NBL 2022 news, results, round 9: Adelaide 36s may not replace Craig Randall II

Adelaide legend Brett Maher isn’t sure the 36ers need a third import but, if CJ Bruton does decide to pull the trigger on a Craig Randall II replacement, star point guard Mitch McCarron says there’s one non-negotiable.

McCarron, who has been a key orchestrator in the Sixers’ stunning rebirth since Randall was axed, says any new import who comes into the club will need to leave his ego at the door.

Randall became a distraction for the playing group and the club with several public and private outbursts, as well as a ball-dominant role that starved many of the Sixers’ talented scorers, leading to his eventual sacking.

“We’ve had some discussions as a leadership group and as a playing group just saying we’re pretty happy with the way we’re playing and we trust the guys that are coming in off the bench,” McCarron told News Corp.

“If there was going to be a third import, we need that guy to understand what we’re looking for.

“That’s probably another creator off the dribble, someone who can help run the group and push the pace for us, but also defend.

“And also not bring this ego where it’s about them and understand that, right now, our group’s humming because we’ve got people bought into letting the ball pop.”

Former Boomer Maher, who played 18 seasons with the Sixers, says there’s a noticeable change among the squad and that has afforded more time to decide when – or if – they bring in another overseas player.

“I’m really liking the way they’re playing, they’ve got plenty of scorers there, they’ve got a really good defensive line-up,” Maher said.

“I think it’s really a 50-50 call at the moment whether the disruption factor of bringing someone in is worth it. You just don’t know how it’s going to work.

“It’s always tempting to have as much talent as you can possibly have, I think it’s definitely worth exploring and seeing what players are available but they can certainly make do without it.”

Anthony Drmic has thrived after being inserted into the starting line-up on Randall’s departure, while both Sunday Dech and Kai Sotto have been important in increased minutes off the bench.

“I just love seeing him (Drmic) back to being that guy,” McCarron said.

“We’re fortunate to get him back in Adelaide, we had a bigger role and we needed someone to step in to fill the spot when Craig was released and he’s done that.”

The Sixers face a litmus test against two of the best teams in the competition in Cairns Friday night and then Sydney Kings Sunday.

“It’s going to be a challenge for us, they’re two of the top teams and it’s a great test for us to see where we’re really at,” he said.

“We’re going to need to be ready.”

Originally published as NBL 2022: Follow all the news and results from round 9

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