Jordan McRae has decided that spending a year oversees was a better option than playing for the Philadelphia 76ers in 2014-15. The University of Tennessee product signed with CTI Melbourne United according to reports on Aug. 30.
“We really like his length and athleticism, as well as his ability to score the ball in a number of ways,” said former NBA player and CTI Melbourne head coach Chris Antsley on the team’s website.
McRae improved his profile while playing for the Sixers summer league team in Las Vegas. He earned All-Summer League second team honors after averaging 21 points a contest. He shot 50 percent from the field in Las Vegas and 37.5 percent from the three-point line (6-of-16). McRae is considered a good defender – he averaged 1.8 steals during the summer – – and got to the line a lot, he shot 37 free throws and made 32 but he didn’t do much else.
McRae was picked 58th in the NBA draft by San Antonio and was traded to Philadelphia, along with Cory Jefferson – who was subsequently traded to Brooklyn –, for the rights of Nemanja Dangubic on draft night. The Sixers retain the 6-foot-6 guard’s rights.
Going to Australia is a good move for McRae this year as he has a chance to get stronger, he only weighs 185 pounds, and learn from someone who played in the NBA. The 23-year old is considered a good defender – he averaged 1.8 steals a game during the summer league – but must learn to stay out of foul trouble.
With McRae out of the picture, the Sixers options at shooting guard are Tony Wroten, oft-injured Jason Richardson and Elliot Williams. Richardson, 34, missed all of last season with injuries and only played 32 games in 2012-13. He has the ability to provide the Sixers with an outside shooting threat if he is healthy and is given an opportunity. Wroten, 22, averaged 13 points and has potential “to go off” everygame though he is a volume shooter and is not really much of a three-point threat. Williams, 26, really doesn’t provide much offense, averaging 6.0 points a game. Hollis Thompson, McDaniels and possibly Grant could also see action at shooting guard.
McRae is one of four second round draft picks that Philadelphia currently own the rights to. The sixers are expected to sign No. 32 K.J. McDaniels (Clemson) and No. 39 Jerami Grant (Syracuse) prior to training camp. No. 52 Vasilije Micic will spend next season playing in his native Serbia.