The New Zealand Breakers have found their final piece for the upcoming Australian National Basketball League season, and they'll be hoping that he fits perfectly into their puzzle.

Import big man Jerrelle Benimon can be revealed as the Breakers' 11th and final signing, joining the club on a one-year deal.

The 6'8" American fits the direction that became clear early on for this Breakers squadron - not a flashy name, but a multi-talented player they're hoping can mesh within a team that clicks from the beginning.

They might not have the star power or title chances on par with the likes of Melbourne or Sydney, but the Breakers look a better side than last year's beaten semifinalists, and if their imports deliver (granted, a pretty big if), they could possess more upside than last year as well.


Much like the side's prior import signings - Patrick Richard and Armani Moore - Benimon's unlikely to be averaging 20 points per game, but as this is a team aimed to be better than the sum of its parts, he will have a distinct role to play.

Benimon will be asked to defend the rim, finish around the basket, rebound well and get up and down the court quickly, while his passing looks to be an extremely handy asset in combination with the similarly nifty Tai Wesley.

The 27-year-old played two underwhelming years at Georgetown - Breakers head coach Kevin Braswell's old college - before transferring to Towson, where he shone, averaging a double-double in both years on campus. He earned the briefest of spells in the NBA - playing two minutes in two games for the Utah Jazz in 2015 - but has been around the NBA in Summer League with four different teams, and was a standout in the NBA D-League, where he was an All-Star in 2015.

Twice named to an all-defensive team in college and compiler of a quadruple-double in high school, Benimon will be counted upon as a defensive anchor for this side, and Braswell - as every coach obviously does with new signings - is touting his skills.

"Benimon is a very adaptable player who can work both ends of the court. Not only is he incredibly skilled attacking and defending, he can score in the low post."

Braswell also says Benimon can "shoot the ball from the outside", and while the big man is a 32.7 per cent three-point shooter, it's on less than one attempt per game, and he has hit just one three in his last two seasons. Still, he probably won't be required to hoist many toru piros on a side with Jarrad Weeks, Corey Webster, and Tom Abercrombie, as well as floor-spacers at the power forward position in Wesley and Finn Delany.

In addition to having the Georgetown link, Benimon comes with a recommendation from Tall Blacks standout Isaac Fotu.

Benimon played for Fotu's German side, Ratiopharm Ulm, last season, averaging 7.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. (For a guide lacking any context whatsoever, Fotu averaged 13 points and 4.5 rebounds on 65 per cent shooting). Benimon is also efficient from the field, and his career free throw percentage of 68.2 per cent is practically Steve Nash-ian compared to former Breakers big men.


With all that in mind, will Benimon be the missing piece of the puzzle for the Breakers, or simply go down as a puzzling signing?

Two months from now, we'll see for ourselves.

PS: Here is a joke about puzzles, which I tried to include but failed, because I am bad at this. Also I thought Rakeem Christmas was going to be good so disregard all analysis written before this. Thanks.