Sydney Kings head coach and NBL legend Andrew Gaze sat down with Dan Boyce on the Aussie Hoopla podcast to discuss the Sydney Kings recruitment plans for this season.
There’s still around four months before the Kings will likely to finalising their team but Gaze says it’s “unlikely” Julian Khazzouh to be a part of the team next season.
“It’s more than likely he won’t be with the Sydney Kings this season due to things like his injury, personal circumstances and his own goals”.
“I believe he has got a fairly respectable offer from Lebanon where he’s been before so I think that’s the likely destination for him”.
Khazzouh missed 12 months of action after ripping his quadriceps tendon clean off the bone in December 2015.
The journey to return to the court has been an 18 month odyssey for Khazzouh and it now seems his return won’t be happening in a purple and gold jersey.
Khazzouh first played in Lebanon in 2012 which powerhouse club Sagesse and it’s expected that this is where he aims to return.
In 2015 Lebanon were hoping to have him join their national team but Khazzouh rejected the offer, hoping to reach his goal of playing for the Australian Boomers at a major tournament.
Khazzouh would be spoiled for choice when it comes time to play in the 2018 world cup qualifiers. If his play doesn’t warrant a Boomers training camp invitation, perhaps Khazzouh agrees to play for his family’s homeland.
Despite leaving the Kings family, Gaze is hopeful this isn’t the last Kings fans will see of the talented “wookie”.
“We hope that sometime in the future he will be back in the purple and gold. He’s shown throughout his time in the NBL he is an elite player in this competition” said Gaze.
Gaze also discussed the potential of Sydney playing with starting an all-Australian back court. The Kings currently have two talented players in Jason Cadee and Kevin Lisch who both are deserving of starters minutes
“They’ve have demonstrated they can play at an elite level. Jason’s matured into a really smart player and who better to learn off in our league than Kevin” said Gaze.
Gaze and staff will make that decision after the conclusion of the European basketball season, which is still in play and the NBA summer league when they can get a better understanding of the players available.
One thing which definitely will be happening is the search for two imports capable of playing center and power forward to cover for the loss of Khazzouh.
“Last season we were the worst rebounding team in the competition. We are looking for some fours and fives with our import spots. That’s hard because big guys don’t come cheap” said Gaze.
“We’ve identified some options but most players want to go through the process of NBA summer leagues and some European leagues are still playing so we won’t be able to make decision their quickly but were hopeful in being able to secure a couple of guys that can help us in that area”.
Listen to the full interview below or download on iTunes.