It’s official, Didi Louzada is headed back to Australia.
According to Matt Logue of the Daily Telegraph, Louzada will be a member of the 2020-21 Sydney Kings team.
Sydney CEO Chris Pongrass confirmed the 21-year-old was flying back to Australia from Brazil on Wednesday to take up the second-year option at the Kings.
Louzada averaged 10.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 threes across 20 regular season games and 8.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.5 threes in six playoff contests in his first go-around with the Kings.
While both sets of numbers look significantly better per 36 minutes, it’s difficult to overlook the less than ideal shooting percentages (40.5 FG%/33.0 3PT%/65.5 FT% in regular season, 37.5 FG%/33.3 3PT%/75FT% in playoffs).
Didi didn’t come close to dominating the competition, so the desire for additional seasoning in the same league is understandable from the New Orleans front office point of view; however, I think there’s more to this decision.
The 2020-21 NBL season was scheduled to begin on December 3, 2020, but COVID-19 could push it back 30-45 days. The NBA start date is presumed to occur sometime in January 2021, but there have been rumors that Adam Silver will not hesitate to move it back further if it’ll mean having fans in attendance for all the games.
Furthermore, there are no guarantees that the G League will even get off the ground next season. Things could be limited to only some fall tournament. If so, this route likely wouldn’t be as impactful on Didi’s development than another stint in the NBL under the watchful eyes of Kings’ head coach Will Weaver.
The best part about Louzada going back to Australia though? The decision isn’t a permanent one because he has an NBA out clause.
Didi can return to the NBA to make his debut for New Orleans at any time.
Thus, if Didi shows dramatic improvement in Sydney, the Pelicans could conceivably fly him to the United States and sign him to a contract. And if perhaps the G League does figure out a way to field a season, then a two-way contract could potentially also make a lot of sense. But until such time, Louzada’s best bet for meaningful minutes appear likeliest in Australia.
Excited to be back pic.twitter.com/dGfUvZ0BU0— Didi Louzada (@Didi) September 30, 2020
Good luck Down Under, Didi!
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