Free agent Greg Whittington is eyeing an NBA deal after spending the past three years overseas, he told Hoops Rumors in a phone interview.
Whittington, a 6-foot-9 forward, is expected to join the league for the 2020/21 season following impressive stints in Turkey and Israel over the past two years. Multiple contenders have expressed interest in his services, according to his agent, Jerry Dianis.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment. We worked hard to get here,” Whittington said. “We’ve received interest from multiple teams, but we have one on our list that could be the one. I’m just trying to keep my focus and keep working hard. Whatever we do in free agency, I just want to bring that championship-level attitude to a team, help them win and keep working.”
For Whittington, 27, a return to the NBA would mark his first stint in America since helping the Sioux Falls Skyforce — G League affiliate of the Heat — win a championship during the 2015/16 season. This past year, he posted averages of 12.4 points and 4.9 rebounds per game in 14 EuroCup contests with Galatasaray, shooting an impressive 52.8% from 3-point range. He also received both forward of the year and All-EuroCup All-Imports Team honors.
The season before, he averaged a respectable 18.4 points per game in Israel, shooting 41.5% from deep while leading the country in rebounding (9.6 per contest). His consistent play has intrigued NBA teams as free agency nears.
“Greg’s performed in the brightest of lights and received top-of-the-line accolades this past year,” Dianis said. “Because of his versatility — a 6-foot-9, jumbo wing that could play on both sides of the ball — he’s ready to contribute to an NBA roster today.
“Greg’s a flat-out hooper. There’s not much on the basketball court he can’t do.”
Whittington spent the offseason working on his strength, three-point shooting and ball-handling, he said, and will enter unrestricted free agency without any buyout provisions. The veteran forward turned down offers from multiple overseas teams during the summer, formally declaring his intentions for the NBA.
“During my time overseas, I learned that the culture changes everywhere in life,” Whittington said. “And then, on the court, you have to be focused and bring it every night. You figure out quickly that some leagues are just as tough as being in the NBA — they don’t have a three-second violation, for example. Everybody’s (in the paint) helping.
“I’ve matured by learning how to sharpen up my moves, be quicker and not take too much time. Getting to your spot before the defense could help, because they’re already there to help (overseas). So I learned that you have to be one or two steps ahead of the defense at every moment.”
Whittington is expected to take the next step in his basketball journey during free agency. He went undrafted back in 2015 after spending two seasons at Georgetown, later joining the Heat for Summer League and attending training camp with the team that fall. In addition to Turkey, he’s also held stints in Australia, Sioux Falls, Japan and Israel, carrying what he’s learned throughout every stop in his career.
Free agency is set to open on Friday at 5:00pm CT, with players allowed to sign their respective contracts starting Sunday at 11:01am. The 2020/21 regular season will tip-off on December 22.