The Sydney Kings have announced the decision to release guard Luke Kendall, two weeks after his re-arrival to the club.
Kendall clearly struggled in his season debut against the Townsville Crocodiles at the Sydney Entertainment Centre two weeks back, whilst fellow debutant, Joel Wagner showed some clear signs of promise and will be retained by the Kings to provide support to the returning Luke Martin at the point.
Kendall and Wagner were signed after the Kings received the tough news that Luke Cooper was the second Kings starting point guard to go down with injury — in his case, for the season. Martin was already on the sidelines, awaiting his regular season debut and now he returns to the Kings lineup after rehab on his leg.
Meanwhile, the Kings are trialling two imports, Gordon Watt and Patrick Sanders, with a view to adding one of them very soon, replacing the cut Rod Grizzard.
The Kings’ press release on Kendall follows:
Luke Kendall has been released from the Sydney Kings.
Kendall’s try out with the reformed and iconic Sydney-based team, the Sydney Kings, came to an end today as the club reviewed its roster.
Over the past two weeks, the Sydney Kings has been assessing four players for their on-court fit with the existing playing roster, as well as covering injuries and fitness levels of Ben Knight, Luke Martin, and Luke Cooper.
Luke Cooper, the Sydney Kings dynamite Point Guard, recently underwent surgery on his left foot, as a result of a season ending injury incurred while playing against the Adelaide 36ers.
“Luke Kendall and Joel Wagner have been playing and training well since they started with the team. However, the time arrived for us to make a decision on who we could keep,” Head Coach, Ian Robilliard said.
“This ties in with our consideration of our new prospective imports – Patrick Sanders and Gordon Watt, one of whom will be selected to play for the Sydney Kings for the remainder of the season,” he added.
“We knew when we lost Martin and Cooper, our two Point Guards, that the team structure would need to be revisited. After playing six games, and battling the frustrations of injuries, we have made the adjustments we needed to make and have a team to excite the fans and offer the Sydney Kings a great foundation.
“I am very confident we have now made the changes we needed to make and that, as a result of these hard decisions, we have a very solid foundation and that the results on the court will follow.”
“Joel Wagner has proven himself to be a tough-as-nails player, and has adapted well to his new team. He was inspirational against Townsville and deserves a shot in the NBL. Wagner will bring a lot of enthusiasm to his role as Point Guard for the team,” Robilliard said.
Sydney Kings’ General Manager, Bob Turner, said that it is the nature of professional sport that hard decisions need to be made in the best interests of the team and the fans.
“The Sydney fans have high expectations of their sporting teams, and the Sydney Kings is no exception. We need to fuel the fans desire for fast, aggressive, entertaining basketball, and we are confident that the adjustments we have made to our domestic and import roster will achieve this goal,” Turner said.
The Sydney Kings play the Wollongong Hawks at the Snake Pit on Friday November 26, followed by their next home game at the Sydney Entertainment Centre against the New Zealand Breakers on Sunday December 5 – tip off at 6pm.