Years ago

links between NBL and NBA teams?

I have this memory that at some stage years ago there was talk of NBA teams setting up camps out here or developing partnerships with local teams for talent recognition and development.

Did it ever happen? If not, why not?

It seems to me that the only way Aussies get a chance overseas is if the players and their agents put in the effort to chase it. We often hear about soccer teams overseas poaching our best players, but I don't hear about it happening that way in basketball.

I know that there's frequently an 'NBA out' clause in contracts, but how often do our guys get a call-up?

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Average OKKA  
Years ago

Aussie talent goes to College, that would be the equivalent. There has yet to be an Australian who went straight to the NBA from Australia (without going to college or europe) and actually played meaningful, consistent minutes. Gaze, Heal, Bradtke and Anstey: None had any real impact, and they were our best in terms of going NBL to NBA.

Lets not forgot the soccer teams overseas recruit our talent into their 'academies' not their first team to play immediately. I doubt we will EVER? see an Australian player go from the NBL to playing big minutes in the NBA. Just not reality......

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Years ago

Heal did play 12 MPG when at San Antonio, hardly junk minutes.

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Years ago

Didn't Nathan Jawai go straight to the NBA after playing in the NBL? I don't recall him going via Europe or the US college system.

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Years ago

Newley was drafted (though yet to play) out of the NBL. Ingles a chance too. No point in NBA teams having partnerships for talent recognition.

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Years ago

BJF: Yes he sure did play 12 minutes a game. For 6 games........then he was cut once their back up point guard returned to health.......Nice try.

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Years ago

Anstey went from the NBL to the NBA. He played meaningful minutes as well. Close to 17mpg 5.9ppg and 3.8rpg.

Nathan Jawai also went straight from the NBL to the NBA. Although didn't get any decent court time.

Luc Longley went from the NBL to the NBA, although did go to College in between.

Then you have imports like Rick Brunson & Doug Overton that went from the NBL to the NBA and had long NBA careers.

In terms of the NBA setting up something in Australia, there was an NBA office in Australia in the 90s. There has also been talk about NBA pre-season games being played in Australia within the next 5 years.

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Years ago

Nate, you can also add Stephen Jackson and Billy Owes as imports that went on and played in the "Show" after stints in the NBL

Should playing 2 games of NBL before joining the Unversity of New Mexico count as "playing" in the NBL. Longley (and a little like Vlahov and Bradtke) had more experience as a Boomer before playing NBL or going to College.

Nevertheless I think a point has been made that NBL is a bonefide path to the NBA even if it's a road less travelled.

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