THE Hawks month-long search for an import replacement for Aaron Brooks is finally at an end but the club will be without young star LaMelo Ball for Saturday's clash with Brisbane.
The club confirmed the signing of former Millwaukee Bucks draftee Darington Hobson on Thursday, with the 32-year-old swingman to join the club for the remainder of the season having most recently played with Italian club Auxilium Torino.
Replacing Brooks, who ruptured his achilles against Perth in October, proved difficult for the club with general manager Mat Campbell admitting last week that negotiations with a number of candidates had fallen through in latter stages.
The period also saw Illawarra product Xavier Cooks - who'd been training with the Hawks as he looked to return from a torn meniscus - poached by arch-rivals Sydney on a multi-year deal announced last week.
The Hobson signing came amid pressure from the NBL to secure an import to ease the burden on young star LaMelo Ball - whose Next Stars contract is held with the league.
The club curiously released a statement late Thursday night ruling Ball out of the clash with the Bullets due to a "sore foot suffered at training."
It's understood the league contributed financially to get the Hobson deal over the line to allay burnout fears within the Ball camp and avoid the prospect of the Hawks seeing out the season with veteran Josh Boone as the club's lone import.
A University of New Mexico alum, Hobson was a second round draft pick (37th overall) with the Bucks in 2010, though he didn't make it onto the floor after suffering injuries early in his stint.
He's since featured in various leagues around the world, including a championship-winning NBA D-League campaign with the Santa Cruz Warriors in 2015.
The club is yet to confirm when Hobson will arrive but it will be hoping to have him on deck for next Monday's home clash with Melbourne United.
Club owner Simon Stratford hinted that there may be a further signing to come taking to Twitter on Thursday morning to say: "New player alert. 1 down 1 to go. Hope you all pack the WEC hawkheds (sic) to see these these men fly and climb the ladder."
The club has been linked to New Zealand forward Deng Deng, who's fallen out of favour at Breakers and shapes as a possible replacement for young-gun Sam Froling should he be placed on a long-term injury list.