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Australian star Patty Mills is on the move but his new team is yet to be confirmed while three NBA Boomers have earned new contracts led by Jock Landale’s multi-year deal with the Houston Rockets.
Multiple US outlets reported Mills is set to be traded to Houston by the Brooklyn Nets, but he is not expected to stay with the Rockets who are planning to on-trade him to another side as part of a sign-and-trade deal to get Dillon Brooks from the Memphis Grizzlies.
Patty Mills is on the move to a new NBA team.Credit: Getty Images
Mills is in the final year of the two-year deal he signed with the Nets last off-season and that deal is attractive to teams looking to clear cap space.
The trade will end a tumultuous stint in Brooklyn where Mills made a big impression off the court, recently unveiling a five-story mural called “Indigenous Flows” which he and the club commissioned, while on the court, the promise of a title chase with the Nets quickly faded last season as they traded superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to new clubs.
Landale has turned an impressive NBA playoff campaign with the Phoenix Suns into a potentially life-changing deal with the Rockets luring him with a four-year, US$32 million deal.
But that deal is only guaranteed for this season.
Landale spent several years battling to gain an NBA opportunity before starring with Melbourne United and the Boomers to earn a deal with the San Antonio Spurs, followed by a move to the Suns last season.
The Rockets look like a promising opportunity for Landale as they are in the midst of making several free agent moves including signing former Toronto championship winner Fred VanVleet on a three-year, US$130 million deal and Brooks on a four-year, $80m deal.
Landale is expected to vie for minutes with Houston’s young Turkish centre Alperen Sengun and second-year power forward Jabari Smith Jr.
Dante Exum has been starring in Europe the past few seasons and most recently led Partizan Belgrade to the Adriatic League title, which has led to the Dallas Mavericks giving him the chance to return to the NBA.
Jock Landale shoots over Rockets forward Kenyon Martin jnr in December.Credit: AP Photo
Exum’s early career was filled with promise when he was drafted by the Utah Jazz with the fifth pick in the draft, and he had some highs including a strong first season and an excellent playoff campaign in 2018 when he was commended for his defence on then Houston superstar James Harden.
But injuries continued to limit Exum in the NBA, and he headed to Europe in 2021 where he became one of the most explosive guards in the EuroLeague.
Exum will join up with fellow Tokyo Olympian Josh Green and provide backup to re-signed playmaker Kyrie Irving and superstar Luka Doncic in the guard positions.
Australian forward Jack White lapped up the experience of being a part of the Denver Nuggets’ NBA championship win earlier this month and his hard work as a two-way player has paid off with the Oklahoma City Thunder signing him to a two-year deal.
Dante Exum goes to the basket at the Tokyo Olympics.Credit: AP
The details of White’s deal and whether any of it is guaranteed is yet to be revealed, but he should be a strong fit alongside Josh Giddey at the Thunder with the team renowned for developing players, especially hard-working professionals like White.
On Saturday AEST, Australian veteran Joe Ingles agreed to a two-year, US$22 million deal with the Orlando Magic.
Giddey (Oklahoma City), Ben Simmons (Brooklyn), Xavier Cooks (Washington), Josh Green (Dallas), Dyson Daniels (New Orleans) and Matisse Thybulle (restricted free agent) are under contract or expected to be on rosters next season.
All five players are expected to join the Australian Boomers for training camp at the start of August.
Jack White goes to the basket last season.Credit: AP
Meanwhile, the Australian Opals have won the bronze medal at the FIBA Asia Cup in Sydney and secured a place in the Paris Olympic qualifying tournaments in February.
The Opals, who were without their WNBA stars, withstood a loss to Japan in the group stage and another loss to China in the semi-finals to beat New Zealand 81-59 on Sunday in the bronze medal game.
China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand will go into the draw for the multiple Olympic qualifying tournaments that are due to be held in February next year with the locations yet to be confirmed.
Alice Kunek was exceptional in her return to the Opals with 19 points while captain Tess Madgen had 14 points and five assists while Anneli Maley had 11 points and 11 rebounds.
“I’m absolutely cooked, it’s been a big couple of weeks, but obviously just so happy and so proud of the girls that we could get over the line,” Opals forward Darcee Garbin said.
“It’s really hard to get up for these games, we played really late last night and we had to turn around quickly. I think that just shows what the Opals are about, and were able to fight until the end and get that medal.”
Townsville Fire coach Shannon Seebohm coached the Opals as Sandy Brondello was unable to lead the team due to her commitments coaching New York Liberty in the WNBA.
Opals and Seattle Storm star Ezi Magbegor was rewarded for her excellent start to the US season as she was named among the reserves for the WNBA All-Star Game in Las Vegas on July 16 AEST.
It’s Magbegor’s first all-star selection in her fourth US season.
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