The Cairns Taipans have retained Keanu Pinder and Bul Kuol in an important move ahead of NBL Free Agency.
Both players had outstanding 2021-22 seasons, with Pinder picking up the NBL’s Most Improved Player award, whilst Kuol was named Rookie of the Year.
A ninth-placed finish was far from ideal for the Taipans, but the performances of the award-winning duo were undoubtedly silver linings.
KEANU PINDER RETURNS 🏴☠️
The Most Improved Player is back for another year in orange! Let’s have some fun 😤 pic.twitter.com/OWfljLHJtq
Pinder began his professional career in Poland but made his NBL debut in 2020 for the Adelaide 36ers before moving to Cairns for the most recent season.
He excelled under Taipans coach Adam Forde, improving from 4.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game to 10.8 points and 7.5 rebounds.
The 26-year-old also set career-highs for points, rebounds, and assists throughout the season.
NBL 2022-23 Roster Tracker: Signings, departures, and re-signings of every team
NBL rookie Bul Kuol made the most of a string of injuries within his team, proving himself and earning a spot in the starting five.
The 25-year-old made the jump from NBL1 with ease, scoring a career-high 26 points against Brisbane – which included a notable eight three-pointers.
He also made 64 threes across the regular season, trumping Shane Heal’s 1988 record for the most three-pointers by an Australian rookie.
Pinder and Kuol join Majok Deng and Mirko Djeric on the Taipan’s 2022-23 roster, with the free agency window to open on May 20.