The New Zealand Breakers have made their first roster moves of the offseason, re-signing Tom Abercrombie and Shea Ili to multi-year deals.
Just days after the departure of head coach Paul Henare, the Breakers have quickly locked up two of their core locals. Abercrombie has signed a three-year deal, while Ili has been locked into a two-year deal, joining Alex Pledger as the first three players signed for the 2018/2019 ANBL season.
Since ANBL salaries are kept private, it's impossible to evaluate whether the contracts are good value for the club, though the length of Abercrombie's deal is of interest.
The 30-year-old small forward had a comparatively down season last year, averaging 9.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. He defended well, but his shooting percentages were below-par - 37 per cent from the field, 32 per cent from three and 69 per cent from the line.
His three-point shooting will bounce back, and his defence is likely to remain above-average throughout the deal, but declining athleticism might cause his abilities to attack off the dribble to be further hindered at the back-end of the contract.
However, his signing hits the Breakers' core objective of keeping New Zealand's best talents with the franchise, and Abercrombie is thrilled to return.
"Once the club approached me and wanted me back, it was easy, this is where I want to be. As long as that feeling is mutual I am a happy man.
"First and foremost, I want to create more success for this club, I have been lucky enough to be part of championship teams and that memory sticks with you for a long time. We haven't tasted that for a while, but it is addictive, we want that feeling back again.
"I want to be a one-club guy and play my whole career here, this takes another major step towards that."
The re-signing of the 25-year-old Ili also sees a leading Kiwi stay in New Zealand, with the burgeoning point guard continuing his rise this year.
A standout with the Wellington Saints in the NBL, Ili was named the ANBL's Most Improved Player this season, after averaging nine points, three rebounds and three assists per game.
Ili only shot 38 per cent from the field but continuing to show off his improved three-point shot, hitting at a 36 per cent clip, and he defended well for his position.
"These are also the years now when I am looking to step up and take more responsibility and lead the team," said Ili. "I am ready for that challenge and can't wait to get to work."
More player announcements are expected within the coming weeks.