J.P. Tokoto

Report: 76ers to sign Jordan McRae a year after stashing him

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J.P. Tokoto is apparently weighing it now – whether to sign with the 76ers or not after they drafted him with the No. 58 pick.

Last year, Jordan McRae went to Philadelphia late in the second-round. He rejected his required tender – a one-year contract, surely unguaranteed and at the minimum – the 76ers had to offer to keep his rights. Instead, he signed in Australia, and he played for Philadelphia’s D-League affiliate after the Australian season ended.

Jake Pavorsky of Liberty Ballers:

The only way for a player to attend training camp is with an NBA contract.

Like last year, Philadelphia had to offer another tender to keep McRae’s rights. Perhaps, he’ll get more as a result of his loyalty. He did the 76ers a big favor by going overseas – spending a year developing without taking up an NBA roster spot or making NBA money.

Because he rejected the required tender last year, McRae can negotiate only with Philadelphia now for an NBA contract. Had he accepted the tender, he would have either forced his way onto the team last season or gotten waived. If he had gotten waived and then gone the overseas/D-League route, he could have now negotiated with any NBA team. The only apparent potential downside would have been if the 76ers – coached by Brett Brown, who previously worked in Australia – helped secure McRae a better overseas job than he could have gotten anyway.

Surely, Tokoto is watching how Philadelphia treats McRae. This situation will be telling about whether it’s worth it for second-round picks to allow the 76ers to stash them.

Report: Second-rounder J.P. Tokoto will sign with 76ers, after all

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At face value, it didn’t make much sense for No. 58 pick J.P. Tokoto to play overseas or in the D-League rather than signing with the 76ers.

Even if Tokoto had to accept the required tender – a one-year contract, surely unguaranteed at the minimum, a team must extend to retain a draft pick’s rights – he’d be better off with the 76ers.

First of all, they might keep him. The rookie minimum probably bests offers in other leagues.

And if they waive him, he could seek an offer from any NBA team, not just the one that drafted him. He wouldn’t be stuck negotiating with just Philadelphia. Given that Tokoto fell all the way to No. 58, he might not get any other NBA offers. But, even in that worst-case scenario, he’d be in the same boat – headed overseas or to the D-League. This way, when he tried to return to the NBA, he could seek an offer from any team.

So, despite a previous report to the contrary, Tokoto will apparently sign with Philadelphia.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

We’ll see whether Tokoto just accepts the tender or signs a longer contract. The 76ers surely want to lock him up for as long as possible on a low-paying deal in case he develops. They also surely want to minimize his guarantees in case he doesn’t. So, it’s a tradeoff. They can offer more guaranteed money in exchange for lengthening the contract.

Tokoto always has the required tender, which K.J. McDaniels took, in his back pocket if Philadelphia doesn’t make a satisfying offer.

To be clear, Tokoto can attend training camp only with an NBA contract. At that point, the 76ers can either keep him or waive him. If they waive him, they’d lose his rights. Once he signs, there’s no way for the 76ers to keep his rights while he develops elsewhere unless they assign him to the D-League. But in that event, he’d continue to count against Philadelphia’s cap at his NBA salary and take up a roster spot.

Report: 76ers second-rounder J.P. Tokoto won’t sign with Philadelphia

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J.P. Tokoto entered the NBA draft knowing he wasn’t a first-round pick. He just wanted to turn pro.

But, even after the 76ers drafted him with the No. 58 pick, he won’t necessarily get an NBA contract.

John Finger of CSN Philly:

An NBA source said Tokoto likely will not sign this year and will opt to play overseas or in the D-League

I’m a bit surprised Tokoto would agree to this.

The 76ers must offer him a one-year contract to retain his rights. Tokoto could force their hand by accepting that deal, which is surely at the league minimum and unguaranteed. Then, Philadelphia would either keep him for the year or waive him before the regular season.

If Tokoto sticks for the league minimum, that’s probably more than he’d make overseas. It’s definitely more than he’d make in the D-League. Plus, he’d gain a year of service, which would increase his minimum salary in future seasons and move him closer to unrestricted free agency.

If the 76ers cut him, that’d be preferable in many ways, too. Tokoto would no longer be stuck negotiating with a single team. He could leverage all NBA teams against each other as a free agent. That might not produce an NBA offer, but at worst, he’d be right where he is now – headed overseas or to the D-League.

That’s the cold outlook. In reality, there could be other factors.

Perhaps, Tokoto agreed to delay signing on condition the 76ers draft him. I’d be a bit surprised, given No. 58 seemed to be on the low end of his draft range. But maybe Tokoto made that bargain on draft night as he saw himself falling.

Maybe the 76ers promised Tokoto a better contract next summer if he waited. That’s not exactly legal, but those under-the-table deals happen. As long as nothing is in writing – which means Tokoto would be putting his trust in Philadelphia – the league doesn’t crack down. The 76ers’ roster is filling up, and they’d surely prefer to maximize the number of young players they’re betting on. If Tokoto signs elsewhere, he wouldn’t count toward Philadelphia’s 15-man roster limit.

The least-sinister and best-for-Tokoto scenario is the 76ers setting him up with an overseas deal he couldn’t get without their help. Philadelphia has connections Tokoto and his agent might not.

So, it’s possible this is in Tokoto’s best interest. It’s also very possible it’s not.