Adelaide head coach CJ Bruton believes Next Star Trentyn Flowers could be the missing piece for a 36ers playoff push.

16 Aug
Dan Woods for

NBL Next Star Trentyn Flowers may be coming to Adelaide as a high-level NBA prospect, but head coach CJ Bruton is under no illusions of how the 18-year-old guard can help contribute to winning for his side.

Flowers was announced as the eighth Next Star to touch down in the NBL ahead of the new season, and will follow in the footsteps of Josh Giddey and Mojave King with the 36ers.

“As I’ve told Trentyn, we haven’t had someone in the NBL be a first-round pick who’s also helped a team get to the playoffs,” Bruton said.

“To see anyone that’s 6’8” that can play point guard, you can look around the NBA from Ben Simmons and on that can handle the ball and play, there are certain attributes you have that can outshine others.

“Trentyn is great in transition, he has elite speed, athleticism, his vision is great. He might not be Josh Giddey as a passer as of yet, but he definitely sees the floor like that.

“He’s a winner, he plays both ends of the floor which translates for us and our league, and he’s able to switch and guard multiple positions which his great for our league and the NBA.

“To have someone of his talent is special.”

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">36ers coach CJ Bruton with some high praise for his newest recruit ??<br><br>Read more: <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; NBL (@NBL) <a href="">August 15, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

The goalposts have consistently been changing around Adelaide’s roster build ahead of the new season due to the departures of previously contracted import pair Antonius Cleveland and Robert Franks.

Bruton has been vocal about his desire to recruit high-level, natural point guards to his program for NBL24, but has admitted he initially travelled to Summer League with a different goal in mind.

“When I went to the United States, I said I was looking for a point guard. Clearly, I signed Jason Cadee, got a veteran in that and we have Mitch McCarron – they’ve both played for Australia," he said.

“When I was in the United States with all my contacts and people I know I was saying I need a Next Star, I need someone that’s legit and can help shift the needle for the 36ers.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Another One ??<br><br>The <a href="">@Adelaide36ers</a> have signed projected lottery pick Trentyn Flowers as their <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBL24</a> Next Star ?<br><br>Read more: <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; NBL (@NBL) <a href="">August 14, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

“It was harder than expected and I didn’t think it was going to get across the line when I landed back in Australia but when the phone call came back – we sent a video off to the family about Adelaide, the history, the club, and then they started their homework.

“At that point I still had AC so presenting I had a chance to get a Next Star and we had AC – so do I find a big? Clearly things shifted and changed in the background and the more we went down the path with Trentyn.

“The NBL has done an amazing job with the Next Stars program and being able to set that platform from Giddey and Ball to everyone else – it’s probably made it more appealing for him and the family.”

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