Former NBA scoring machine Josh Childress has signed a one-year deal with the Sydney Kings and will play a major role in filling the hole left by fellow American Sam Young.
Childress, 31, was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks with the sixth pick of the 2004 NBA draft. He went on to play 391 games for four clubs during his US career.
Although the Kings won't be paying Childress anywhere near as much as what he was on at the Phoenix Suns in 2012, he stands to make $US7 million ($7.55 million) this season from Phoenix, who used an amnesty clause to wipe him from the books in 2012.
Childress received $US13.5 million two years into his five-year, $US33.5 million contract from the Suns before the club decided to remove him from their salary cap negotiations.
It was agreed he would be paid out the remaining $US20 million over the following three seasons.
The 203-centimetre small forward played four seasons with the Hawks before moving to the Greek league, where he starred for Euroleague club Olympiacos Piraeus.
Childress then returned to the NBA with the Phoenix Suns and the Brooklyn Nets. His most recent stint came with the New Orleans Pelicans in the 2013-14 season.
Sydney Kings coach Damian Cotter said he and head of basketball operations Tim Hudson were in conversation with Childress for three weeks before the signing, and know from their extensive research that he will fit perfectly into the squad.
"As good a talent as he is, we really value his [Childress'] character; that's what we've gone for," Cotter said. "We feel like we've assembled a group of fellas that are behaving the right way and doing the right things and I think Josh is going to fit in with that.
"We're excited about the bloke we're getting.
"I spoke to Josh and I said we have a system that's based on shared responsibility. You need to come in and defend and rebound, and he was right into that, so that's how we started and I feel like we're going to get a bloke who comes in and wants to earn respect from his teammates."
Childress and fellow American signing Kendrick Perry will join their new Kings teammates later this month before a blockbuster round-one clash against arch-rivals Wollongong Hawks on October 11.
Cotter said he was confident Childress would fill the void left by former Former Indiana Pacers forward Young and help the Kings break a 10-year NBL title drought.
"He's long and athletic, and he's got a great basketball IQ," Cotter said. "He's got a point of difference for us just with his size and athleticism, and he can put it to the floor and get to the rim so he fits with the other strengths that we have. He's a well-experienced player because we're a relatively new group so that's going to be great for us.
"I think it's foolish to talk championships and we've only been going a couple of weeks, but there's been a fair degree of buy in. We're playing against pretty tough opposition but I think with the players that we've got, including Josh and Kendrick, we have every reason to feel we're going to be a competitive unit."
The story Sydney Kings sign former NBA player Josh Childress first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.