Australian basketball great Shane Heal believes Patty Mills is the perfect fit for NBA title favourites Brooklyn, but he doesn't think Ben Simmons will make long-lasting peace with Philadelphia.
A strong contingent of at least seven Australian players will take part in the NBA this season, with Mills, Simmons, Joe Ingles, Matisse Thybulle, and rookie Josh Giddey leading the way.
That number will go up to eight if Dante Exum, who was axed by the Houston Rockets over the weekend, is able to find another home.
Mills was traded to the star-studded Brooklyn Nets during the off-season, ending a successful 10-year stint at San Antonio that included the championship in 2013-14.
The 33-year-old Boomers captain is viewed as a crucial acquisition for the Nets as they attempt to make up for last season's exit to the Milwaukee Bucks in the eastern conference semi-finals.
Mills' importance has grown in leaps and bounds over the past week after star guard Kyrie Irving was stood down after opting against having the COVID-19 vaccine.
Unless Irving backflips on his stance, Mills is set to receive a significant chunk of court time in a Nets outfit that features superstars Kevin Durant and James Harden.
"When you've got somebody like Patty who is so dangerous from the perimeter, I think he's the perfect complement player for what they're trying to do," Heal told AAP.
"He's going to get more open shots than he's ever had before because the scout is all about trying to stop KD and Harden and those sort of guys.
"I think he's going to really flourish in that system and with those people. And plus when you go to a new team it's always exciting as well. He's going to have a new lease on life."
The situation is in stark contrast to Simmons' face-off with the 76ers.
Simmons' flop in last season's finals and subsequent public fall-out with superstar teammate Joel Embiid means his position at Philadelphia appears untenable.
The 25-year-old All-Star is desperate to be traded, but the problem is his stocks are so low that Philadelphia would rather hang on to him for a bit longer and trade him at a higher price.
"I don't think either Ben or Philly have handled it very well," Heal said.
"He will be traded at some stage, it's just a matter of time. I think Ben is not going to forgive and forget too quickly. It's not pretty.
"It must be pretty hurtful for him. He finished the round last year and he didn't get a whole lot of support from Doc (coach Doc Rivers), definitely didn't get any from Embiid, fans are burning your jersey in the streets.
"He's got a lot of pride. So it would be tough for him seeing that and being part of it."
Ingles shot at an elite 45 per cent from long range last season, and looms as a crucial cog in Utah's title quest.
The 34-year-old is entering the final year of his contract, and is intent of producing another big season for a team that bowed out in their conference semi-finals last season.
Thybulle appears primed to step up at Philadelphia this season after producing a series of strong efforts at the Olympics.
The 24-year-old averaged 7.8 points per game in his six appearances in Tokyo, shooting at 62.3 per cent from the field.
Thybulle is considered one of the NBA's best perimeter defenders, but he only averaged 3.9 points per game for the 76ers last season and will want to improve on that.
Giddey, the No.6 pick in the 2021 NBA draft, has enjoyed a stunning pre-season campaign with Oklahoma City Thunder, averaging 13.5 points, seven rebounds, and five assists across four games.
The Thunder are tipped to finish near the bottom this season, and that means 19-year-old Giddey is set to receive bulk court time in what shapes as a development year for the squad.
Centre Jock Landale will also be aiming to make an impact after being picked up by San Antonio following his MVP heroics in the NBA grand final for Melbourne United.
Dallas guard Josh Green averaged just 2.6 points per game in a slow debut season in the NBA, and he'll be hoping for more game time under new coach Jason Kidd.
The season tips off on Wednesday AEDT.
Australian Associated Press