Tai Webster agrees to join NBL's Perth Wildcats

Tai Webster has agreed to a deal with the Perth Wildcats for the remainder of the 2022-23 season, sources told ESPN.

Webster, a 6'2 combo guard, will return to the NBL after a stint in the Turkish Basketball Super League, with optimism he'll be cleared by the league and available for Wednesday's game against the New Zealand Breakers, sources said.

Negotiations between Webster and the Wildcats had been ongoing for several weeks, sources said, and reached an apex once the Kiwi guard left his Turkish team, Petkim Spor, via a mutual release on Saturday morning.

Webster's NBL rights for this season were owned by his former NBL team, the Breakers, so a buyout was negotiated on Saturday in order for the Wildcats to agree to terms with the 27-year-old, sources said.

The Wildcats will have to make room on their roster in order to accomodate the signing of Webster; no-one is eligible to be transferred to a development player spot, so a player will be waived, sources said. Webster's older brother, Corey, is currently on the Wildcats' roster, with the pair having been teammates multiple times throughout their respective careers.

Webster played 12 games for Turkey's Petkim Spor before his mutual release on Saturday, averaging 8.3 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game. The Auckland native's last season in the NBL was with the Breakers during the 2020-21 campaign, where he averaged 17.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 4.8 assists a contest.

The Wildcats are currently 10-8 on the season and sit in fifth place in the NBL standings.

The signing of Webster is expected to provide an elite perimeter creation option for the Wildcats, who have been inconsistent in that area of the course of the season