Brisbane coach Andrej Lemanis expects Will Magnay to take a likely NBL finals campaign in his long stride and re-sign with the club after his breakout season which has attracted NBA interest.
The 21-year-old forward opted to turn professional after one season of college basketball, but a bout of glandular fever and a solid depth chart at the Bullets meant he managed less than 100 minutes of action across his first two campaigns.
The fit-again Brisbane product has forced his way into Lemanis' starting five this season and the 208cm athlete has helped to spark a six-game winning run which has put them within reach of a second-straight finals berth.
The Bullets can knock New Zealand out of the finals race by beating them on Friday night, a result which will also guarantee a top-four finish if Melbourne lose any of their three remaining regular-season games.
The first Brisbane player to record six or more blocks in consecutive games, Magnay has drawn attention from several NBA clubs this season and should soon sign an extension with the Bullets, complete with a NBA out clause.
"I'm sure it's very close. I keep getting told it is," Lemanis said of Magnay's retention.
"As far as I'm aware, he wants to be here, we want him to be here, so it should happen."
Magnay is suddenly a key plank in the Bullets' fortunes and his coach expects him to respond well as the intensity lifts.
"It's a joy seeing them (the young players) grow and progress and he's already had to do that through the course of the season," Lemanis said.
"He's featuring more prominently on the opposition scout, having some of the stuff he's used to doing taken away from him.
"We've relied on him to make plays down the stretch ... and the only way you can get experience is with experience."
Australian Associated Press
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.