Although the vast majority of the offseason NBA free agent activity has wrapped up this year, the action is still heating up on the international scene. Not only because the Rio Olympics will be taking place in the coming weeks, but also because international teams are still signing prospects for next season.
Fortunately for the Big Ten, a few former players have been attracting attention from international teams and landing roster spots. These signings don’t get as much attention as the NBA signings (for obvious reasons), but they do still allow players to get to the professional ranks and earn a quality living for themselves.
Here’s a look at two recent former Big Ten signings.
-Aaron Craft Signs With Aquila Basket Trento
According to multiple reports, former Ohio State guard Aaron Craft has signed a professional deal with Aquila Basket Trento, which is a club located in Italy. He signs there after spending last season with the Santa Cruz Warriors. Santa Cruz is the NBA D-League affiliate of the Golden State Warriors.
During his college career, Craft was widely known for his defensive intensity and ability to come up in big moments for the Buckeyes. All told, he played in 148 games in Columbus, averaging 9.8 points, 4.7 assists, and 3.6 rebounds in his final season with Ohio State.
Craft has consistently made a roster since graduating from Ohio State, but hasn’t quite been able to make the cut for the NBA team. As such, he’s spent most of his time either in the D-League or playing overseas.
One would guess that Craft will now spend the remainder of his professional career overseas (barring a return to the D-League), but it’s still great to see Craft getting professional time.
-Robert Carter Signs With Enel Brindisi
News also broke late last week that former Maryland forward Robert Carter would also be taking his talents overseas and joining Enel Brindisi, which is another Italian team. This will be Carter’s first professional contract after leaving Maryland this spring.
During his college career, Carter spent two years at Georgia Tech and the following two at Maryland. He never become an elite star, but he did end up playing 90 games at the college level and averaged an impressive 12.3 points and 6.9 rebounds in his final season with Maryland, where the Terps made the Sweet 16.
Many were hopeful that Carter could find his way on an NBA roster after a solid season with Maryland last year, but as of now, it looks like that’s on hold. The good news is that if he can take a few steps forward and make a splash in next year’s Summer League, perhaps he can make an NBA roster for the 2017-’18 season.