AUSTRALIAN basketball legend Andrew Gaze says surprise Melbourne United recruit Craig Moller has the potential to become an Olympian.
While conceding the former Fremantle Dockers rookie ruckman is still a “long, long way off”, he has the “upside” to develop into a Boomer despite limited NBL exposure.
Sydney Kings coach Gaze described losing Moller as one of his “saddest days” on Tuesday.
“We would have loved to have him. He’s going to be a great player, going to be a massive impact player in the competition and could be an elite player — potential Olympian.
“He’s a long, long way away from that right now but that is the sort of upside I saw in him and unfortunately we don’t get the opportunity to work with him.”
United last week swooped on the 203cm forward, signing him on a lucrative three-year deal.
Moller played 13 NBL games last year after being initially signed as a Kings development player.
“One of the saddest days I’ve had in a long time was when we were unable to re-sign Craig Moller,” Gaze said.
“It was one of those real disappointing days when unfortunately, we were unable to provide a package for him that was as attractive as what Melbourne United put together.
“(He was) a player last year, who had nothing, had no other opportunities, who we saw a lot in him.”
Speaking at the NBL Combine on Tuesday, Gaze endorsed former assistant Dean Vickerman — United’s new head coach.
“He’s going to be great. He’s an accomplished coach (and) he was fantastic for us,” Gaze said.
“He works his tail off and he’s really great at developing culture.
“It’s a fantastic pick up for Melbourne United and it’s a huge loss for us.”
The two-day Combine in Melbourne attracted about 80 of the best young players in Australia for NBA-style testing and scrimmages before NBL coaches and scouts.
A handful will make NBL rosters this year — primarily as development players — but the majority are bound for US colleges.
“The depth of talent is way bigger than what it has been in the past,” Gaze said.
“It’s tough because we don’t have enough (roster) spots, there needs to be more teams in the NBL — there’s a lot of that deserve to be in the NBL.”
Originally published as Moller has Boomers potential, says Gaze
SOURCE: newsnow sport