In the countdown to tip-off in Launceston, the Hawks have officially parted ways with Deng Adel.
As revealed in the Mercury last week, the marquee signing has departed the Illawarra, with confirmation made via social media ahead of Monday night's clash with the New Zealand Breakers.
It ended weeks of speculation about Adel's playing future. The Mercury understands the Hawks were not happy with Adel's output this season, deciding to release him with 10 games left until the NBL finals.
Adel did not travel with the squad for the Breakers clash in Tasmania.
"This is one of the hard parts of our game. Deng is a great kid and has shown glimpses of his enormous potential so far this season. Sadly due to injuries we haven't seen the best of him in a Hawks uniform," Illawarra coach Brian Goorjian said in a statement.
"I wish Deng all the best. He has worked his butt off this season throughout some difficult times. He's a great young man with a lot of talent and I'm sure he has a lot of good basketball ahead of him."
The former Cleveland Cavalier signed on as the Hawks marquee signing last July. However, the 24-year-old had his share of injury issues after arriving in Wollongong.
In total, he represented the Hawks on 23 occasions, averaging 3.57 rebounds and under six points per game, going at just 31 per cent from the field.
"It's a shame to be leaving the Hawks, but its been a year full of challenges and frustrations with niggling injuries for me," Adel said.
"I would like to thank (Hawks president) Dorry (Kordahi) and coach Goorjian for their support and the opportunity provided to me. It has been a great experience and I really wish them well for the rest of the season and every success."
However, the Hawks did receive a boost ahead of Monday night's game, with Next Star Justinian Jessup passing a fitness test in the lead-up.
But Cam Bairstow remains sidelined with a lower leg injury. The 30-year-old is looking at an indefinite stint on the sidelines, with the club still offering no timeframe for his potential return.