It's been a tough year for our Aussie NBA players. Patty Mills has had Chinese contract issues, Andrew Bogut is injured yet again, and the Hornets waived David Andersen. Here's a brief update of what's going on with some of our favourite Aussie NBA players.
Patty MillsThe Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) developed into somewhat of a nightmare for Patty Mills. Signing with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers during this season's lockout, Mills found himself to be without a job until his CBA contract expired. Fortunately for Mills, the nightmare is over and FIBA has given Mills his letter of clearance, allowing him to re-sign with the NBA. There's only one problem with this however, seeing as though it's March 1*, Mills is only eligible to re-sign with his old team, Portland. The Blazers still have a full roster after signing Joel Przybilla, so it is up to the Blazers whether or not they want to make room for Patty. Mills currently has two options; sit out the rest of the season and become an unrestricted free agent for next season, or be renounced by the Blazers, allowing him to sign with another team. Mills recently tweeted
"So Portland still retains my rights, therefore the only options are to sign me (but roster is full), release me and my rights, or they could hold my rights for the remainder of the season without being on a roster."If Mills is released by Portland, The Age recently revealed that australian bookmakers are linking Mills with the Los Angeles Lakers, who are reportedly looking for a younger point guard... although neither the Lakers or LA media have mentioned Mills as a potential signing. We should know more about Patty's situation in the upcoming days and weeks. *ESPN says "Free agents who signed contracts for this lockout-shortened campaign thus can't be traded for two months from the signing date or March 1."
Andrew BogutUnfortunately for Andrew Bogut and Milwaukee Bucks fans, the star center is likely to miss the rest of the NBA regular season. Fracturing his ankle on January 27, Bogut was expected to miss 8-12 weeks and recent scans have revealed Bogut's injury is healing properly but the 8-12 week projection has not changed. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently reported that an ankle scan taken last Friday indicated that Bogut will not likely need surgery which is great news long term. Rotowire.com also revealed that there is an exam due to be taken in a month which will ultimately determine if he needs a procedure or not. With 4-8 weeks remaining on his projected recovery, we could expect Bogut to return anywhere between the 23rd of March and the 20th of April but with the regular season ending April 26, and the Bucks currently at 13-20, the Buck's might decide to sit Bogut out until next season.
Kyrie IrvingWhile some don't consider Irving an Aussie, the NBA rookie of the year candidate Kyrie Irving is having a stellar season as a rookie in Cleveland, averaging 18.1ppg, 5.1apg, and 3.5rpg. Recently earning MVP honours in the Rising Stars Challenge, Kyrie made an amazing eight from eight three-point shots, and scored 34 points in Orlando's All-Star Weekend last week. While Irving hasn't been back to Australia since he originally left as a two-year old, he has considered playing for the Australian national team in the London Olympics and is keeping the Australian Olympic team in suspense as he makes his decision on which country he wants to play for.
"That's something I'm seriously considering. Whether it's suiting up for the U.S.A. or Australia, either opportunity would be great for me... That's definitely a strong consideration for me"Irving told college basketball blog, the Fay Observer. With the Olympics just months away, we'll be sure to hear more of this exciting possibility in the near future.
Despite tough times for our Aussie ballers, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, we just have to play the waiting game. We'll be sure to keep you posted on any updates!