Bullets ditch import, Patterson returning

·2-min read

Brisbane have released Orlando Johnson, believing they have a better chance of winning the NBL championship without the American import.

Johnson, 32, has averaged less than seven points a game in his 15 appearances for the Bullets and just 1.8 assists per match.

With the Bullets sitting just outside the playoffs in fifth place, head coach Andrej Lemanis said they felt the need for a change of direction.

"This is a decision that was not made lightly and is made especially difficult given the quality person Orlando is," Lemanis said.

"In order to give our team the best chance of winning a championship, we feel that a change needed to be made in order to bring in someone who better complements the other skill sets we have on the team.

"It is never easy to make a change ... I'm disappointed that as coach, I wasn't able to find a way to help him succeed in our environment."

With Johnson departing, the Bullets have acted quickly to bring Lamar Patterson back to the club.

The 29-year-old made successive All-NBL First Teams during a two-year stint at the Bullets before leaving to join the New Zealand Breakers for this season.

After just six games with the Breakers, Patterson has been released to rejoin the Bullets but the American will be unavailable in the short-term as he recovers from a knee injury - with Sunshine Coast product Jamaal Robateau added to the club's roster.

"We all know what Lamar, at his best, brings to this group and whilst there will still be an integration process because we are a different team to the one he has played with last season, I'm excited about having him here," Lemanis said.

"We know he is coming in injured but we've done all our due-diligence and, as with every decision or non-decision we make, there is an element of risk involved.

'We're confident that the risk versus potential reward equation here is in our favour."