Perth Wildcats GM Danny Mills explains how Luke Travers can enhance his NBA dream

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Craig O'DonoghueThe West Australian
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Luke Travers looks set for a big year for the Perth Wildcats.
Camera IconLuke Travers looks set for a big year for the Perth Wildcats. Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images

Perth Wildcats General Manager of Basketball Operations Danny Mills has declared rising star Luke Travers will have a significant advantage over other players in his quest to achieve a NBA dream due to the amount of NBA talent he can call upon for advice.

Travers is coming off the back of a breakout season and looks set to command more attention as he attempts to follow in the footsteps of Australia’s Josh Giddey.

Mills joined the Wildcats after working as the Director of Scouting at the Philadelphia 76ers. He and coach Scott Morrison, who was previously an assistant coach at Boston Celtics, have urged Travers to seize upon their knowledge and experience.

“We’re all invested in trying to have him reach his potential which we think is the NBA,” Mills told thewest.com.au’s The Dribble Podcast.

“We’ve sat him down and he’s got all the resources in the world. He’s got a head coach that’s coached in the NBA for four years. He understands what it takes. He was the Director of Player Development at the Boston Celtics, working with Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown every day – Luke has that at his doorstep every single day. Door open.

“He’s got a GM of Basketball that’s been a talent evaluator in the NBA for the last seven years. I’m sitting him down and being like ‘Luke when you get to this stage and you’re going to pre-draft camps and pre-draft workouts with NBA teams, this is what teams from the inside want to look at from you.

“This is what they’re going to ask you in interviews. I can prep him for those things and give him the best chance to possible to get across that. I’m excited for him.”

Travers began last season in the starting five despite being a Development Player. He rode a rollercoaster of form before producing his best basketball during the finals.

Mills said Travers had the skill and athleticism to be a NBA player.

Todd Blanchfield, Mitch Norton and Luke Travers.
Camera IconTodd Blanchfield, Mitch Norton and Luke Travers. Credit: Wildcats Media/Wildcats Media

“Luke’s an incredibly talented player,” Mills said.

“He’s bigger than I thought. I’d seen him a couple of years ago in person. Seeing him up close at practice and in games at the Blitz, he’s legit 6’8 with a big wingspan – about a 6’11 or seven foot wingspan.

“His frame clearly isn’t developed yet. He’s still growing and I think that is exciting to see how he’s physically going to mature and I think that’s only going to help his game on the court, especially as he gets to higher levels – whether that’s the NBL, the Australian Boomers and obviously the NBA is a goal of his and a goal of ours for him.

“That’s what he should be shooting for. He’s got all the talent in the world. It’s kind of up to him.”

Listen to the full The Dribble podcast episode as Mills discusses:

  • Perth’s injuries heading into the season
  • Is there an update on Bryce Cotton’s citizenship?
  • What to expect from imports Vic Law and Michael Frazier II
  • What it takes for players to get the attention of NBA executives
  • His thoughts on Ben Simmons’ situation

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