Championship winner is hot property

The Brisbane Bullets have emerged as a leading candidate in the pursuit of championship-winning Melbourne United guard Mitch McCarron.

Fresh off a title with United, McCarron is one of the biggest names in NBL free agency, which kickstarted on Monday.

The Alice Springs born star, who attended high school in Brisbane is highly sought after with the Bullets, Sydney Kings, Adelaide 36ers and United in the race for his services.

Brisbane hold several aces, though, given McCarron has family in the Queensland capital while he has set up a basketball academy in the city called, ‘Pinnacle Basketball Academy’.

Brisbane Bullets in strong position to fend off rivals for championship winner Mitch McCarron. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images

He will also be playing NBL1 in Brisbane this off-season for the Northside Wizards.

The likes of Adelaide remain hopeful of securing McCarron, but the Bullets, who finished sixth this season, appear to be in the box seat at this point.

In other free agency news, departing Sydney Kings veteran Brad Newley won’t be making an Adelaide homecoming to play for the 36ers.

The Tasmania JackJumpers could be a candidate for 36-year-old Newley, who still wants to play at the NBL level.

Former Kings teammate turned part club owner Andrew Bogut confirmed Sydney’s stance on the experienced swingman.

“We just didn’t feel like we had bulk minutes to give Brad,” Bogut said about the Kings parting ways with Newley.

“I think that is what ended up being the decision that the club had come down to.

“Do we bring him back with a few spot minutes for a guy that is 36? We thought those minutes would be better suited to a development or a younger player.

“That is just the unfortunate reality of how that all works, but I don’t think it is the end of the story for him and his career.

“I think Brad still has a year or two left and I think he will get another deal, but we just felt like we couldn’t give him the minutes that a guy of his name and stature deserves.”

Veteran swingman Brad Newley won’t be at the Sydney Kings next season, but he is still keen to play on. Photo: Martin Keep/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images

Bogut praised Newley for his contribution to the Kings as a key player in the rebuilding of the franchise since 2016.

“Brad was huge for our club,” he said.

“I think he came back at a time when the Kings and the NBL were trying to get homegrown talent playing in Europe back to the league as marquees.

“Brad was a pioneer of that position.”

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