Aaron White, the Wizards’ second round pick in the 2015 NBA Draft will not be joining the team for the 2016-17 season. He’s signed a two-year deal with a player option and buyout clause for the second season, according to J. Michael of CSN Mid-Atlantic and Eurocupbasketball.com.
The report doesn’t come as much of a shock. White played significantly better in the 2016 Summer League compared to 2015, but his performance still wasn’t up to NBA standards. He averaged 7.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game while shooting 38.9 percent from the field and 29.4 percent from outside in Las Vegas.
Though he hasn’t worked his way up to the NBA ranks, signing with Zenit St. Petersburg, a team in Russia’s top basketball league, should serve as a sign of how well White played in Germany last season. CSKA Moscow and Lokomotiv Kuban, two other teams in that league, finished 1st and 3rd respectively in Euroleague.
The Wizards will continue to control White’s draft rights as long as he plays overseas. According to CBA FAQ, teams control the draft rights for a player as long as they’re under contract to a non-NBA team, so the Wizards can keep him in their back pocket as long as they wish until both sides are ready to make a deal.