South East Melbourne's NBL playoff hopes have been boosted by the arrival of former NBA small forward Abdel Nader.
The third-placed Phoenix freed up an import place on their roster with last week's cutting of American guard Will Cummings and have moved quickly to replace him with the 196cm-tall ex-Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder player.
Cummings was released with immediate effect on Friday, the 31-year-old understood to have failed to meet the club's off-court requirements.
Over a five-year spell in the NBA, Egypt-born Nader also turned out for the Phoenix Suns, for whom he featured in the 2021 finals series.
"Mid-season roster changes, although difficult, provide great opportunity," South East Melbourne chief executive Tommy Greer told the club's website.
"We believe Abdel will bring with him great experience, talent and competitiveness on both ends of the floor.
“He possesses all the skills required to be a great complement to the roster we have currently."
The 30-year-old Nader, who will wear the No.11 for the Phoenix, is due to fly in to Melbourne on Thursday to link up with the rest of the squad, including fellow imports Alan Williams and Gary Browne.
The Phoenix host ladder-leading city rivals Melbourne United on Thursday evening before taking on the Illawarra Hawks on Saturday.