NBL star Bryce Cotton leaning towards Perth Wildcats return

Bryce Cotton is leaning toward returning to the Perth Wildcats for the 2020-21 NBL season but is still considering two other "serious offers", sources have told ESPN.

The reigning MVP and Grand Final MVP was the first of five players to opt out of their respective contracts following the implementation of a series of salary-cutting measures, and subsequently earned significant interesting from top-tier teams across Europe.

The Wildcats, however, are back in the driver's seat to retain Cotton, with the import expected to make his decision next week, sources said.

One opted-out player has already reversed his decision to return to the NBL, with Matt Hodgson re-joining the Brisbane Bullets after briefly testing the market.

The terms that were agreed upon by the NBL, its teams, and the Australian Basketball Players Association stated that players earning over $200,000 for the upcoming season would have their salaries slashed by 50 percent. The majority of those players renegotiated their respective contracts in order to avoid receiving such a significant pay cut, sources said.

Cotton, 27, is coming off a season where he led the NBL in scoring, averaging 22.9 points per game over the course of the 2019-20 campaign; the Wildcats awarded the title after their series with the Sydney Kings was cut short due to COVID-19.

The combo guard has been with the Wildcats since 2017, leading the team to three championships, winning two MVPs and two Grand Final MVPs in the process.