In a huge announcement for the Cairns Taipans, they completed their roster with the signing of Devon Hall, who was selected by the Oklahoma City Thunder with the 53rd pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. The Thunder had already completed their 15 man roster with the signing of Hamidou Diallo — also a second round pick acquired from the Brooklyn Nets on draft night — and so Hall has chosen to play professionally in Australia rather than toil away for the Thunder Blue in the G-League.
The signing is yet another positive step in strengthening the relationship between Australia and the NBA, having already played (and increased) the number of pre-season games to be played between the NBLxNBA. Thunder fans will be more than well aware that last season’s draft pick Terrance Ferguson had chosen to play in Australia with the Adelaide 36ers as opposed to taking the traditional college route.
Hall played 5 games for the Oklahoma City Thunder during the Summer League and certainly didn’t look out of place. It was his shooting and two-way game that caught the eye of Cairns Taipans head coach Mike Kelly, who seems really excited by what Devon Hall will bring to the Taipans and the NBL.
“He is a worker,” Kelly told the NBL in a press release. “From everyone I have spoken to about the work ethic he had at Virginia, he did the extras before and after training. I love that about him already, just knowing that he continually wants to get better. That is one of the things we are trying to do here at Cairns is just get better every day.”
Hall isn’t the first player to head overseas to play and develop his game with the intent of coming back to fulfil his NBA dream. Former Thunder point guard Semaj Christon also played abroad in Italy for a period of time before coming back and forcing his way onto the Thunder’s NBA roster.
I connected with Devon Hall's agent, Daniel Curtin, who said the plan is to have him play in the G-League following the NBL season. Then?— Sam Blum (@SamBlum3) August 12, 2018
"We expect him to be with the Thunder next season."
It’s a positive move for Hall, the Thunder and the Cairns Taipans. Hall will be the first NBA drafted player to come to the NBL and play for a “regional” team as all others have generally played in Sydney, Melbourne or Adelaide. He will also allow himself the opportunity to improve his game, earn more money than he could have in the G League, and the Thunder will still hold the rights to Hall who should come back even better and with likely more options and flexibility with the OKC roster.
Hear from the brand new Taipans recruit, Devon Hall!https://t.co/Qk3pqYvmLJ— Cairns Taipans (@CairnsTaipans) August 12, 2018
Sounds like Hall is happy with the decision he has made and we can’t wait to see him in action on the hardwood in the NBL.
Do you think Devon Hall is making the right call on starting his professional basketball career?
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