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Wildcat Cotton still has love for Prather

Casey Prather's decision to join Melbourne United has left a major hole in the Perth Wildcats' line-up

Wildcat Cotton still has love for Prather

Casey Prather's decision to join Melbourne United has left a major hole in the Perth Wildcats' line-up

Star Perth Wildcats import Bryce Cotton insists he has nothing but love for Casey Prather despite the American's defection to NBL rivals Melbourne United.

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Prather played a critical role in guiding the Wildcats to the past two Championships and the club was keen to re-sign him for another season.


The 26-year-old rejected the Wildcats' initial approaches in the hope of landing a more lucrative deal overseas.

But when that fell through, Prather decided to join a star-studded Melbourne United outfit featuring the likes of Chris Goulding, David Andersen and Josh Boone.

Cotton says he doesn't hold any ill feelings towards Prather.

"Casey - that was my guy. I knew him a little bit as well before I came out here," Cotton said.

"But we still remain friends. We still talk as well. It's nothing but love between me and him.

"It's definitely a bitter little spot right there (with him leaving), but I wish him nothing but the best.

"This isn't the first time me and him have competed against each other. He's competitive, just like me. It'll be fun."

The Wildcats were dealt a blow last week when Prather's replacement - sharpshooter Devondrick Walker - broke his left foot at training.

The injury means Walker will miss most of the season, and the Wildcats are on the search for a replacement.

Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson said it was a tough time of the year to recruit a high-profile player.

"Most players are signed in Europe and other guys are waiting for the NBA to start with the training camps," Gleeson said.

"So it's probably not flush with players. We want to find the right guy - not just the first available.

"We're not going to rush it. We've got five weeks before our first game."

Cotton became an instant hit in the NBL last season after joining the Wildcats late in the campaign.

The former NBA guard saved his finest performance for game three of the grand final series, draining 45 points against the shell-shocked Illawarra Hawks.

Perth have been listed as the early Championship favourites, but Gleeson is well aware the quality of players in the league has gone up another notch from last season.


AAP



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