SWINGMAN Deng Adel could join the swag of Australians in the NBA after signing a training camp deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
And if he doesn’t there’s a spot waiting for him with NBL champions Melbourne.
The 22-year-old, who was born in South Sudan but raised in Melbourne where he played most of his junior basketball after migrating, caught the eye of scouts during a late stint with the Houston Rockets in the NBA Summer League.
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The shooting guard/small forward also impressed at the University of Louisville last season, leading the squad with 15 points per game in his junior season although he went undrafted in June.
He’s given a strong chance of picking up one of two Timberwolves contract vacancies, joining the likes of All-Star guard Jimmy Butler and Canadian small forward Andrew Wiggins.
The first Australian to play in the NBA, Luc Longley, was drafted by Minnesota in 1991.
Melbourne United NBL coach Dean Vickerman said he’d done some work recently with 201cm Adel and rated him highly.
“I love Deng Adel,” he said.
“Watching him play for Houston you could see (coach) Mike D’Antoni’s excitement about the kid.
“I don’t think they had a roster spot for him this year.”
Vickerman said if Adel decided to return to Australia, he was welcome in Melbourne.
“He came and practiced with us for three weeks and if he was available we would have loved to have had a crack at him,” he said.
“We told him if something doesn’t work out for him in the NBA we’d love the opportunity to recruit him.”
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