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LIVE ANALYSIS

NBL Free Agency Live | July 20

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 two-time defending champion Perth Wildcats

The deal: Two years 

Age: 28

2019-20 team: Illawarra Hawks

2019-20 stats (per game): 13.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, 41.8 FG%, 32.2 3P%, 72.7 FT%

Projected role: Starting small forward.

Quote: “It’s obviously a really good group of guys and the organisation is top notch, as good as you’re going to get in the NBL, so it’s pretty cool to be part of that.” – Todd Blanchfield 

My take: All things considered, this is a terrific signing for a Wildcats team looking to replace Terrico White.

In an ideal world, the ‘Cats would’ve loved to have kept White. But the world is far from ideal right now and, with Nick Kay’s departure and the reduction in imports, it made sense to fill that spot with a local. 

Enter Blanchfield, who is a ready-made replacement for the 2019 Grand Final MVP. 

Blanchfield possesses the type of skillset that will see him fit seamlessly into the role Terrico played in Perth. White’s a much better defender – something that shouldn’t be overlooked – but three-point shooting is the key attribute the champs need from that spot and Blanchfield will definitely provide that. The 28-year-old’s long-range efficiency dropped off last season but that whole situation in Wollongong was a shemozzle so our man deserves to be given a pass. After all, the season prior he shot 41 percent from three on 5.5 attempts per game.

Blanchfield’s at his best when he’s flying around picks away from the ball and he’ll do plenty of that in Trevor Gleeson’s half-court system. In fact, I actually think Perth’s structure will be the best fit for Blanchfield’s game since he was in Townsville, back when he earned All-NBL Second Team honours in 2015.

Has anyone seen Greg Evans? ‘Cos this is a perfect match.

SIGNING SNAPSHOT: ANGUS GLOVER TO SYDNEY

Signed by: Sydney Kings

The deal: Three years (mutual option final year)

Age: 21

2019-20 team: Illawarra Hawks

2019-20 stats (per game): 5.2 points, 1.2 assists, 43.6 FG%, 27.5 3P%, 71.4 FT%

Projected role: multi-positional reserve.

Quote: “Angus has earned the respect of peers, coaches, and NBA scouts with his ability and attitude. His professionalism has allowed him to not only overcome, but to benefit from injuries that have ended other players’ careers, and I could not be more excited to work with him over the next several years to help him achieve his goals.” – Will Weaver (Sydney Kings head coach)

My take: This is a great get by the Kings as Glover is a burgeoning young talent who still possesses plenty of upside.

There are just not many guys around the NBL who have Glover’s unique set of tools. He’s 6’4, quick, bouncy, has long arms, plays both ends, can play on and off the ball and can defend anywhere from the one to the three. He’s also a much better shooter than he showed last year, when he connected on less than 30 percent of his three-point attempts.

Yes, he’s had a disastrous injury history but the kid has worked incredibly hard to put all that behind him and is now beginning to see the fruits of that labour.

Glover will provide Weaver with a high-energy option off the bench and, given his versatility, I expect him to be a genuine part of the rotation this season. 

In the longer term, I honestly think he’ll develop into one of the best Aussie/Kiwi players in the league. If that happens – and he’s still wearing purple and gold when it does – The Hawks will rue the day they ever let this home-grown talent get away.

SIGNING SNAPSHOT: TAMURI WIGNESS TO BRISBANE

Signed by: Brisbane Bullets

The deal: Two years 

Age: 18

2019-20 team: Centre of Excellence (NBL1)

2019-20 stats (per game): 11.7 points, 4.0 assists, 47.1 FG%, 18.2 3P%, 82.4 FT%

Projected role: Back-up point guard.

Quote: “I can’t wait to get up there, start working and be ready for the season. I’m more comfortable with them (and the pre-season Blitz (last year) went perfectly. Everything fell into place and it made the decision a lot easier.” – Tamuri Wigness 

My take: Developing his game at the NBA Global Academy in Canberra, Wigness has been a big name in world junior basketball for a number of years. 

A diminutive, muscular point guard from the Torres Strait Islands, this kid is an absolutely electrifying talent. He’s lightning-quick, his ball-handling is spectacular and he really is an excellent playmaker, especially when he gets downhill in transition. 

Once considered an out-and-out NBA prospect, Wigness’ inconsistent shot and lack of height have pumped the breaks a little on that kind of talk. Nonetheless, he’s still one of the brightest young Aussie talents in the game and, despite being only a teen, is ready to contribute for the Bullets in spot minutes off the bench.

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