The New Zealand Breakers didn't take long to lock in their new import.

After releasing centre Jerrelle Benimon due to family issues earlier this week, the Breakers have instead signed former Philadelphia 76ers big man Shawn Long on a one-year deal.

Long is of a similar - if not higher - calibre than Benimon, and will possibly even be a smoother fit for the Breakers, a side for whom rebounding could be a struggle this season.

The 6'9" Long should be able to help out there, having posted impressive rebounding rates in most of his professional stops, and while he won't have the passing touch promised by Benimon, he profiles as a more athletic option at the centre position.


Long can also spread the floor if required, being just enough of a threat to be respected from beyond the arc, and has the resume to potentially be the Breakers' best player. (So did Rakeem Christmas though, so who the hell really knows).

Breakers coach Kevin Braswell is touting Long's all-round ability as a key reason why he was signed.

"Shawn is someone who we saw early and thought damn, he is super talented. I know that he will help us on both sides of the ball - he is a great scorer and versatile on offence, and on defence he will alter shots and help us to throw different looks at teams. I know he is very excited to get to work and we are excited to have him."

Long, who played 18 games for the 76ers in 2017 and has spent the last season playing in the NBA development league and top Chinese league, will join the Breakers this week.

"I had a number of options on the table but after speaking to the Breakers I felt as though they'd provide the best situation for me to improve all around as a player, but most importantly a chance to win a championship," Long said.

"I look forward to making the best of it and filling whatever role the team needs".

The Breakers are currently preparing for the NBL Blitz next fortnight, before their pre-season game against the Phoenix Suns on October 3. Their regular season tips off against the Brisbane Bullets on October 11.