Casper Ware says NBL's now a destination league
MELBOURNE United star Casper Ware says the NBL is a destination league for NBA-calibre talent looking for a job and an opportunity to get back on the world's biggest stage.
The quality of the league has improved steadily the past two seasons and in doing so attracted elite imports with NBA experience and draft hopefuls.
Ex-Philadelphia 76er Ware said conditions and lifestyle made the domestic league a viable option for top-end imports despite a slip in wages.
The timing of the league, which wraps up in February-March also helps, with players still able to pursue NBA try-out and Summer League options.
"I think guys that have probably played a year or two (in the NBA) and didn't make a team - those guys are willing to come down here to Australia," Ware said.
"The league is getting out there. I've got guys saying 'how you like it out there', I'm trying to get down there' … I believe them guys are going (to) start coming.
"It's (game) like the NBA too, it's quick, shooting threes, so it gives guys the chance to go back to the NBA."
The Sydney Kings pulled off a coup in the off-season, making 2015 NBA champion Andrew Bogut the highest-paid player in the league, with a handsome salary of about $1 million and ownership options.
The average NBL wage sits at about $136,000 with the top-tier taking home between $300,000 to $600,000 for the 28-game home-and-away season and finals.
Ware had no hesitation signing for his third NBL season, which puts the Los Angeles native within reach of becoming United's third most-capped player behind Chris Goulding and David Barlow.
After a slow start Ware has averaged 25.4 points in seven of the past eight games.
The only exception being against Sydney where he was held to nine points.
"Everybody goes through it (slump) sometime," the NBL most valuable player contender Ware said.
"It's not like you're going to play perfect all the time or play good all the time, that's the best thing about basketball, finding a way to get back to that level.
"Staying confident is the biggest thing, I've been there before, I've done this before, so it's not like I'm going to shy away 'dang, I'm missing shots'.
"I still think I can play better, cut down on the turnovers a bit … I got a lot more to work on, the scoring is going well but there's other things I can actually work on."