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St. John's Edge not interested in trading first overall pick in NBL Canada draft

The St. John’s Edge have the first overall pick in Sunday’s NBL Canada draft and would very much like to come away with a player of the calibre of former North Carolina State star Alex Johnson, who was the first overall pick in the league’s draft 2012. Johnson (8), shown playing for the Halifax Hurricanes, was named a league all-star in 2014 when he with for the Mississauga Power. He has also played for Saint John and Windsor in the league.
The St. John’s Edge have the first overall pick in Sunday’s NBL Canada draft and would very much like to come away with a player of the calibre of former North Carolina State star Alex Johnson, who was the first overall pick in the league’s draft 2012. Johnson (8), shown playing for the Halifax Hurricanes, was named a league all-star in 2014 when he with for the Mississauga Power. He has also played for Saint John and Windsor in the league.

Head coach Dunlap counting on getting a 'worthwhile' player for team on Sunday

Teams in the National Basketball League of Canada are not built through the league’s annual draft.

By now, the league’s 10 teams — including the expansion St. John’s Edge — have already assembled most of their training-camp rosters. The two-round draft, which will be held Sunday afternoon in Windsor, Ont., is mostly a way to help augment those groups.

However, Edge head coach Jeff Dunlap — who is also effectively the team’s GM — believes he can leave Windsor with at least one very helpful player, especially since St. John’s holds the first overall pick.

The draft follows the league’s annual fall combine, which will feature 150 would-be NBLers who will work out, scrimmage and interview at the event, which has been organized by Global Basketball, which might be best-described as a hoops recruitment clearing-house.

NBL Canada teams feature 12-man playing rosters. While in St. John’s earlier this week for the revelation of his team’s nickname, logo and colours, Dunlap said he had already signed about 15 players for training camp, with plans to add a few more. And he’s hoping at least one of those final few will come through the draft.

“From what I know of combine — and this is only what I’ve learned from people who have gone to it and drafted out of it,” said Dunlap, whose coaching background has been at the NCAA Division One level, “is that by the time you get to the second round, you’re not guaranteed to get a player who will be able to help you right away.

“But there will probably be at least two or three (at the combine) who will be pretty good, so with the No. 1 pick, I’m counting on the guy we choose as being somebody worthwhile.”

Draft choices can be traded, but Dunlap goes into the weekend with no intention of letting go of the first overall selection. However, that doesn’t mean he won’t be interested in doing some dealing.

“I’m not going to trade No. 1, even though everyone and their mother has tried to get me to trade that one, but that second-round pick (12th overall) might end up with somebody else,” he said.

After a welcome session tonight, the combine gets underway Saturday with testing, drill work and scrimmages.

For Sunday’s draft, there will be 21 picks overall, including 11 in the opening round. That’s because the first-round pick that had belonged to the Orangeville A’s, who folded in the off-season, was traded.

 

bmcc@thetelegram.com

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