Taipans add Walker as NBL rebuild begins

The Cairns Taipans have secured the services of Perth's Lucas Walker. Paul Kane/Getty Images

The Cairns Taipans have fired a delayed first shot in NBL free agency, locking in Perth Wildcats forward Lucas Walker.

The athletic veteran is the first fresh face at the Taipans since new coach Mike Kelly was installed.

And it is a welcome one after enduring the losses of captain Cameron Gliddon (Brisbane), Mitch McCarron (Europe) and Jarrad Weeks (New Zealand Breakers) since free agency began last week.

Reliable forward Stephen Weigh has also retired, giving Kelly a near-clean slate to work with since replacing long-time coach Aaron Fearne.

Former Melbourne mainstay Walker revived his career when he signed an injury replacement contract in Perth and went on to earn selection in the Boomers' Commonwealth Games gold medal team.

Last season he pulled down 16 rebounds against Adelaide, the most recorded in the NBL's 40-minute era.

Kelly said Walker's reliable athletic abilities would complement the up-tempo team he is putting together.

"Entering the free agency period, we looked at multiple options and with each roster model, Lucas Walker's name just kept popping up," he said.

Walker joins Nate Jawai, Alex Loughton and Kuany Kuany on the Taipans roster.

Meanwhile Adelaide have lured young guns Harry Froling and Jack McVeigh to the Joey Wright-coached club.

Froling, who opted to forgo the final two years of his college career and turn professional, is an automatic entrant for the 2019 NBA Draft.