Wildcats' three-peat bid boosted by Cotton

The Perth Wildcats have completed their roster for their championship defence, with the NBL club boasting three Americans on their list.

Perth Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson is confident star import Bryce Cotton will stay for the entire NBL season, but scoffed at talk the club will simply breeze towards a three-peat.

Perth's bid to land a third straight NBL title received a massive boost when Cotton turned down lucrative offers to play in Europe in order to return to the Wildcats.

Cotton scored 45 points in game three of last season's grand final series against the Illawarra Hawks.

Overall, he averaged 23.1 points per game while shooting at 47.4 per cent.

The Wildcats have added two more American imports to complete their 11-man roster, signing NBA D-League players Devondrick Walker and Derek Cooke Junior over the past week.

But it is the surprise return of Cotton that has propelled the Wildcats to outright favourites for the title.

Gleeson is confident about what his team can achieve this season.

But he said suggestions the Wildcats would cruise to the title were off the mark.

"To win a championship, you've got to have the team rolling at the right time of the year," Gleeson said.

"You've got to be healthy at the right time of the year.

"We feel we've got a team that if we're healthy and playing a good brand of basketball, we'll be up there challenging again."

Although the Wildcats weren't able to hold onto star American Casey Prather, Gleeson is still pinching himself that he was able to retain Cotton.

During last season's run to the Championship, Cotton turned down a 10-day contract with NBA outfit Atlanta in order to stay with the Wildcats.

The 24-year-old has previous experience in the NBA, having played with Phoenix, Memphis, and Utah.

Gleeson expects the NBA to come knocking again at some point, but he's optimistic Cotton will stay for the entire NBL campaign.

Centre Matt Knight considered retirement during the off-season after struggling with concussion issues.

But the 32-year-old will play on for one more season after being given the all clear by specialists.

Source AAP

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