King may be Taipans' ace
THE Cairns Taipans will target a flatout scorer as an import replacement for Jared Newson next season and have not ruled out luring Boomer Mark Worthington back to the Far North.
The Taipans have relatively few pieces to add to their recruitment puzzle this NBL off-season but the pool of players potentially became bigger yesterday when coach Brian Goorjian resigned from the Sydney Kings.
It is believed several Kings players had clauses in their contracts allowing them to leave the club if Goorjian was no longer coach.
Worthington, who spent a season in Cairns with the Taipans Academy before heading to college in the US and then joining the Kings on his return, was already on the free agents list.
Clubs have until Friday to negotiate with their own free agents, with other franchises able to make offers after that. Taipans coach Alan Black confirmed Worthington would be considered by the Snakes.
"I think most teams are having a look at the top four or five players on that (free agents) list," he said.
Black yesterday confirmed Newson would not return to Cairns, the club seeking a scorer to complement its already contracted players.
"We’re looking more at someone that can handle it and score rather than a flatout athlete," he said of the import spot.
Newson joined the Taipans midway through the season in place of Rashad Tucker whose contract was terminated after he breached the club’s strict code of conduct.
The Taipans have four players on the free agents list – Newson, Dwayne Vale, Scott Cook and Matt Smith.
While Newson’s future has been decided, the remaining three could also learn of their fates soon.
Smith and Cook were the ninth and 10th rostered players this season while Vale was elevated from the development list after the Taipans’ injury list continued to grow.
All three have been used to waiting until late in the off-season to learn of their fates but Black said he hoped to have things shored up "sooner rather than later".
The financial troubles affecting both Sydney and the Brisbane Bullets would not make recruiting any more difficult than usual, despite a possible influx of players on to the final free agents list.
"You’ve just got to make sure you’re in the right place and ready to go if anything comes up," Black said.
Share this article
QUEENSLAND cricket great Jimmy Maher has called on West Indies' selectors to retain fellow FNQ product Brendan Nash for the second Test against Australia in Adelaide.