Aaron White's post-Iowa basketball adventure looks set to send him across the ocean -- to Telekom Baskets Bonn, a German team, per a report from Sportnado's Enea Trapani. Baskets Bonn is based in Bonn, Germany, and plays in the German Basketball League (aka, Basketball Bundesliga), the highest level of professional basketball in Germany. "Telekom" refers to their primary sponsor, Deutsche Telekom, a giant telephone and internet conglomerate (and the parent company of T-Mobile). Baskets Bonn went 23-11 a season ago, finishing fourth in the BBL, and losing out in the first round of the BBL playoffs.
White was drafted by the Washington Wizards with the 49th pick of the 2015 NBA Draft about a month ago and played for the Wizards in the NBA Summer League this month in Las Vegas. He had a few highlights, but overall he was a fairly quiet performer in the Summer League. He played in six games, starting two and averaging 17.5 minutes per game. He averaged 3.0 ppg and 3.7 rpg in Summer League play and shot just 31% from the floor and 0% from deep (0/9). His best game was probably Dallas when he had 4 points on 2/3 shooting and 7 rebounds. He also had 4 points on 2/2 shooting, 1 rebound, 1 assist, and 3 steals against New Orleans.
In an interview a few days ago, White himself acknowledged his struggles in Summer League and noted that he expected to play overseas this season:
"The thing with training camp is if I went to training camp and I didn't make the team, I'd have to get cut and the Wizards would lose my rights," White said. "So right now it's looking like I'll probably go overseas. I'm in talks with both my agent and the front office of the Wizards trying to work out a good situation for me.
The Wizards' 15-man roster is already filled, so his odds of even getting a training camp invite this year were slim. As far as the "rights" he's referring to -- the Wizards will retain their rights to White if they make a one-year, non-guaranteed offer for the minimum salary by September 6th. It's expected that they'll do so; White indicated that the Wizards still see a future with White.
"The positive thing is both Wizards and myself, we see each other as eventual partners. I'm going to be a part of this team in the future. It just might be next year instead of this year. And I understand that. That's one of the big things. I want to get in a situation where I can play and I can develop and I can get stronger so when I come back to minicamp, to summer league, to training camp next year, I'm ready to contribute."
White's potential NBA future seems to be as more of a stretch-four, which means he'll need to add some more muscle and (most importantly) improving his shooting, especially from long range. He's shown a capacity for that at Iowa (see: his torrid shooting to end the season), so it's just a matter of being able to do it at the next level -- and do so consistently. Hopefully he's able to improve that part of his game with Baskets Bonn next season. Baskets Bonn has a few other American expats on their roster for next season, including Isaiah Philmore (Xavier) and Rotnei Clarke (Arkansas, Butler).
Hopefully we'll also get word soon on the next move in Gabe Olaseni's post-Iowa career. Olaseni went undrafted, but was signed to a free agent deal by the Miami Heat. Like White, he played in the NBA Summer League this month, where he had a bit of a better showing. Olaseni played in eight games for the Heat, starting six and averaging 21.4 minutes per game. He averaged 7.4 ppg and 4.0 rpg, highlighted by a 14 point, 6 rebound effort against Utah. He followed up that game with another strong outing, a 10 point, 6 rebound effort versus Denver. Overall, Olaseni shot 53% from the field.
At present, the Miami Heat roster lists 17 players (per RealGM) for the 2015-16 regular season... which is a bit of a problem since NBA rules only allow a team to have 15 players under contract. Olaseni is not one of those players. The Heat will need to cut two two of those players to comply with NBA regulations. Right now, the Heat roster lists six bigs: Chris Bosh, Josh McRoberts, Amar'e Stoudemire, Hassan Whiteside, Chris ("Birdman") Anderson, and Udonis Haslem. The first four are likely in no danger of being cut -- Miami either expects them to play big roles (Bosh, McRoberts, Whiteside) or just signed them (Stoudemire). The futures of Anderson and Haslem are murkier, as both players are a) old and b) not cheap. It's possible Miami could unload them (via trades or by waiving them) and if they do, they might be looking to add one more big to fill out their roster -- maybe Gabe could be that guy. Alternatively, the Heat might sign Olaseni to their D-League Affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Or the Heat could waive him and another team, perhaps intrigued by his Summer League performance, could sign him to their roster (or the roster of their D-League Affiliate). It's not yet clear exactly what Olaseni's future might hold; hopefully we find out soon.