Owner backs Bullets to fire without star pair

Brisbane Bullets owner Kevin Martin is adamant the club can still contend for the 2021 NBL title despite the loss of “unique” import Lamar Patterson and the likely departure of NBA-linked Will Magnay.

The Bullets were rocked earlier this month when Patterson, the American who has taken the NBL by storm since arriving in Brisbane in 2018, rejected the club’s offer of a new deal to instead join the New Zealand Breakers.

It’s understood the Bullets had met Patterson’s contract demands only for the 29-year-old swingman to choose the Breakers.

Bullets star Will Magnay is a likely departure for the NBA. Picture: Steve PohlnerSource:News Corp Australia

“Lamar was a unique player for us in the last couple of years and that’s what ,makes the sports world a joy,” said Martin, who played 12 seasons in the NBA for Sacramento, Houston, Oklahoma City, Minnesota and San Antonio Spurs.

“You see people move and there can be other guys that come in and step up, and give the same kind of production Lamar has, and we’re just looking to continue that journey.

“We’re not at the rebuilding stage, we’re at the retooling stage with the loss of Lemar.

“We’re still in win mode. We’re trying to build for longevity.”

For the moment that “build” still includes 22-year-old big man Magnay.

But Martin won’t be surprised if Magnay is gone sooner, rather than later.

“We have a very talented player in Will Magnay who has been getting a lot of NBA interest over the past year and this could be his time to make that jump so we’ll see where that goes,” Martin said.

“Will has a very likely chance to play in the NBA. He is a fantastic kid and I think all of us would love to see him get that opportunity which we think he will.

“He is just somebody you root for on a daily basis. I think he has a bright future ahead of him.”

“The most important thing for Will is becoming a better player on a daily basis. He has the foundations to be a rotational player in the NBA, and the NBA, they have been watching him for a while.”

Martin said the Bullets’ work during the free agency period in bringing Anthony Drmic, Harry Froling, Tamuri Wigness and Tanner Krebs to Brisbane already had the club well-equipped to cope without Patterson and potentially Magnay.

Drmic, Froling, Wigness and Krebs join Matt Hodgson, Jason Cadee, Nathan Sobey and Tyrell Harrison and Magnay on the Brisbane roster, with the club still on the hunt for an import to replace Patterson.

“We are excited to see all these guys get together on the court. We feel like they fit into our team personnel pretty good and we feel strong about the upcoming season with these guys,” he said.

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