Then, he wasn’t.
After the 76ers extended his required tender – a one-year contract, surely unguaranteed at the minimum, necessary to keep his rights – he did.
Perhaps, McRae surprised the 76ers by forcing their hand. That could explain why they relinquished the rights to Arsalan Kazemi, who’s signing an unguaranteed deal with the Hawks. If McRae had rejected the required tender, Philadelphia would have kept his rights for another year.
As is, McRae gives the 76ers 20 players, the offseason limit. Forced to choose between him and Kazemi, they chose McRae.
McRae is one of eight Philadelphia players vying for the final three regular-season roster spots. On the bright side, his competition to back up Nik Stauskas at shooting guard isn’t too intense. Hollis Thompson and J.P. Tokoto also have unguaranteed deals.
If McRae makes the team, that’s great for him. He’ll earn an NBA salary, surely more than he would’ve made overseas or in the D-League.
But even if he gets waived after training camp, he’ll at least become an unrestricted free agent. That’ll give him a chance to pursue a job with all 30 NBA teams rather than negotiating with only the 76ers, which would have been the case if he’d rejected the required tender.