This week the Melbourne United re-signed the NBL’s leading rebounder from last season Josh Boone and according to newly appointed coach Dean Vickerman, Casper Ware could be set to join him to form one of the best import duos in the league next season.
Melbourne United coach Dean Vickerman joined Dan Boyce on the Aussie Hoopla podcast to discuss what he feels he needs to change to see the team return to the NBL playoffs. With Boone becoming the seventh contracted player for United, Dean explains what types of players the team are looking for to compliment their current roster.
Vickerman shared what he feels are the most important areas to develop with the team’s roster, most importantly, what the team needs in the point guard spot, and the likelihood that we see Casper Ware back in a United uniform.
“Ware was great in our league last year but the question I kept asking was can he make everyone else better on the team. His role was to come in and be a scorer so that was his priority, that’s what the team asked of him but (this year) I’ll be asking him to pick his moments and make sure everyone else gets involved and he’s more than willing to take on that role”.
Despite missing 10 games, Ware was named to the All-NBL First Team and then took out the club’s Most Valuable Player award last season.
Ware is currently in the USA and he aims to try out with a number of NBA team during the NBL off-season. Ware still has hopes of returning to play in the NBA and that’s something Melbourne United are very supportive of.
“In my first year (with the Breakers) I took a rookie point guard and that was probably the biggest mistake I made that year, it wasn’t what the team needed,” said Vickerman.
“That’s why Casper is such an important piece, he’s had experiences in the NBA and he still believes he can play there, that’s the reason why we haven’t signed him yet, we’re allowing him to go through that process”
Ware played nine games with Philadelphia in 2014, averaging five points per game. His best performance was a nine-point effort against the Boston Celtics and all-star guard Rajon Rondo.
Ware was also a member of Brooklyn and Washington briefly but never logged any NBA minutes with those teams.
Vickerman also noted it’s most likely that the team will bring in an import small forward as their third import. With the team having already recruited talented perimeter players such as Goulding, Andersen and Ware their needs from an import small forward would focus on someone who really understands the game and possesses the ability to attack the rim, penetrate and kick as well as draw fouls.
“Last year the team settled for the three a little bit and Chris (Goulding) got left with a lot of late shot clock decisions, I think we can have better ball movement and better attack so that doesn’t happen,” said Vickerman.
Vickerman noted that Chris Goulding’s ankle injury continues to improve thanks to his decision to rehab during the off-season instead of playing overseas. Part of Goulding’s recovery will be spending some time in the USA and working out with former Melbourne import Phil Handy.
Handy, played two seasons in the NBL – one with West Sydney and one with the Melbourne Tigers. Currently he works as a player development coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Handy also worked extensively with five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant before joining the Cavaliers in 2013 and Australian-born NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving has credited his 2016 NBA Finals play to Handy’s teachings.
Currently Melbourne has Josh Boone, Chris Goulding, David Andersen, Majok Majok, Tai Wesley, Kyle Adnam, Craig Moller as contracted players. The team are also expected to sign Daniel Dillon once his European season is complete.
Listen to the full interview below or download on iTunes.