The Cairns Taipans have announced one of its star players, centre Cameron Oliver, will not be returning to the NBL this season.
In 2020, the American import signed a two year deal with the club but has now accepted an Exhibit 10 contract in California, understood to be with the Lakers.
Exhibit 10 contracts are generally one-year, minimum salary deals with NBA teams.
Oliver said it was a strategic career decision, but he will miss the Taipans.
“I want to say a massive thank you to the Taipans and the fans for all the love they showed me,” he said
“The community embraced me and my family with open arms and I loved every minute I was there.
“It was an honour to suit up and play in front of the Orange Army and I’m certainly going to miss it.
“I wish my guys all the best and hope they go out there and kill it this season.”
President of the Snakes, Troy Stone, said the club accepted Oliver’s release because it had always intended to provide him with a pathway to a higher level of basketball.
“Our fans will be disappointed they won’t get to see him play in person, but he becomes yet another success story for our club and the development they get with us.”
Oliver left the 2020/21 NBL season early to return to the US for family reasons, in April.
The following month, he received a 10-day contract with the Houston Rockets and in August suited up for the Golden State Warriors at Summer League.
“Cam said that he has never felt this close to his NBA dream, and this is exactly what we want,” said new Taipans head coach Adam Forde.
"I came into this role knowing that Cam was on the fringe of the NBA – so we have been diligently planning for this possibility and it’s fortunate it’s at this time, during the pre-season”
The Taipans said they will be announcing the signing of Oliver’s replacement soon.
Centre Cameron Oliver won't be suiting up for the Taipans in the 2021/22 NBL season
The American import is returning to the US to play in the NBA after signing an Exhibit 10 contract
- The Taipans will be announcing his replacement 'soon'