues to play smoke and mirrors in the early stages of free agency, rumours abound that player movement between teams will again be a feature during the pre-season.
On the import front it’s believed at least four teams have been chasing the same guard in recent weeks, while a number of Sky Sport Breakers are likely to filter into the Sal’s NBL once their Australian NBL season has come to a close.
Here’s how each team looks after week two of free agency. Teams must maintain a minimum roster size of 12 players, and can sign up to 18 players.
Free agency tracker: http://nznbl.link/q55ep
Coach: Natu Taufale
LaGerald Vick – new (restricted)
Danny Pippen – new (restricted)
Javion Blake – new (restricted)
Tama Faamausili – returning
Liam Judd – new (Franklin Bulls)
Tu Kaha Cooper - returning
Coach: Trent Adam
Anthony Hilliard – returning (restricted)
Richie Rodger – returning
Anzac Rissetto – new (Franklin Bulls)
Marcel Jones - returning
Coach: Guy Molloy
HAWKE’S BAY HAWKS
Coach: Everard Bartlett
Jordan Hunt - returning
Coach: Daniel Sokolovsky
Coach: Aaron Young
Coach: Judd Flavell
Coach: Brent Matehaere
Coach: Troy McLean
Coach: Mike Fitchett