NBL Free Agency Live Analysis: July 16

Follow the live free agency blog all day as we update signing with analysis as they happen.

With free agency underway, NBL Media’s Liam Santamaria is taking a look at each and every signing and breaking down what it all means ahead of #NBL21.

Signed by: The Hawks

The deal: One year

Age: 28

2019-20 team: New Zealand Breakers

2019-20 stats (per game): Did not play.

Projected role: Deng is likely to play limited minutes off the bench, probably behind an import power forward. 

Quote: “We believe Deng has yet to hit his full potential in the NBL and look forward to helping him reach it. Deng is sure to be a player Hawks fans will enjoy watching next season.” – Brian Goorjian (Hawks head coach)

My take: With his length and athleticism, Deng has always been an intriguing talent. 

He showed flashes of potential with the Kings in 2018-19 but did not even step on the court as an injury replacement for New Zealand last season. 

Deng has incredible bounce and a nifty mid-range game but needs to get stronger and become a more consistent three-point threat if he’s to carve out a role as a reliable stretch four. 

Down the other end, the 28-year-old possesses the physical tools to become a disruptive defensive presence but has never quite turned himself into that lockdown kind of guy.

If Goorjian can unlock all of that untapped potential, The Hawks will have found themselves a diamond in the rough. 


With free agency underway, NBL Media’s Liam Santamaria is taking a look at each and every signing and breaking down what it all means ahead of #NBL21.

Signed by: Brisbane Bullets

The deal: 2 years

Age: 24

2019-20 team: Saint Mary’s College

2019-20 stats (per game): 9.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 41.3 FG%, 39.1 3P%, 85.4 FT%

Projected role: Back-up shooting guard/small forward.

Quote: “I think the NBL is the best league to join personally because my ultimate goal is the NBA and I’m working through the steps on how I’m going to get there and the NBL was the most appealing way to go about it.” – Tanner Krebs

My take: You can never have too much shooting and Krebs will provide the Bullets with a floor-spacing wing option off the bench in NBL21. I mean, this rookie can flat-out shoot the ball and, at 6-foot-6, he has the size and mobility to play both wing spots at the NBL level. 

Krebs chose Brisbane over Melbourne and Sydney and comes in after four years at Saint Mary’s  where he played alongside Jock Landale (Zalgiris), Emmett, Naar (The Hawks), Dane Pineau (SEM) as well as other NBL guys like Alex Mudronja (Adelaide) and Jordan Hunter (Sydney). 

The biggest element of this signing, for me, is the fact that it’s a multi-year deal. That serves as a major blow for the new Tasmanian franchise as Krebs would’ve been a terrific foundation piece for his home-state team.


With free agency underway, NBL Media’s Liam Santamaria is taking a look at each and every signing and breaking down what it all means ahead of #NBL21.

Signed by: Adelaide 36ers

The deal: Two years (mutual option final year)

Age: 22

2019-20 team: Lakeland Magic (NBA G League)

2019-20 stats (per game): 8.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, 45.3 FG%, 28.3 3P%, 78.6 FT%

Projected role: Starting centre.

Quote: “Throughout the recruiting process, we identified Isaac as the ideal fit for our team, and with DJ next to him going forward we feel we just got a lot stronger in the front court. He is a quality young man, a high-level player, and has plenty of upside still to come. We couldn’t be happier to have him part of the 36ers team.” – Conner Henry (Adelaide 36ers head coach)

My take: Humphries is a terrific talent. He’s a 6-foot-11 big man who can block shots, has nice touch, belts out a tremendous tune and can stretch it out beyond the arc. He’s also still young and, at just 22, still has plenty of room to grow. 

That being said, the 36ers have invested a lot to bring Humphries in so the big fella will need to consistently produce at a high level to make that contract work. 

I’m also intrigued to see how well he and Daniel Johnson fit together in the Adelaide frontcourt. They’re both centres, for mine, and neither is particularly adept at defending the pick-and-roll which could potentially become a headache for Coach Henry. 

One thing’s for sure: Humphries is a much more advanced player than when he last graced the NBL hardwood. He’s bigger, stronger, has a much better feel for the game and has developed his stroke to become a genuine pick-and-pop threat.


With free agency underway, NBL Media’s Liam Santamaria is taking a look at each and every signing and breaking down what it all means ahead of #NBL21.

Signed by: South East Melbourne Phoenix

The deal: Two years 

Age: 30

2019-20 team: Brisbane Bullets

2019-20 stats (per game): 7.1 points, 1.5 assists, 46.8 FG%, 42.9 3P%, 91.7 FT%

Projected role: Starting shooting guard.

Quote: “Cam will immediately make us stronger on both ends of the court and bring great basketball IQ and experience to our locker room.” – Tommy Greer (South East Melbourne Phoenix CEO)

My take: Gliddon desperately needed a change of scenery and South East Melbourne have smartly snapped him up, beating Sydney and Adelaide to the punch in that recruiting battle.

The 30-year-old sharpshooter is much better than what he showed last season and the Phoenix will look to benefit from his desire to bounce-back. 

To get the best out of Gliddon, SEM will need to move him around as part of their offensive schemes. You can’t just sit this man in a corner and have him watch an import point guard go to work. The Phoenix will need to make a focus of Gliddon by running him off picks like Melbourne do with Chris Goulding and Perth do with both Bryce Cotton and Clint Steindl (and like the Hawks didn’t do often enough with Todd Blanchfield last season). If they do that, Gliddon will have a chance to return to the productivity that saw him win numerous club MVPs with the Taipans.

All in all, this is a savvy signing by the Phoenix as they load up for a playoff run in their second season.


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