The Sal’s NBL free agency period continues to motor along with the Night n’ Day Otago Nuggets and SBS Southland Sharks starting to warm up, while the Auckland Tuatara are leaving no stone unturned in their efforts to go one better in season 2023.
Only the Franklin Bulls, NBS Nelson Giants and Wheeler Motor Company Canterbury Rams are yet to announce any player signings, but all three teams are believed to be very active in the market right now and nearing some news for fans.
In a great boost for the reigning champions, the Nuggets have confirmed Sam Timmins will return for another title tilt and no doubt he will return all the better off the back of another season with the Sky Sport Breakers in the Australian NBL.
The imposing centre was a beast at both ends of the floor in 2022 and is a true centrepiece for the Nuggets to again build a strong team around.
Further south, the Sharks have now announced Romaro Gill, Dru-Leo Leusogi-Ape, Brayden Inger, and Johnny Helu. It’s a familiar look for the Sharks as they prepare to bounce back from a disappointing campaign last time out. Helu re-joins the Sharks after a season with the Wellington Saints, linking up with new head coach Guy Molloy again.
The Taranaki Steelformers Airs announced their second import for 2023 in American guard Armon Fletcher. The 27-year-old, 196cm shooting guard out of Southern Illinois University played in Luxembourg last year where he averaged 22.7 points on 53% shooting per game and shot at 41.1% from beyond the arc, making 58 of his 158 long-range attempts.
The other big mover over the last week was the Tuatara, who have added Tall Black guard Reuben Te Rangi to an already impressive roster containing Cameron Gliddon and Rob Loe. Young Tom Beattie has also signed on for the season and is set to play a bigger role after showing some impressive progress in 2022.
Kenneth Tuffin has been confirmed back with the Wellington Saints, where he’ll join Tom Vodanovich and Tohi Smith-Milner. While a little further up the highway, the Property Broker Manawatu Jets are filling out an exciting roster with young forwards Jackson Stent and Josh Leger finding new digs.
To check out all the latest signings visit the Sal’s NBL free agency tracker HERE.
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
Pafe Momoisea – returning
Jackson Stent – (Canterbury Rams)
Josh Leger – (Franklin Bulls)
Coach: Trent Adam
Anthony Hilliard – returning (restricted)
Richie Rodger – returning
Anzac Rissetto – new (Franklin Bulls)
Marcel Jones - returning
Armon Fletcher - (restricted)
Coach: Guy Molloy
Brayden Inger – returning
Dru-Leo Leusogi-Ape – returning
Romaro Gill – returning
Johnny Helu - (Wellington Saints)
HAWKE’S BAY HAWKS
Coach: Everard Bartlett
Jordan Hunt – returning
Hyrum Harris – returning
Jordan Ngatai – (Wellington Saints)
Coach: Aaron Young
Rob Loe – returning
Reuben Te Rangi – (Knox Raiders / South-East Melbourne Phoenix)
Cameron Gliddon – NZ Breakers
Tom Beattie – returning
Coach: Troy McLean
Tom Vodanovich – returning
Tohi Smith-Milner – (Sandringham Sabres / South-East Melbourne Phoenix)
Kenneth Tuffin – returning
Coach: Brent Matehaere
Sam Timmins - returning
Coach: Daniel Sokolovsky
Coach: Judd Flavell
Coach: Mike Fitchett