1 » After showing out during 2015 NBA Summer League action in Orlando with the Orlando Magic, former Florida Gators point guard Scottie Wilbekin earned a second opportunity in Las Vegas with the Philadelphia 76ers. That kicked off for Wilbekin on Saturday as he scored nine points on 3-for-8 shooting in 21:02. He earned the start for the 76ers the following day and once again impressed, scoring 19 points on 4-of-8 shooting from deep with two assists and three steals in 29:38, the second-most minutes on the team. Wilbekin last week signed a one-year deal with the Cairns Taipans of Australia’s NBL after leading the team as its Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year in 2014. There is an out in that contract allowing Wilbekin to pursue his NBA dream if the opportunity presents itself, and he may very well be making strides in achieving that goal as soon as this season.
1 » Former Florida Gators forward/center David Lee had a rough year as a member of the Golden State Warriors. On a max contract, Lee was relegated to a bench role and did not see significant minutes until late in the 2015 NBA Playoffs when his presence was needed to help lead Golden State to a title. With one year and $15.5 million remaining on Lee’s six-year deal, the Warriors and Lee mutually agreed to a parting of ways this offseason, which has resulted in the player being traded to the Boston Celtics. According to basketball writer Tommy Dee, who first reported the trade, Lee’s former team (the New York Knicks) was also considering bringing Lee back in the fold at some point but a three-way trade was unable to materialize. ESPN has also reported Lee’s trade, noting that he was exchanged for Gerald Wallace.
1 » Former Florida Gators linebacker Brandon Spikes pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of a hit-and-run accident that occurred on a highway in Massachusetts on June 7. Spikes, who was released the very next day by the New England Patriots and remains an NFL free agent one month later, was issued one year of probation along with fines and the loss of his driver’s license, according to WBZ 1030 News Radio. Putting the issue to bed was important for Spikes, who should wind up on a team at some point this offseason. While limited, he is still at least a two-down contributor as one of the highest-graded run-stopping linebackers in the league.
2 » Giving Gators point guard Nick Calathes the opportunity to play in the NBA after the player started his career overseas, the Memphis Grizzlies continue to make a concerted effort to hold on to the reserve floor general. The Grizzlies decided to make Calathes a qualifying offer, turning him into a restricted free agent and allowing Memphis the right to match any offer sheet he may sign with a team. Though rumors have Calathes interested in going back overseas for significantly more money and a greater role on a team, he has not given any indication that he plans to leave the United States at this time.
1 » It may have taken a bit longer than others, but it appears as if Florida Gators center Chris Walker has found a home for the 2015 NBA Summer League. As first reported by FOX 26 sports director Mark Berman, Walker could join the Houston Rockets for summer league play in Las Vegas from July 10-20. OnlyGators.com has confirmed that Walker is listed on the roster the team submitted to the NBA of projected players, though we were cautioned that could change ahead of the event in two weeks if the team does not like what it sees in tryouts. A league source has also told OnlyGators.com that forward Casey Prather will be a member of the NBA D-League select team after succeeding as a member of the Bakersfield Jam last season.
1 » Former Florida Gators star center Patric Young, fresh off a successful international season in Turkey, has agreed to join the Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns for 2015 NBA Summer League action, he told OnlyGators.com on Monday. Young will join the Clippers from July 4-10 in Orlando before heading out west to play with the Suns in Vegas from July 10-20.
Young, who is also weighing significant free agent offers from some top international teams, will join former Gators guard Michael Frazier II and point guard Scottie Wilbekin in summer league action. As first reported by OnlyGators.com on Friday, Frazier will suit up for the Golden State Warriors in Las Vegas, while Wilbekin will see action with the Orlando Magic in Orlando.
Though the early entrant did not get selected on Thursday in the 2015 NBA Draft, Florida Gators guard Michael Frazier II has agreed to play in the 2015 NBA Summer League with the Golden State Warriors from July 10-20, a source close to the player told OnlyGators.com on Friday.
Frazier, who will join the Warriors for the Las Vegas portion of summer league action, does not plan to play in summer league games held in Orlando, but another former Gators star will. OnlyGators.com also confirmed Friday that Florida point guard Scottie Wilbekin, the 2014 SEC Player of the Year, will suit up for the Orlando Magic in early summer league action from July 4-10.
1 » Florida Gators basketball was previously announced to be participating in the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic for the 15th time in the last 16 seasons, but its opponent for the 2015 event was not announced until earlier this week. Florida will take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the second game of the event, which will be led off with a showdown between Florida State and Florida Atlantic. UF is 2-0 all-time against OSU with the schools not meeting since 2000. The Gators are 14-2 all-time in the event, which will be held at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida, on Dec. 19.
The rest of Florida’s announced 2015-16 nonconference slate includes a season opener against Navy in the 2015 Veterans Classic on Friday, Nov. 13 in Annapolis Maryland, and a spot in the 2015 Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament. The latter event includes two home games (North Carolina A&T – Nov. 16, Vermont – Nov. 25) and two neutral-site contests (Saint Joseph’s – Nov. 21, Old Dominion/Purdue – Nov. 22). UF will also play at Miami in the second game of a home-and-home series, and it will host West Virginia on Jan. 30, 2016 in the third annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge. Reports out of Fort Myers have the Gators taking on FGCU on Nov. 27 in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, and early offseason rumors noted that Florid and Michigan State were discussing a home-and-home series that could begin next season.
For the fifth-straight season and seventh time since 2006, at least one former Florida Gators basketball player has ended the NBA season as a champion.
The Golden State Warriors knocked off the Cleveland Cavaliers 3-2 in the 2015 NBA Finals on Tuesday night, earning championship rings for former Gators forwards/centers David Lee and Marreese Speights.
Falling short of his third ring was guard/forward Mike Miller, who won back-to-back titles as a contributor with Miami in 2012 and 2013 but saw limited action in this year’s series.