Mixed pre-season for Australia's NBA players
It's been a mixed NBA preseason for many of our Olympic Bronze medal Bommer heroes who have returned stateside to prepare for the new season.
Understandably, most of the talk in the preseason has revolved around an Aussie without the Olympic bling in Ben Simmons. The will he or won't he show at camp has been a huge distraction for Philadelphia who would otherwise be right in the championship hunt.
On the other hand, a young Aussie is starring in the preseason for the lowly OKC and a veteran star has found a new home in Brooklyn. That's where we'll start.
Patty Mills - Brooklyn Nets
Mills was heroic for the Boomers in Tokyo, and the veteran's move to championship favourites Brooklyn has set tongues wagging. The 33-year-old should get a lot of open shots as rivals focus their attention on stopping superstars James Harden and Kevin Durant. Kyrie Irving's refusal to get vaccinated means Mills is set to play an even bigger role than previously thought.
Ben Simmons - Philadelphia 76ers
Talk about an ugly fallout. Simmons was public enemy No.1 in Philadelphia following his dummy spit with the NBA franchise. The 25-year-old copped widespread abuse on social media and his fallout with fellow All-Star Joel Embiid means his future looks bleak at the 76ers. Philadelphia is keen to trade him - but only once his value is higher. Simmons' woes during last year's finals series no doubt made potential suitors cautious.
Josh Giddey - Oklahoma City Thunder
The No.6 pick from this year's draft set the court alight during the pre-season, averaging 13.5 points, seven rebounds, and five assists across four games. At just 19 years of age, the sky is the limit for Giddey. And with Oklahoma tipped to finish near the bottom of the ladder, Giddey can expect to receive bulk minutes in a team in rebuilding mode.
Josh Green - Dallas Mavericks
The 20-year-old averaged just 2.6 points per game in a slow debut season in the NBA. With Jason Kidd replacing Rick Carlisle as coach, Green will be hoping to receive more minutes to showcase his skills. Recorded a woeful 16 percent from long range last season, and will be desperate to prove he is better than that.
Joe Ingles - Utah Jazz
The 34-year-old played a big role in the Boomers' Olympic bronze medal campaign, and he looms as a key figure yet again in Utah's bid for the Championship. Ingles shot at an elite 45 percent from long range last season and averaged 12.1 points per game. Utah should again be in the thick of the championship race.
Jock Landale - San Antonio Spurs
Earned his crack with the Spurs following a standout NBL season with champions Melbourne United that included the grand final MVP award. The 211cm center has a cool head and can also shoot the three-ball. His mobility for his size is also a crucial weapon.
Matisse Thybulle - Philadelphia 76ers
The 24-year-old has built a reputation as one of the NBA's best perimeter defenders, but he showed at the Olympics he can also be relied upon to score. Thybulle averaged 7.8 points per game in his six appearances in Tokyo, shooting at 62.3 percent from the field. His stocks are now higher than ever, and a big NBA season looms.
Dante Exum - *Cut by Houston Rockets*
The No.5 pick from the 2014 NBA draft is now 26 and desperate to establish himself after years of injury. But his hopes of playing for Houston this season were extinguished on the weekend when they cut him from the roster. He is now on the lookout for a new NBA home. Exum produced a series of strong displays at the Olympics, finishing with 12 points in the bronze medal game against Slovenia, and 14 points in the semi-final loss to the US.