News

Duane Bailey released by NZ as Corey Webster returns

Just 36 hours ahead of hosting the Sydney Kings at the North Shore Events Centre on Wednesday night, the New Zealand Breakers made adjustments to their roster, accommodating the return of shooting guard Corey Webster after his stint with the New Orleans Pelicans in the United States. 

With short term replacement Everard Bartlett making the most of his opportunity through the opening four games of the season, the tough decision was made to remove forward Duane Bailey from the roster, enabling Webster to return and Bartlett to move to a full-time contract with the club.

Head Coach Dean Vickerman explained a situation that he describes as ‘part of the role’ but not a nice thing ever to have to do.

“These days are tough, these decisions are tough, but if you are to be successful they are not decisions you can shy away from. Duane is a young man with a great future in the game, he has contributed to this club on and off court but right now the group has decided that Everard deserves a full-time spot on the roster and with Corey returning we had to look at where we could make room on the full-time roster.

“Duane took the news as you would expect, he was disappointed but reacted with great maturity. We have offered him a role to stay with the club in a training capacity for the remainder of the season and to be available should we suffer injuries, understandably however he is considering all of his options right now with a view to earning a playing contract.

Bailey was a Breakers Development Player in 2013 before earning an upgrade to the full-time roster and subsequently a one-year deal with a one-year option that was exercised by the club for the 2015/16 campaign.

A member of the Bartercard NBL championship winning Southland Sharks, Bailey was a 2015 Tall Black, playing on the tour of Europe and being a part of the team that won the Stankovic Cup in China before playing Australia in the Oceania Series defeat against Australia.

Bartlett is the big mover in the shake-up, without a contract in the NBL at the start of the season, the Tall Black guard was called up by the Breakers to cover Webster while he was pursuing an NBA contract with the Pelicans.

Bartlett had 13 points, four rebounds and three steals on return to Adelaide in the Breakers' season opening loss before upping the ante at Vector Arena in the win over Townsville with 19 points on shooting 7-of-9 from the field, and 5-of-7 from long range. 

Bartlett then marked his return to former club Perth on Friday night in style with 17 points on the back of some hot shooting nailing 5-of-8 from three-point territory, performances that made it impossible for him not to be part of the Breakers campaign this season.

You can catch Corey Webster back in action on Wednesday as the Breakers host the Sydney Kings. Tune in on SKY Sport NZ, Fox Sports News and the NBL Live App.

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