After an impressive Summer League where Jordan McRae scored 20-plus point in three of four games, it seemed likely that McRae had played himself into an NBA contract. McRae was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the No. 58 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. However, then this tweet showed up.
— NBL (@NBL) August 29, 2014
It appears that Jordan McRae has signed a deal to play overseas with CTI Melbourne United of the National Basketball League.
According to the CBA, the 76ers still own McRae’s rights (via cbafaq.com):
51. What if the team and their drafted player can’t agree to a contract? What options does the player have? How long does the team keep his draft rights?
The player’s options are limited. What happens depends on a number of factors:
- If the player is already under contract to, or signs a contract with a non-NBA team, the team retains the player’s draft rights for one year after the player’s obligation to the non-NBA team ends. Essentially, the clock stops as long as the player plays pro ball outside the NBA. Players are not included in team salary during the regular season while the player is under contract with a non-NBA team.
So, the 76ers still have McRae’s rights, but he won’t be playing for the 76ers this season. It seems as if Philly had a spot for McRae, at least in the D-League, but he chose to play overseas.
United’s coach Brett Anstey signaled 76ers head coach Brett Brown’s coaching experience in the NBL helped McRae with his decision (via smh.com) :
“The relationship with Brett Brown didn’t hurt,” Anstey said.
“When his agent spoke to Brett about the possibility of coming here I think there was a level of comfort with our culture and our league in that Jordan would get a good basketball experience – that he wouldn’t be sent to the back-blocks of Siberia.
“I think the NBL is becoming recognized as a really good first professional experience for young imports.”
McRae will spend the season overseas in Australia fine tuning his game and then be ready to come over to the 76ers in the 2014-15 season. Remember, McRae had an impressive Summer League, but he still has much to learn. This is a situation similar to Dario Saric’s, as Philadelphia will be getting a more developed McRae next season.
Also, monetary reasons probably had something to do with this decision. If there wasn’t a place on the 76ers 12-man roster for McRae, then the D-League would be the only option. The D-League’s highest contracts offer around 30K and McRae isn’t getting a high contract in the D-League. Playing in Australia will allow him to earn more money, because second-round draft picks don’t receive guaranteed contracts in the first place.
This is a win-win deal for both sides.