Best Aussies playing in Australia

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LewisnotMiller
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Best Aussies playing in Australia 

Post#1 » by LewisnotMiller » Thu Dec 29, 2022 2:39 am

For me, there is a clear top three in terms of Aussies playing in Australia.
In no particular order;

Xavier Cooks
Keanu Pinder
Mitch Creek

(Honourable mentions to Bryce Cotton, who is now naturalised and still a force, and Chris Goulding, who can legit shoot, but has other holes)

Looking ahead to Summer League next year, Creek is possibly a wasted invite at this point. The guy is hard and tough and athletic, but he's 30, and has never developed an NBA level jumper. I love watching him work his way to 46 locally, and he has showed a bit in previous Summer Leagues, but he looks like a good second tier player to me.

Cooks and Pinder are more interesting, if positionally problematic. Both are around 27, and a fairly slender 6'8" to 6'9" in height, and both play the 4/5 locally.

Cooks can do just about everything, and plays a lot of point centre. He's also a decently flexible and smart defender. The one thing he can't do? Shoot. At least, not from range, in any consistent fashion.

Pinder has gone from inconsistent to both Most Improved AND MVP candidate this year. His mobility, ball handling and flexibility are pretty elite (by NBL standards) but a year ago I would have scoffed at the thought of including him on this list. Does he have another step?

Missing from the list?
Aron Baynes has been fine, but nothing special. Pinder and Cooks are heads and shoulders above h in terms of their play.
Luke Travers. I'm a Travers fan, and was suggesting teams should be inviting him to Summer League only to be shocked when the Cavs straight up drafted him. He showed why, in Summer League, with his Swiss army knife game, able to play 1 -4. He's been a touch better than he was last year (but more efficient, mostly) but for anyone expecting a leap, it hasn't happened. I think he's just one of those guys who is better amongst better players because he's a connective piece.

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