Tag: Jordan McRae

Getty Images

76ers second rounder Jordan McRae signs in Australia


The 76ers entered the 2014 NBA draft with an absurd five second-round picks, but after some draft-night wheeling-and-dealing, Philadelphia left the draft with… four second rounders.

It’s still a lot, and the 76ers must now figure out what to do with:

  • No. 32 pick K.J. McDaniels
  • No. 39 pick Jerami Grant
  • No. 52 pick Vasilije Micic
  • No. 58 pick Jordan McRae

McDaniels and Grant remain unsigned, though I expect them to both get contracts once Philadelphia is certain it can no longer use its cap space this offseason.

Micic will spend next season in Serbia, according to Keith Pompey of The Inquirer (hat tip: Michael Levin of Liberty Ballers).

And McRae will play in Australia.

National Basketball League release (hat tip: Dei Lynam of CSN Philly):

CTI Melbourne United have completed their inaugural roster for the 2014-15 NBL season, signing NBA Draftee Jordan McRae to their second import spot.

Presumably, the 76ers offered McRae the required tender and will keep his rights.

I’d hope Philadelphia helped land him this gig in that case. Otherwise, McRae should have taken the required tender, even if it were a one-year deal that saw him getting cut at the end of training camp. That way, he’d be an unrestricted free agent and could sign with any team if he plays well overseas.

As it probably stands, he can sign only with the 76ers, which is good for the 76ers.

They’re tanking so they won’t miss his (or anyone’s) contributions on the court this season. Instead, they can fill their roster with other prospects and have McRae developing elsewhere while not counting toward the roster limit. This increases their chances of unearthing a player who can contribute once they’re ready to be good.

Maybe that’s McRae, who spent four years at Tennessee and then played well in summer league. I have my doubts give his age (23) and lack of standout skill, but he’ll have a chance to prove himself Down Under.

Seven standout players from Las Vegas Summer League

Nerlens Noel, Akil Mitchell

NBA Summer League in Las Vegas is over, the Sacramento Kings are deserving champions with their veteran roster.

But Summer League isn’t about winning teams and a trophy, it’s about player development and guys showcasing their talents to campaign for a bigger role next season (or in some cases to get a contract for next season.

Here are seven guys that caught my eye during my week in Sin City.

• Nerlens Noel (Philadelphia 76ers). He only played twice as the Sixers continue to bring him along slowly, but you can quickly see where this guy could be a force for Philly in future years. He is seven-foot, long and bouncy, all of which combine to make him an intimidating defensive force in the paint. Noel works hard on the glass. He plays with more physicality than you would expect — he’s thin and his center of gravity is too high to do much post damage, but he had the will to mix it up inside. He runs the floor and gets his points. Noel’s second Vegas outing wasn’t as impressive as his first, he needs to slow down and let the game come to him. And he needs to work on his touch around the rim, his running hook and his post moves. That said, he is going to have an impact for the Sixers this season.

• Anthony Bennett (Cleveland Cavaliers). He showed up to Summer League in much better shape (down 20 pounds by his count but but the eyeball test would suggest more) and with that he was able to play with energy and be a beast on the boards and on defense. He will forever be saddled with being the No. 1 overall pick and his terrible rookie season, and there is a lot of work to do on his game still, but he showed in Las Vegas he could be a solid rotation big man in the NBA.

• Glen Rice Jr. (Washington Wizards). The leading scorer in Summer League, he averaged 25 points a game, and he was shooting better than 50 percent up until the last game of the Summer League for the Wizards. Rice and Otto Porter formed a good 1-2 combo with Porter doing more ball handling and Rice as the shooter. Porter is going to get quality minutes behind Paul Pierce and Rice made a good case to get big minutes behind Bradley Beal. The question is how will those two adapt to working more off the ball on a team with quality point guards in John Wall and Andre Miller.

• Doug McDermott (Chicago Bulls). He was the most impressive player in Vegas out of this year’s draft (not saying he will be the best player out of this class, or win Rookie of the Year, but he shone in Vegas). We knew he could shoot the rock and he did shoot 44.4 percent from three in Vegas, but he also showed a more diverse offensive game where he could put the ball on the floor, create space for himself and make some creative plays. We’ve got questions about his defense, and if Tom Thibodeau has questions about his defense that’s bad for McDermott’s minutes. But he’s going to get minutes with the Bulls and has some real potential.

• Donatas Montiejunas (Houston Rockets). The Rockets center plays well in this setting — he is either too strong or too quick for just about anyone trying to guard him, plus his varied offense and crafty game gets him good look buckets. The result was 16.8 points per game on 59.3 percent shooting, plus he pulled down 8.1 rebounds a game. He just went to show what happens when you stick a legitimate, quality NBA rotation big man into Summer League — he owns it. The question is if he will get those midrange jumpers he was knocking down when the games start this fall. If he plays for the Rockets next season like he did in Las Vegas they just got a big boost.

• Dante Exum (Utah Jazz). His numbers were not standout — 7.2 points a game on 30.8 percent shooting — but there were flashes where you realized this guy is going to be very good. He has a real star quality about him. He has a wicked hesitation dribble with a crazy-quick burst. He is tall for a guard and that combined with a fantastic floor vision leads to some very smart passes. He is very quick with the ball and can get into the paint. He has a lot of work to do on his shot and being a floor general, but in a few yeas the Jazz may have a steal here.

• Gorgui Dieng (Minnesota Timberwolves). He averaged a double-double in Vegas of 11.5 points and 10.2 rebounds a game. He uses his athleticism well on the glass and on defense. On offense he worked hard off the ball and when he got the rock near he rim he showed deft footwork. He sets a mean screen. He fiercely protected the rim. Minnesota has an established front line (well, depending on what happens with Kevin Love) but they are going to have to give Dieng more minutes. His play is starting to demand it.

Honorable mention of other guys who caught my eye: T.J. Warren (Phoenix Suns), C.J McCollum (Portland Trail Blazers), Tony Snell (Chicago Bulls), Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jordan Henriquez (New York Knicks), Jarnell Stokes (Grizzlies), Jordan McRae (Philadelphia 76ers), Russ Smith (New Orleans Pelicans), Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz), Dennis Schroder (Atlanta Hawks).

Glen Rice Jr. named Las Vegas Summer League MVP, leads All Summer League team

Washington Wizards v Minnesota Timberwolves

LAS VEGAS — Glen Rice Jr. was filling it up all Las Vegas Summer League.

He and Washington Wizards teammate Otto Porter played well off each other, with Porter handling some of the shot creation and that set Rice up to just shoot and shoot — he averaged 25 points a game and had been shooting better than 50 percent until a rough last outing against the Kings (he finished at 46.9 percent). Rice is more of an attacking/slashing player than his father (one of the game’s great shooters) but he knows how to get buckets.

That was enough to make him the Summer League MVP.

It was well deserved as the guy who got in just 11 games for the Wizards last year made a case this summer that he should be allowed to back up Bradley Beal and be a scorer off the bench in Washington, maybe taking a few minutes away from Martell Webster.

Rice also made the All Summer League first team:

Guard: Glen Rice Jr. (Wizards)
Guard: Tony Snell (Bulls)
Forward: Otto Porter (Wizards)
Forward: Doug McDermott (Bulls)
Center: Donatas Motiejunas (Rockets)

Notice that the list has four second or third year players and just one rookie — even with talent it takes a while to adjust to the NBA game.

The All Summer League second team:

Guard: Russ Smith (Pelicans)
Guard: Tim Hardaway Jr. (Knicks)
Forward: T.J. Warren (Suns)
Forward: Jordan McRae (Sixers)
Center: Rudy Gobert (Jazz)