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Bullets sign up first import

ON THE MOVE: Torrey Craig is set to join the Brisbane Bullets.
ON THE MOVE: Torrey Craig is set to join the Brisbane Bullets. Paul Kane

THE Brisbane Bullets are poised to name athletic American Torrey Craig as its inaugural import signing, and also reveal the identity of an exciting shooting guard next week.

Australian Regional Media understands the deal with 25-year-old Craig is close to being signed off, and will be confirmed next week, along with the names of more recruits to join coach Andrej Lemanis' foundation roster for the 2016-2017 NBL season.

Brisbane this week announced the signings of 234-game veteran forward Andrew Petrie and championship-winning centre Tom Jervis, who have both been part of the Australian Boomers program.

Craig played with the Cairns Taipans last season and Lemanis is confident the American will be an excellent fit on and off the court for the Bullets, who will return to the competition for the first time since the 2007-08 season.

Given the unexpected signing of Jervis, it's now likely Brisbane will focus on building a roster with only two imports, with the focus heavily on a quality shooting guard.

Brisbane chief executive Mitchell Murphy has the responsibility to watch over the club's expenditure, and said: "We have to go out and find a guy to play the two spot who can score a lot of points.

"Whether it is the NRL, the AFL, the A-League or the NBL now, the biggest task is to juggle your cap," Murphy said.

"You can't pay big money for everybody. You have to have those three or four players who are really affordable who can get the job done for you."

The NBL has introduced a soft cap this season, with those clubs who exceed that required to pay a luxury tax which will be divided among the other clubs.

"Soft cap, hard cap, it doesn't make a lot of difference," Murphy said.

" If you are prepared to pay the luxury tax you can go and spend a lot more money.

"If you are being pragmatic, the soft cap leans towards clubs like Perth and Sydney, now that they've got an owner who is prepared to spend a lot of money.

"But this club is not going to go and spend stupid money in years one and two and put ourselves profoundly under financial pressure - we're just not going to do that.

"If you look at sport around the world, spending the most does not guarantee you will be the best.

"Look at the EPL (English Premier League) at the moment as a prime example."

The Bullets have also signed former Adelaide guard Adam Gibson and last season's Melbourne United captain Daniel Kickert.


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