Phoenix sign Devondrick Walker to boost finals run
South East Melbourne Phoenix have called in an athletic wing to bolster their attack for a run at the NBL semi-finals.
One-time Perth Wildcats signing Devondrick Walker was confirmed as the Phoenix's latest import on Tuesday with the 27-year-old, 196-centimetre guard-small forward giving the team a boost in athleticism and scoring.
The Phoenix lead the NBL in three-point shooting at 38.4 per cent but have faced injuries in their wing roles as Adam Gibson, Ben Madgen, Kendall Stephens and Mitch Creek have battled nagging problems in recent weeks.
Walker, who was recently playing in France's top league, hopes he can give the side a boost.
He was meant to play for the Perth Wildcats in the 2017-2018 season but injured his foot in pre-season and was eventually released without playing a game.
"I'm excited to join the Phoenix; it's a new club with a healthy aspiration of getting to the top of the playoffs. Every game matters at this point so it's an exciting time of year for the club, and I'm honoured to be a part of it," Walker said.
"It seems a bit surreal after missing the opportunity to play for Perth a few seasons ago till now playing my first NBL game against Perth. We all know the NBL is a great environment, so I'm excited to see and enjoy the moment."
The decision to bring in a wing player means the Phoenix are comfortable with their big men stocks as they parted ways with import centre Keith Benson to free a spot up for Walker.
Dane Pineau is thriving as the starting centre and it's likely that power forward Tai Wesley will start spending a little time at centre too.
Phoenix general manager Tommy Greer said Walker would help the team at both ends as they looked to chase a finals spot.
"We're excited to add someone of Devondrick's character and ability to the team. He's athletic, a great shooter and can defend multiple positions," Greer said.
"He's also from all reports a great guy so will fit in with our group well."
The Phoenix play the Wildcats in Perth on Friday night, so his NBL debut could be against Perth instead of for them.
"Missing the opportunity to play in the NBL has always bothered me, so being able to come back and play is something I always wanted to do. And of course, who doesn't like the beach in January," Walker said.
The Phoenix play Perth Wildcats in Perth on Friday night and play Sydney Kings in Sydney on Sunday.
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