HIGH-flier Justin Watts won't be powering up the McDonald's Rockhampton Rockets in 2014.

Negotiations with the former North Carolina Tar Heels forward fell through last week, with Rockets coach Neal Tweedy moving on to other options to fill the 2013 QBL champions' final import spot.

"He's out - he's got other offers that he's considering," Tweedy said of Watts, who averaged 22.3 points per game last season.

Instead of returning to Rockhampton, Watts has joined Mineros de Caborca in the Mexico-based Circuito de Baloncesto de la Costa del Pacífico league, which begins its season on March 28 against Tijuana.

Tweedy is now working overtime to ensure he completes his roster prior to the Rockets' season opener against Cairns at Rockhampton's Hegvold Stadium on May 3.

The Rockets face 2014 title contenders Cairns, Ipswich, Townsville, Mackay and last year's grand final opponents Brisbane in the first four weeks of the competition.

Tweedy said his side would need to be at full strength from the start of the season and couldn't afford to drop any matches if it was to win back-to-back titles for the first time in the club's history.

"Every one of those teams are in the top-five teams," he said.

"It just means that we've got to be ready from the get go."

In his only season at the club, Watts brought Hegvold Stadium crowds to their feet last season with his athleticism and high-flying dunks.

It's understood Watts hoped his acrobatic skills could help catch the eye of NBA scouts in the US.

Tweedy believed he had the makings of an NBA player - but was still a long way from the mark.

"It's players of the build and athleticism that Justin has that NBA scouts are looking for," Tweedy said.

"He's got the skills, but he's a long way from that (the NBA) at the moment.

"There's a lot of politics and an element of luck involved in making into the NBA.

"It's funny like that, but we wish him the best of luck."

Watts told The Morning Bulletin that he would keep up-to-date with the Rockets' performances for this season.



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