You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

United seek scorer to replace MVP Jackson

AAP logoAAP 11/11/2016 Michael Ramsey

Melbourne United are searching for a more productive scorer to replace axed import Cedric Jackson, coach Dean Demopoulos says.

The 2012-13 MVP's sacking followed Melbourne starting the season at 3-6, having been cruelled by injuries to important starters Chris Goulding and Todd Blanchfield.

Jackson's production has been down since his move from the New Zealand Breakers at the start of the season, averaging just under 10 points and five assists in nine games, and there were signs he failed to gel with his new teammates on the court.

Melbourne will announce his replacement soon and Demopoulos on Friday said the club had searched far and wide, including in the NBA where he was an assistant coach for several years.

"It was more or less a perfect storm," Demopoulos told AAP.

"We had so many things happen to this ball club the last few weeks with injuries and we just felt that it was time to change and we needed a different type of player to overcome the odds.

"The decision was painstaking and gut-wrenching. The respect that my coaches, players and this entire organisation have for what Cedric has done made it extremely difficult."

Former Los Angeles Lakers Steve Blake and Josh Powell are among the players lured from the NBA this season, both filling import spots for the Sydney Kings, while the Breakers on Thursday signed David Stockton, the son of NBA Hall of Famer John Stockton.

Melbourne will head into Sunday's game against the talent-stacked Sydney without star three-point shooter Blanchfield, who has an injured groin.

Goulding, who played for the Boomers at the Rio Olympics, is also likely to miss as he continues to recover from an ankle injury.

"I don't think he'll be ready for the weekend but you never know," Demopoulos said.

"Todd's going to be out a little bit longer than Chris but he's making progress too.

"We miss both those guys desperately, obviously, and we're hoping they get back as soon as possible."

Melbourne's on-court chemistry has been sorely lacking this year but Demopoulos is confident bringing in another import won't make things worse.

"I hope that if there is one step backwards, there are two really large steps forward," he said.

"We haven't nearly hit where we'd like to hit as a group. It's been fragmented ... and circumstances put us in a situation where it's very, very difficult to get rhythm and cohesion right away so we need to overcome that."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon