New Hawks coach Brian Goorjian believes well-travelled forward Deng Deng is yet to reach his full potential, as he becomes the second player to sign for the NBL club.
After announcing talented guard Emmett Naar as their first signing on Wednesday, the NBL's free agency announcment roll out continued with Deng, who was an injury replacement at the NZ Breakers, after a stint at the Sydney Kings where he played 19 games.
Deng, 28, has also played in Poland, Lebanon, Finland, Qatar and America in the NBA G-League, as well as for Australia in 2015 at the World University Games.
"Deng will play an important role for the Hawks on and off the court next season," Goorjian said in an NBL statement.
"We believe he has yet to hit his full potential in the NBL and look forward to helping him reach it. Deng is sure to be a player Hawks fans will enjoy watching."
Goorjian signed a two-year deal to take over the embattled club, as part of a decision to dump the Illawarra name from the title by the NBL, under the new ownership led by former Sydney Kings part-owner Dorry Kordahi.
The Hawks slumped into a second round of voluntary administration at the end of the Simon Stratford era of ownership, following a 5-23 campaign last season.
However, Deng said his previous relationship and understanding of Goorjian and his career had led to him joining the club.
"It's really good to be with Goorj and the whole new ownership. I'm really excited," Deng said.
"I've known Goorj for quite a while now, I played under his brother Kevin Goorjian at Box Hill. I know what he brings to the table, (he's a) Hall of Fame coach and the style of game he plays, so I'm excited to be playing for him. "I've known Dorry (Kordahi) for a couple of years and I think the direction the club is going is really good."
The new NBL season is scheduled for delayed tip-off in December amid the Covid-19 crisis.