Aaron White is headed overseas to continue his quest for an NBA roster spot.
The former Iowa basketball star has agreed on a one-year deal to play for a EuroCup team based in Bonn, Germany, a source close to the situation told the Des Moines Register. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because the contract was not yet signed.
White, 22, was drafted No. 49 overall by the Washington Wizards in the June 26 NBA Draft, but the second-round choice seemed ticketed for an overseas stop from the get-go.
The Wizards like him as a “stretch four” — a forward who can run the floor and extend defenses on the perimeter — but the 6-foot-9, 220-pound native of Strongsville, Ohio, could use more seasoning to develop his outside shot. Washington’s roster is considered full for 2015-16, but there could be openings by the time the reported one-year deal in Germany wraps up. The Wizards won’t pay White this year but would retain his rights while he plays overseas — a practice known as “draft and stash.”
“The positive thing is both Wizards and myself, we see each other as eventual partners,” White recently told The Washington Post. “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.”
In six NBA Summer League games for the Wizards in Las Vegas, White averaged 17.5 minutes and 3.0 points while shooting 30.8 percent from the floor (including 0-for-9 from 3-point range). It was not immediately clear how much White would earn playing for Telekom Baskets Bonn, but NBA draft picks can command six figures plus expenses overseas.
Bonn has a population of around 300,000. White and his girlfriend, former Iowa volleyball player Grace Burns, are expecting their first child, a daughter, in August. The EuroCup season begins Oct. 13. White left Iowa as the school’s No. 2 all-time leading scorer, No. 3 rebounder and last season led the Hawkeyes to their first NCAA Tournament win since 2001.
The fate of White’s college roommate, former Iowa center Gabe Olaseni, should be known soon. Olaseni signed with the Miami Heat as an undrafted free agent and averaged 7.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 21.4 minutes a game in the NBA Summer League.