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Champion centre looks to Wildcats

EXPECT reigning NBL champion Perth Wildcats to shortly reveal they have not spoken with free agent centre Nate Jawai, even though he is keen for a return to the west.

Jawai played for Perth in 2015-16, winning the championship before returning to his beloved Cairns Taipans for three seasons.

Sauces Hollandaise and Tomato have been spreading the news Jawai, 32 and a 209cm man-mountain, wants to be back thrilling the Red Army next season.

"I want to go to Perth or to Europe," he allegedly told a source earlier today.

His desire to rejoin coach Trevor Gleeson in Perth would be a further savage blow to the Taipans where he won NBL Rookie of the Year honours in 2008 before logging 45 NBA games with Toronto Raptors and Minnesota Timberwolves.

A Boomer at the 2014 FIBA World Cup, Jawai returned to the NBL after an extensive European playing journey, joining the Wildcats.

READY TO CHECK BACK IN: Nathan Jawai waits for a sub during his previous Wildcats stint.

After the NBL championship win, he returned to the Taipans and his mentor, coach Aaron Fearne, playing the 2017-18-19 seasons in Cairns.

Once the current NBL season ended, Jawai played in France for Levallois Metropolitans for the rest of the 2018–19 Pro A season, averaging 5.8 points and 2.3 rebounds in 13 minutes of action per game.

Cairns and new coach Mike Kelly were keen to retain him but could not reach agreement.

Perth is well-advanced in its conversations with a potential new 5-man and does not have Jawai on its radar.

But Jawai is keen and if talks do not occur, will likely leave the NBL for a further stint in Europe.

With Rob Loe released from his contract and returning to NZ Breakers due to a personal situation and Melbourne United championship-winning import Josh Boone heading to Illawarra Hawks, the Taipans look in serious need of a major announcement or three.

Expect those shortly.

May 22

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