Even before the 2014-15 season started, Jordan McRae was a player that had a lot of Sixers fans very excited. Taken with the 58th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs and then traded to the Philadelphia 76ers that night, the 6’6” shooting guard out of Tennessee had “second-round steal” written all over him.
And once he began to play for the Sixers in the Las Vegas summer league, McRae started to prove everyone right. He played in four games and averaged 21.0 points, 1.0 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game. McRae was already being seen as someone who could be a solid contributor off the bench and a scoring threat who could only improve over time.
But then McRae surprised everyone when instead of fighting for a roster spot and minutes on the Sixers, he signed a deal to play for Melbourne United of the NBL in Australia. It was a daring move that, given how the season has played out for the Sixers, in retrospect was probably the right one.
With Melbourne United McRae averaged 18.8 points and five rebounds per game and won Player of the Month honors in December. He gained some very valuable experience and, now that the season is over, returns to the United States a better basketball player.
But what happens now? The Sixers still own his draft rights so any road to the NBA goes through the Wells Fargo Center. The team could sign him for the remainder of the season, but that seems unlikely as the roster currently stands at the maximum 15 players.
Well, word is that McRae is instead headed to the NBA D-League and, in all likelihood, the Delaware 87ers. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Melbourne United’s chief executive Vince Crivelli spoke to McRae at the team’s MVP awards night and was told that he plans to join the D-League and go from there.
McRae joining the Sevens makes perfect sense and bodes well for his eventually joining the Sixers at some point. With more playing time and experience, he will give himself a much better chance to compete for a roster spot, whether that be on the 76ers or another team, and make himself a valued part of a franchise.