The Sixers will already be without two of their picks from the 2014 Draft for most of, if not all of the 2014-15 NBA season. Now it looks like they may be without another one.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Jordan McRae, who was selected 58th overall by the San Antonio Spurs in the 2014 Draft and then immediately shipped to the Sixers, has signed to play for Melbourne United in Australia for 2014-15. The Sixers will retain his rights.
McRae, who declared for the draft after four seasons at Tennessee, demonstrated some promising play during Sixers summer league, where he led the team with 21 points per game in Las Vegas. It seemed as though he had a solid shot to make the Sixers this season, especially in the absence of other quality perimeter players.
Sixers’ head coach Brett Brown has deep ties to Australian basketball, and is credited with smoothing McRae’s transition to Melbourne.
“The relationship with Brett Brown didn’t hurt,” United coach Chris Anstey said when discussing the acquisition of McRae.
“When his agent spoke to Brett [Brown] 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. I think the NBL is becoming recognized as a really good first professional experience for young imports.”
The Sixers are in the midst of establishing a deep, wide-reaching talent pool, that sees potential prospects relocated throughout the world. From D-League drop-downs, to Arsalan Kazemi in Iran and Dario Saric in Turkey, and now McRae in Turkey. In this way, potential players can grow and develop elsewhere until they are ready to come and contribute in the NBA.
Seeing McRae suit up for the Sixers this season is not completely out of the question however. The Sixers have also reportedly retained the ability to call him back to the NBA until early January.