Chase Audige

Wizards Sign Michael Foster Jr. To Exhibit 10 Contract

The Wizards have made a minor change to their roster, announcing today (via Twitter) that they’ve signed forward Michael Foster Jr. to an Exhibit 10 contract. Rookie guard Chase Audige, who was also on an Exhibit 10 deal, was waived to open up a spot on the 21-man roster.

Foster went undrafted a year ago after playing for the G League Ignite in 2021/22. He caught on with the Sixers and spent a few weeks at the start of the regular season on a two-way contract with the team, making his NBA debut during that time. However, he was waived last November and spent the rest of the season with the Delaware Blue Coats, Philadelphia’s G League affiliate.

Foster, 20, averaged 13.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks in 24.3 minutes per contest in 41 appearances last season for the Blue Coats, posting a shooting line of .519/.254/.693. He continued to play a rotation role for the club en route to its NBAGL championship in the spring.

As we noted earlier today, the Blue Coats traded Foster’s returning rights to the Capital City Go-Go, so he’ll now be in line to play for the Wizards’ G League affiliate if he’s waived and heads to the NBAGL. In that scenario, Foster would be eligible to earn an Exhibit 10 bonus worth up to $75K as long as he spends at least 60 days with the Go-Go.

Wizards Sign Chase Audige To Exhibit 10 Contract

The Wizards have signed Chase Audige to an Exhibit 10 contract, the team announced (via Twitter).

Audige went undrafted in June, making him an unrestricted free agent. After spending his freshman year at William & Mary, the 6’4″ guard transferred to Northwestern, playing three more college seasons with the Wildcats.

As a senior in 2022/23, Audige averaged 14.1 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 2.9 APG and 2.4 SPG in 34 games (34.4 MPG), though he struggled with scoring efficiency (.368/.325/.832 shooting line).

Audige played for the Heat’s Summer League team in Las Vegas, averaging 5.4 PPG, 1.4 APG and 1.2 SPG over five games (14.0 MPG). Miami reportedly had interest in signing him to an Exhibit 10 deal ahead of training camp, but Audige decided to accept an Exhibit 10 offer from an unknown team — which turned out to be the Wizards — because he thought he’d have a better shot at making the regular season roster.

The decision makes sense. While Washington’s standard roster will have to be trimmed to 15 before the season begins (it currently has 17 players on guaranteed deals), the Wizards have one two-way slot open, and Exhibit 10 contracts can be converted into two-way deals. The Heat currently do not have a two-way opening.

Audige would also be eligible for a bonus worth up to $75K if he’s waived before the season starts and spends at least 60 days with Washington’s G League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go.

The Wizards had 20 players under contract — one shy of the offseason limit — prior to signing Audige, so they won’t have to make another roster move to add him. Their roster is now full ahead of training camp.

Heat Notes: Swider, Cain, Audige, Herro

The Heat have been quiet while hoping for a Damian Lillard trade to materialize, but they reached an agreement Sunday with Cole Swider on an Exhibit 10 training camp deal, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. The former Lakers forward spent most of last season in the G League on a two-way contract.

Chiang hears that Swider will have a chance to compete for a two-way deal with Miami and possibly even a spot on the 15-man roster. As a 6’9″ long-range shooter, Swider could have some value for a team that lost three-point threats Max Strus and Gabe Vincent in free agency. Duncan Robinson, a similar player, may be sent elsewhere in a potential Lillard deal, Chiang adds.

Swider made a verbal commitment to the Heat, according to Chiang, but if the team intends to include Exhibit 9 language in his deal, he can’t officially sign until the team has at least 14 players with standard deals. Drew Peterson, another 6’9″ sharpshooter who played for Miami’s Summer League team, is in a similar situation.

There’s more from Miami:

  • With the commitments from Swider and Peterson, along with 13 standard contracts and a pair of two-way deals, the Heat have four more roster spots to fill before training camp opens, Chiang adds. One of those could go to power forward Jamal Cain, who received a qualifying offer to return to the team on a two-way contract. Cain is still searching for a standard deal, which Miami has been reluctant to offer, according to Chiang. The deadline to rescind the two-way offer passed in July, so Cain is free to accept it at any time.
  • The Heat also contacted Northwestern guard Chase Audige about an Exhibit 10 contract, tweets Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. However, a source tells Jackson that Audige has decided to accept an Exhibit 10 offer from another team where he believes he has a better chance to earn a roster spot.
  • Zach Kram of The Ringer takes an in-depth look at Tyler Herro to determine whether he’s valuable enough to be the central piece in a Lillard trade. Miami is hoping to find a third team to take Herro and increase the number of draft assets going to Portland. Kram finds that Herro is part of a star-studded group that averaged at least 20 points, five rebounds and four assists per game at age 23, but his defensive limitations put a cap on his trade value.

Heat Notes: Lillard, Cain, Audige, Free Agents, Roster

As of Friday afternoon, nothing appeared to be imminent regarding a possible Damian Lillard trade, reports Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

According to Jackson, the Trail Blazers‘ front office is currently on vacation and has shown no inclination to comply with Lillard’s trade request to the Heat. That said, Lillard remains focused on landing in Miami and doesn’t plan expand his list to include additional teams, a person with knowledge of the situation tells Jackson.

Jackson believes the Blazers may have spurred the league to investigate Lillard’s request and the comments made by his agent (Aaron Goodwin) in order to drum up trade interest, hence the NBA’s memo on Friday. Since Lillard and Goodwin told the league the star guard would fulfill his contract and play for any team that trades for him, the Heat will have to hope rival teams don’t decide to make “legitimate trade offers” for the 33-year-old, Jackson observes (Twitter links).

If Portland decides to wait until midseason to move Lillard, that could work against the Heat, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. As Winderman notes, the Nets received far more in return for Kevin Durant at the February trade deadline than the rumored offers they were receiving last summer for the superstar forward.

Here’s more out of Miami:

  • The Heat are interested in bringing back Jamal Cain on a two-way contract, which is why they gave him a qualifying offer, but the young forward hopes to land a standard deal and continues to discuss that possibility with other teams, Jackson writes. Miami could match a potential offer sheet for Cain since he’s a restricted free agent.
  • Miami is interested in signing former Northwestern guard Chase Audige, who played for the Heat’s Summer League team, to a training camp contract, but his agent declined to say whether or not Audige would accept the offer, Jackson adds. As a senior for the Wildcats in 2022/23, the 6’4″ Audige averaged 14.1 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 2.9 APG and 2.4 SPG in 34 games (34.4 MPG), though he struggled with scoring efficiency (.368/.325/.832 shooting line).
  • The Heat have had discussions with Goran Dragic‘s representatives about a possible reunion, but a potential deal likely wouldn’t come to fruition until later this summer, according to Jackson. The veteran free agent guard made his lone All-Star appearance with the Heat, but he’s 37 years old and dealt with a knee problem last season that required surgery. The Heat can only offer the veteran’s minimum, which may take them out of the running for free agents like Christian Wood and Kelly Oubre, who are looking for more money, per Jackson.
  • In a mailbag for The Miami Herald, Anthony Chiang answers questions about the Heat’s roster and how the new second apron might affect the team going forward.

Draft Decisions: A. Jackson, Edey, Beekman, More

Andre Jackson Jr., who helped lead Connecticut to a national title, has opted to keep his name in the draft rather than return to the Huskies for another season, writes ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Jackson is projected to be taken late in the first round or early in the second round, Wojnarowski adds. The junior shooting guard ranks 32nd on ESPN’s big board and is projected to go to the Pacers with the 32nd pick in the latest mock draft by Jonathan Givony of ESPN.

“My time at UCONN has been filled with ups and downs but through it all I built relationships with my teammates, coaches, friends and fans that will last forever,” Jackson wrote in a Twitter post. “I’ve made so many memories playing in that jersey and I will miss it. But I’ll always be a husky. Thank you.”

Jackson averaged 6.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.3 steals in six tournament games and was believed to have raised his draft stock significantly, although questions remain about his outside shooting. He took part in the draft combine and went through individual workouts with several teams, including the Hawks, Celtics, Nets, Pacers and Trail Blazers, according to Wojnarowski.

Dozens of draft decisions were announced Wednesday ahead of the 11:59 pm EDT deadline to return to school without losing eligibility. Most late deciders opted to pull out of the draft, but a few prominent names will remain in the pool. They are:

National Player of the Year Zach Edey will withdraw from the draft and return to Purdue for another year, according to Jeff Borzello of ESPN. The 7’4″ center averaged 22.9 points and 12.9 rebounds as a junior while shooting 60.7% from the field. Even so, his draft status wasn’t certain as he’s No. 47 in the ESPN rankings.

Another prominent player pulling out of the draft is Virginia’s Reece Beekman, the ACC’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Givony reports. Beekman hopes to boost his draft stock for 2024 after coming in at 43rd in ESPN’s rankings. “I’ve decided to go back to UVA to work towards being a first-round draft pick next year and finish my degree,” he said.

Here are some more players who decided late Wednesday to take their names out of the draft:

Draft Notes: Strawther, Roach, Martin, Audige, More

Gonzaga’s Julian Strawther has declared for the 2023 NBA draft, he announced via Twitter. The junior wing didn’t say anything about maintaining his college eligibility, so we’re assuming he’s going to hire an agent and turn pro.

Strawther averaged 15.2 PPG and 6.2 RPG on .469/.408/.776 shooting in 37 games (31.2 MPG) this season for the Bulldogs. Gonzaga went 31-6, ultimately losing in the Elite Eight to UConn, the eventual champions.

Strawther, who turns 21 years old next week, is considered a potential second-round pick, as he’s ranked No. 50 on ESPN’s best available players list.

Here are some more draft related notes:

  • Duke guard Jeremy Roach (Twitter link), Florida Atlantic guard Alijah Martin (Twitter link), and Northwestern guard Chase Audige (Twitter link) are all declaring for the draft while maintaining their eligibility. Roach and Martin are juniors, while Audige is a redshirt senior who has one year of eligibility left due to COVID-19. None of the three are on ESPN’s list, so they’re considered unlikely to be drafted.
  • The Portsmouth Invitational tournament has released its rosters, as Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report relays (via Twitter). The Portsmouth tournament is often used a springboard for lesser-known prospects to try and get invites to the G League Elite Camp and then the NBA combine, Wasserman notes, with Tyrese Martin and Jared Rhoden among the players who successfully went down that path last year and played some NBA minutes in 2022/23.
  • In case you missed it, we released an update on the projected lottery standings and tentative draft order for each of the league’s 30 teams, as well as which picks will and won’t change hands.