The Philadelphia 76ers has included a new face in its already jam-packed training camp lineup. As expected, undrafted former UNLV Rebels rookie Christian Wood reportedly signed a contract with the team.
Wood was previously predicted to join the Houston Rockets but he apparently changed his mind. There are several early speculations that he would indeed sign with the 76ers and now a post from ASM Sports' Twitter account confirms the existence of the deal. The tweet also includes a photo (pictured above) of Wood supposedly signing the contract.
The 6'11" player was once projected to be a late first-round pick. He then went undrafted and played in the Las Vegas Summer League for the Houston Rockets and averaged 6.5 points and 4.0 rebounds in four games. According to the Las Vegas Sun, Wood had signed to a partially-guaranteed, four-year contract by the Philadelphia 76ers.
Draft Express considers him as a mid-second round pick and has this to say about Wood, "On paper, Wood should be drafted much higher than where he is currently slated (in the 20s), as he is clearly a lottery-level talent with rare tools and impressive two-way potential. The hardest thing to find in today's NBA is a long-armed power forward who can block shots and make 3-pointers, two things Wood proved to be able to, albeit inconsistently. The fact that he also rebounds and finishes well around the basket makes him even more attractive."
Meanwhile, the 76ers are also reported to acquire T.J. McConnell via a contract that is guaranteed to pay him at least $100,000, according to the Arizona Daily Star. The team placed the 23-year-old former Wildcat on its summer league in Utah and Las Vegas and ultimately invited him to its fall training camp, allowing him to join Christian Wood.
Chris Emens, McConnell's agent, mentioned that around 15 teams invited T.J. to play summer ball and that he would have been drafted had he agreed to become a "draft-and-stash" second-rounder with a chance to be sent directly to the D-League.
"We didn't want to do that and we knew we had a lot of demand, so we were able to parlay that into a significant deal. He had a very, very good predraft process... Coaches love him. He's so intense and hardcore, and he makes others better," Emens explained.
McConnell is grateful for the chance that Philadelphia has given him and said, "They offered me a great opportunity to join their team. I think I have a shot to make the team, but there's nothing guaranteed. I'm just gonna do everything I can."