New Breakers head coach Kevin Braswell might be unproven at the Australian NBL level, but NBA guard Torrey Craig backs his former coach to make the step up.
Craig, who played for the Denver Nuggets this season, was part of the Wellington Saints team Braswell led to the NZ NBL title in 2016 and told the Herald he had no doubt Braswell was ready to take that next step.
"I think he'll do good. It's obviously a huge achievement for him, but I have all the confidence in the world in him," Craig said. "He's a basketball guy. He played, and it's always a little bit easier to understand the players, understand the game once you've actually played in uniform, and he's played with that team before.
"I believe he'll surround that team with a bunch of talented guys and I believe they'll go out there and compete."
Braswell will see some familiar faces when he take the reins of the Breakers. Having already locked down a number of former or current Wellington Saints players, the Breakers have secured the services of ex-Saints guard Corey Webster on a three-year deal.
Webster will rejoin the club after a one-year absence during which he spent time playing in Israel. The 29-year-old became the eighth player on the team's roster for the upcoming season.
Familiar faces on the roster will no doubt make Braswell feel at home more quickly in the new role. Since taking the reins in Wellington in 2016, the 39-year-old has led the team to a 38-6 record.
"I look forward to a big season with him in his first year," Craig said. "I'll be keeping up with them. I already messaged him, I told him if ever I need a job I know where to come."
Signed to a two-way contract with the Nuggets for the 2017-18 NBA season, Craig played in 39 of the team's 82 games, including five starts. While his two-way contract expired at the end of the season making him a free agent, he wasn't likely to be looking at a spot on the Breakers roster any time soon.
Craig told the Herald the Nuggets had offered him a full-time NBA contract, which he was currently negotiating, but his agent was also in talks with other teams around the league who were interested in his services.
Current Breakers players to play under Kevin Braswell in Wellington
Corey Webster (2017)
Shea Ili (2016, 2017, 2018)
Jordan Ngatai (2017, 2018)
Majok Majok (2018)
Tai Wesley (2016, 2017)