1:06pm: Whitehead has officially joined Astana, the team announced today on its website.
10:11am: After finishing the 2018/19 season on a two-way contract with the Pistons, free agent guard Isaiah Whitehead has signed with BC Astana, a source tells Adam Zagoria of Forbes (Twitter link). The club is based on Kazakhstan plays in Russia’s VTB United League.
Playing in the VTB United League won’t be a new experience for Whitehead, who signed with Lokomotiv Kuban in August of 2018 and spent the first half of the season with the club. He parted with the Russian squad in January and caught on with the Pistons about a week later.
Whitehead, the 42nd overall pick in the 2016 draft, has appeared in a total of 89 regular season NBA games for the Nets, but didn’t see the floor at all for Detroit last season. Instead, he played for the Grand Rapids Drive, the Pistons’ G League affiliate, averaging 18.4 PPG, 3.9 RPG, and 3.8 APG in 25 games (29.2 MPG).
Several other players who spent the ’18/19 season in the NBA have signed with Russian teams this offseason. Whitehead will join players like Timofey Mozgov (Khimki), Kosta Koufos (CSKA Moscow), Jonas Jerebko (Khimki), and Sam Dekker (Lokomotiv Kuban) in the Russian league this season, as our list of overseas signings shows.