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Mitch Creek holds on to NBA dream but signs with Aussie team just in case

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NBL Grand Final: Game 4 - Adelaide v Melbourne Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images

Mitch Creek of the Long Island Nets is still hoping he can fulfill his NBA dream this season, but if it doesn’t work out, he’ll return to Australia next season as the centerpiece on an NBL expansion team, the South Melbourne Phoenix. The Phoenix open play in 2019-20.

Creek announced his decision in a tweet and interviews with Australian media.

The Nets signed Creek, a 6’5” swingman, to training camp contract last summer after he played for the Mavericks summer league team. He had hoped for a two-way deal but that didn’t materialize and he joined Long Island. So far, the 26-year-old has played well for the Nets G League team, averaging 14.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists. He’s shot 55 percent overall, but only 21.4 from three.

He had perhaps his best game over the weekend vs. the Lakeland Magic when he scored 24 points, grabbed four rebounds and added three steals.

A fan favorite in the Australian league, his future had been a source of much speculation down under. In an interview with Nick Metallinos, a New York-based writer, last week, he spoke about the possibilities. He foreclosed a return to his former team, the Adelaide 36ers, noting how the team had gone to court to get the Nets to buy out his contract.

The Phoenix became an ideal landing spot since it’s located close to his hometown of Horsham in Australia and won’t begin play till next season, giving him time to pursue his NBA dream. As he told Olgun Uluc of FOX Sports Australia...

“I have absolute confidence that what I put forth every single night and every single day, in front of the eyes and ears of what is the NBA; I believe that’s gonna get me a shot to maybe get a 10 day contract, to hopefully get two, to hopefully get three. I want to push teams to make decisions on me, based on what they think I can bring to the organisation. This is definitely not me throwing in the towel. 100 percent, not even f***ing close. This is about job security.”

Long Island plays again Tuesday morning at 11 a.m. at Nassau Coliseum. “We got a game tomorrow and I can’t wait to go hoop again,” Creek tweeted Monday.