May 19, 2024

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 30: Sydney Kings new head coach Mahmoud Abdelfattah talks at a press conference during a Sydney Kings pre-season NBL media opportunity at Hoops Capital East on August 30, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jenny Evans/Getty Images)

MVP Jaylen Adams returns to NBL’s Sydney Kings

Former NBL most valuable player Jaylen Adams will return to Sydney for the 2023/24 season to help the Kings push for a third consecutive championship.

After guiding them to a drought-breaking NBL title in the 2021/22 campaign, the American point guard left to join Belgrade-based FK Crvena Zvezda of the EuroLeague – the continent’s elite competition.

He finalised his fairytale return to Sydney after meeting with Kings chief executive Chris Pongrass in Las Vegas during the ongoing NBA Summer League, where Adams had been watching his brother Brendan play for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Adams is the Kings’ first signing since unveiling former Houston Rockets assistant Mahmoud Abdelfattah as the replacement for outgoing coach Chase Buford.

The Kings have one import and one local spot left on the roster for the new season that tips off in late September.

 

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 30: Sydney Kings new head coach Mahmoud Abdelfattah talks at a press conference during a Sydney Kings pre-season NBL media opportunity at Hoops Capital East on August 30, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jenny Evans/Getty Images)

“It was an easy decision to come back, especially after chatting with Mahmoud and CP,” Adams said.

“Last time, we hung our hats on the defensive end and knowing Mahmoud the way I do, I know he will be preaching the same message next season.”

Since leaving Serbia, Adams has represented Qingdao Eagles of the Chinese Basketball Association and previously played 44 NBA games across stints with the Atlanta Hawks, Portland Trail Blazers and Milwaukee Bucks.

It was at the Bucks that Adams came to know Buford, who lured him to Sydney the first time but has since left the back-to-back champions to pursue NBA opportunities.

In his first and only season with the Kings, the 188cm tall 27-year-old beat fellow nominees Bryce Cotton and Jo Lual-Acuil to claim the MVP trophy and became known as one of the league’s best clutch players.

Adams’ signing is a boost for a Kings side that has lost reigning MVP Xavier Cooks to the NBA and first-choice shooting guard Dejan Vasiljevic, who has taken up a clause in his contract to explore overseas options.

Angus Glover, Shaun Bruce, Kouat Noi and Jaylin Galloway are among the championship winners who are staying put into 2024.

Adams is the second import signed by the Kings this season after they secured American big man and former Cairns Taipan DJ Hogg.

Former NBA player Jonah Bolden, son of club legend Bruce, and NBL next star Alex Toohey are also on the books.

Meanwhile, former NBA talent and 2016 Olympian Ryan Broekhoff has called a temporary halt on his career.

Broekhoff has played the last three seasons for the NBL’s South East Melbourne Phoenix.

“The door may be slightly open still to coming back and playing, but my focus for the time being is on supporting my family and my business,” he said.

And the Illawarra Hawks have added sharpshooting South Korean wing Hyunjung Lee to their roster on a three-year deal.

 

 

 

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