Influx of NBA scouts on Aussie basketball Blitz


An influx of NBA scouts has left Justin Schueller jittery from all of the coffee days ahead of the NBL Blitz.

More than 40 sets of eyes, representing almost every NBA franchise, will be window shopping on the Gold Coast from Saturday during the week-long pre-season tournament.

New Bullets coach Schueller has prized 17-year-old centre Rocco Zikarsky on the books, the 220cm talent with fast feet and smooth hands sure be in high demand in the 2025 NBA draft.

Thirteen Australians have NBA contracts entering this season while many more imports have used the NBL to either begin or rekindle their road to the world's best league.

"The coffee dates are thick and fast, I'll be jittery all week," Schueller told AAP ahead of the Bullets' first assignment against United on Saturday at the Gold Coast Convention Centre.

"There's huge interest and that's just not about Rocco, that's the league in general.

"(NBA) Summer League this year; the amount of attention the Bullets were getting was outstanding and that's the reality now.

"We're at the point now that if you're good enough you'll get an opportunity.

"It's great for the league; they watch our game because they see it as a pure style of basketball. It's a great thing to be recognised as."

Only five Bullets remain from the roster that disappointed last year, the club overhauling its administration and coaching support staff too in an effort to re-energise the former powerhouse.

Most clubs would argue they've strengthened their rosters though with Perth Next Star Alexandre Sarr wowing for the Wildcats in Las Vegas against G-League Ignite last week to strengthen claims he could be the next No.1 NBA draft pick.

The Phoenix have lost star forward Alan Williams for at least a portion of the season with a knee injury, but swiftly brought in Tyler Cook to rave reviews.

"The man came in from Chicago off three flights and he's jet-lagged, but on the first day he came in and looked like Usain Bolt out there in the sprints," teammate Mitch Creek said.

"He was jumping head above the rim and making great, spectacular plays.

"We haven't had someone like that, of that calibre, do those things ... (with) that athleticism and pure physicality."

Former NBA big Jonah Bolden will return to the court after two years with defending champions Sydney, while Cairns' Bobi Klintman and Adelaide's Trentyn Flowers join Sarr as potential first-round draft picks.

Each team will play three games before the season tips off on September 28 with a Melbourne derby between United and Phoenix.