While second round picks going to Australia to play professionally isn't unusual, Jordan McRae signing over there is.
Jordan McRae was the surprise of summer league for the 76ers, and figured to at least stand a good chance of making the opening night roster. But instead of competing in training camp against a bunch of other hungry youngsters, McRae decided to sign overseas - in Australia with the Melbourne United team.
From the NBL's official website (NBL is the Australian professional league), McRae will be one of Melbourne United's two allowable "import" players:
He caught the eye of the United coaching staff at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, averaging 21.0 ppg for the Philadelphia 76ers team, earning selection in the All-Summer League second team and an NBL contract with United.
"We feel Jordan adds a different dimension to our group," Head Coach Chris Anstey said. "We really like his length and athleticism, as well as his ability to score the ball in a number of ways.
"He stood out for us in Vegas. We feel he can give our team lots of different looks with our line-ups, and look forward to him arriving. We are excited to have Jordan complete our roster."
The 198cm (note: metric system lol) scoring guard was chosen by the San Antonio Spurs in the second round (58th pick overall) of this year's NBA draft and immediately traded to the Sixers, who retain his rights.
Last season, James Ennis, who was acquired in a draft night trade by the Miami Heat, played in Australia and averaged over 21 points per game, eventually earning a multi-year, partially guaranteed contract with the Heat. I know nothing about Australian basketball, but Wikipedia says that Melbourne United plays in three different home arenas and that Julius Hodge used to play for them. The more you know.
Anyway, I thought McRae should have had a great chance to make the squad, but it's possible the financial security of playing in Australia versus, say, the D-League was worth the jump. As a result, now we have one more international player to keep track of!
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