Rams On The Charge As Player Signings Heat Up

With the Sal’s NBL tipping off in less that three weeks the signing of players has reached fever pitch across the league as a daily flow of deals keeps coming in.

Highlighted for weeks as being the only team yet to announce any players, the Wheeler Motor Company Canterbury Rams have made up for lost time with a flurry of announcements, headlined by the news they have secured highly rated import Tevin Brown out of the Indiana Pacers programme.

A four-year starter at Murray State, which included a season playing in the backcourt alongside Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant, Brown is currently completing a successful NBA G League season with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.  

Brown will join Taylor Britt, Walter Brown and Tai Wynyard, marking an already formidable looking line-up for coach Judd Flavell with a swag of players still to be named. For Wynyard, it is a new base following a successful season with the Steelformer Taranaki Airs, who have picked up Anzac Rissetto from the Franklin Bulls to replace their former big centre.

The Taylor Hawke’s Bay Hawks have also had an active period with regulars Ethan Rusbatch and Derone Raukawa both inking new deals to return, while coach Everard Bartlett continues to bring in quality depth, this time snaring the signatures of Denhym Brooke from the Bulls and young Joshua Tutagalevao from the Wellington Saints.

Both the Night ‘n’ Day Otago Nuggets and Southland Sharks continue to sign numerous returning locals, with the Nuggets also adding 2022 championship winning import Todd Withers who has been playing significant minutes with the Texas Legends (NBA G League) over the summer, and they have also introduced Australian Michael Harris fresh off a season with the Perth Wildcats.   

In other news, Taane Samuel returns for the Saints for a third successive season, import David Azore will come to New Zealand off a stint in Iceland late last year where he averaged 21 point per game and join the Airs, and the Bulls continue to have a strong NZ Breakers look about them with both Dan Fotu (Tuatara) and Jayden Bezzant (returning) signing on.

The team to keep an eye on over the next week might well be the NBS Nelson Giants, who are yet to announce any imports. After a huge 2022 season, where they finished the regular season in second position, the Giants have their strong local contingent locked away, including rising guard Alex McNaught (NZ Breakers), but they are expected to soon add their internationals. It remains unknown whether they will fill all three import spots.

To check out all the latest signings visit the Sal’s NBL free agency tracker HERE.

Coach: Natu Taufale
Danny Pippen* – Korat (Finland)
Javion Blake* – Astros (Mexico)
Tama Faamausili – returning
Liam Judd – Franklin Bulls
Tu Kaha Cooper – returning
Pafe Momoisea – returning
Jackson Stent – Canterbury Rams
Josh Leger – Franklin Bulls
Mustapha Heron* - Rio Grande Valley Vipers (NBA G League)
Campbell Scott - Southland Sharks

Coach: Trent Adam
Anthony Hilliard* – returning
Armon Fletcher* – Santa Cruz Warriors (NBA G League)
Richie Rodger – returning
Anzac Rissetto – Franklin Bulls / South-East Melbourne Phoenix (ANBL)
Marcel Jones – returning
Riley Tuuta – returning
David Azore* - Grindavick (Iceland)

Coach: Guy Molloy
Brayden Inger – returning
Dru-Leo Leusogi-Ape – returning
Romaro Gill* – returning
Johnny Helu – Wellington Saints
Alonzo Burton – returning
Ben Hall – Canterbury Rams (2021)
Grant Anticevich* – South-East Melbourne Phoenix (ANBL)
Jeremy Kendle* - Logan Thunder (NBL1)
Tom Cowie – returning
Riley Snow – new
Quake Webster – new
Ben Adamson – Hawke’s Bay Hawks

Coach: Everard Bartlett
Jordan Hunt – returning
Hyrum Harris – returning
Jordan Ngatai – Wellington Saints
Derone Raukawa – returning
Joshua Tutagalevao – Wellington Saints
Denhym Brooke – Franklin Bulls
Ethan Rusbatch – returning

Coach: Aaron Young
Rob Loe – returning / NZ Breakers (ANBL)
Reuben Te Rangi – South-East Melbourne Phoenix (ANBL)
Cameron Gliddon* – NZ Breakers (ANBL)
Tom Beattie – returning
Nick Barrow – returning
Chris McIntosh – returning
Charlie Dalton – returning
Conor Flanagan – new
Thomas Whyte – new

Coach: Troy McLean
Tom Vodanovich – returning / NZ Breakers (ANBL)
Tohi Smith-Milner – South-East Melbourne Phoenix (ANBL)
Kenneth Tuffin – returning
Kyle Adnam* - South-East Melbourne Phoenix (ANBL)
Nathaniel Salmon – Manawatu Jets
Taane Samuel – returning          
Francis Wineera-Mulvihill – returning

Coach: Brent Matehaere
Sam Timmins – returning / NZ Breakers (ANBL)
Jack Andrew – returning / Perth Wildcats (ANBL)
Darcy Knox – returning
Matt Bardsley – returning
Josh Aitcheson – returning
Max Pearce – returning
Robbie Coman – returning
Michael Harris* - Perth Wildcats (ANBL)
Todd Withers* - returning / Texas Legends (NBA G League)
Joe Ahie – returning

Coach: Daniel Sokolovsky
Isaac Davidson – returning / NZ Breakers (ANBL)
Tyrell Harrison – Brisbane Bullets (ANBL)
Dan Fotu – Auckland Tuatara / NZ Breakers (ANBL)
Jayden Bezzant – returning / NZ Breakers

Coach: Mike Fitchett
Sam Dempster – returning
Nic Trathen – returning
Alex McNaught – returning / NZ Breakers (ANBL)
Tom Ingham – returning
Tyler Marsh – returning
Nick Davidson – returning

Coach: Judd Flavell
Tai Wynyard – Taranaki Airs
Tevin Brown* - Fort Wayne Mad Ants (NBA G League)
Walter Brown – returning / Tasmania Jack Jumpers (ANBL)
Taylor Britt – returning


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