Fearne's waiting game
TAIPANS coach Aaron Fearne hopes to have a backup point guard signed within the fortnight but don't hold your breath waiting to find out the team's next import.
Three weeks into pre-season training there are only two question marks surrounding the Taipans roster and Fearne thinks the import signing might remain that way for the foreseeable future.
"There’s a few guys that I do like but I’ll be pretty patient on exactly when I need to get somebody," he said.
"I’ve got time to keep pondering."
Fearne recently arrived home from a trip to the US where he saw a number of potential candidates.
He said he hoped a player would be signed before the season started.
"Obviously you want to have someone here in pre-season and getting some game time with the team, but that isn’t the primary focus at the moment," he said.
"We’ve got to make sure we get the right player for our team."
The primary focus is a big man who can accompany off-season recruit Cam Tragardh and returning veterans Alex Loughton and Dusty Rychart.
The fact that the Taipans are comfortable enough about their starting lineup to be focusing on back-ups is a positive sign at this point in the year.
Fearne yesterday stressed the importance depth would play in the coming season.
With Gold Coast leaving the NBL and no team taking their place, talent from that roster has been dispersed into an already tight league.
With Adelaide 36ers signing Blaze stars Adam Gibson, Jason Cadee and Anthony Petrie, Sydney Kings adding Tom Garlepp and James Harvey and New Zealand Breakers signing sixth man Will Hudson, the free agent market is thin.
One player who is creating plenty of intrigue is Daniel Dillon.
The shooting guard became a fan favourite, helping the Taipans to a grand final in 2011 before leaving to join the Melbourne Tigers last season. He was released alongside Tragardh in April but remains on the market.
The Taipans have already added guards Cam Gliddon and Clint Steindl in the off-season, but Fearne didn’t dismiss the possibility of Dillon’s return yesterday.
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Workout: Cairns Taipans' big off-season signing Cam Tragardh works hard during a weights training session. Picture: MARC McCORMACK