Christian Watford Archive
Indiana’s 2012-2013 Big Ten championship team has a fifth player in professional basketball as Christian Watford signed with Hapoel Eliat in Israel on Wednesday.
Watford joins Victor Oladipo (Orlando Magic), Cody Zeller (Charlotte Bobcats), Jordan Hulls (Slupsk Energa Czarni/Polish Basketball League) and Derek Elston (Floriana Francesco Fenech Greens/Maltese Powerade League) as the latest Indiana player to ink a professional deal.
Watford, who was not picked in June’s NBA Draft, played for the Indiana Pacers in the Orlando Summer League and the Dallas Mavericks in the Vegas Summer League, opted to head overseas for a guaranteed contract rather than trying to catch on in the NBA via the Developmental League.
“I had four or five offers from different places in Hungary, Russia Germany but I felt this was the right fit for me,” Watford told IUHoosiers.com. “What really persuaded me to go to Eilat was the great feedback I got from Americans who had played on that team.”
As a senior at Indiana, Watford averaged 12.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game and shot 48.4 percent from 3-point range.
He finished his career in Bloomington in the No. 9 spot on the all-time scoring list.
Former Indiana All-American Victor Oladipo, the No. 2 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, and Christian Watford will make their professional debuts on Sunday in the NBA Summer League in Orlando.
The Orlando Magic potentially giving Oladipo minutes at the point guard position is one of the major story lines to watch in Orlando, while Watford, who went undrafted, will be trying to impress decision makers with the Indiana Pacers.
“I’m a guard, so whatever guard position they want me to run I feel comfortable running it,’’ Oladipo told OrlandoMagic.com. “I pretty much did the same thing at Indiana and ran some (point guard) there. I’ll just do whatever they need in order to help us win. If they need me to play there for us to win, that sounds good to me.’’
Indiana fans will have a chance to watch both players participate in the summer league, as NBA TV will be broadcasting the games.
Oladipo plays at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday and Watford takes the court at 3 p.m. ET. All ten teams in the league will play four games before Friday’s championship.
Watford is also expected to play in the Las Vegas Summer League later this month with the Dallas Mavericks. Cody Zeller will also participate with the Charlotte Bobcats in that league.
Here’s the complete schedule for both players in Orlando (all times eastern):
Oladipo – Orlando Magic
Sunday, July 7 – vs. Boston at 11 a.m.
Monday, July 8 – vs. Oklahoma City at 11 a.m.
Tuesday, July 9 – vs. Miami at 5 p.m.
Thursday, July 11 – vs. Philadelphia at 5 p.m.
Watford – Indiana Pacers
Sunday, July 7 – vs. Oklahoma City at 3 p.m.
Monday, July 8 – vs. Philadelphia at 1 p.m.
Tuesday, July 9 – vs. Boston at 11 a.m.
Thursday, July 11 – vs. Utah at 11 a.m.
Former Indiana forward Christian Watford wasn’t drafted last night, but he’ll still get a shot to play in the NBA.
After working out for more than 15 teams, Watford had some second round interest, but didn’t hear his name called.
He’ll now have to play his way onto a roster and he could get that chance beginning in the NBA Summer League with the Indiana Pacers and Dallas Mavericks, according to Scott Agness of Pacers.com.
Watford confirmed that the Pacers and Mavs deal is the most likely scenario to Dustin Dopirak of The Herald-Times, but said that nothing has been finalized. According to Dopirak, the Pacers play in Orlando from July 7-12 and the Mavs play in Las Vegas July 12-22.
Indiana coach Tom Crean, who was available Friday morning via teleconference to discuss last night’s draft, said Watford was “highly disappointed” that he wasn’t picked and added that “there were quite a few scenarios inside of it that just didn’t come to fruition” last night.
That said, Crean believes Watford has a great opportunity ahead of himself to earn a spot in the league and said that the Birmingham native received a lot of positive feedback in workouts around the league.
“I think eliminated a lot of questions that people might have had about him,” Crean said. “What I gave him last night was that nobody drafted Wes Matthews a couple of years ago.”
Matthews, who played for Crean at Marquette, went undrafted in 2009 and played his way to a 5-year, $34 million dollar contract after one season.
As a senior at Indiana, Watford averaged 12.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game and shot 48.4 percent from 3-point range. He finished his career in Bloomington in the No. 9 spot on the all-time scoring list.
Just one week remains until the 2013 NBA Draft and with several mock drafts updated this week, it’s time for another look at where Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo are currently projected to be selected as well as some recent buzz on Christian Watford.
ESPN: (2 to Orlando) Draft Express: (5 to Phoenix) NBADraft.net: (7 to Sacramento) SheridanHoops.com: (2 to Orlando)
· Analysis: Oladipo worked out Wednesday in Cleveland along with Ben McLemore, Otto Porter and Jamaal Franklin. He’s also worked out for Phoenix and Orlando, the two teams most frequently mentioned as potential landing spots, and declined a workout for the Washington Wizards, according to The Washington Post. ESPN.com’s Chad Ford said Tuesday on Sportscenter that the Cavaliers haven’t decided which direction they’ll go with the No. 1 pick and the fact that Oladipo, McLemore and Porter were all brought in this week seems to indicate the franchise is doing its due diligence. That said, Ford is still projecting Nerlens Noel at No. 1 while adding that Oladipo has the upper hand over McLemore at No. 2 to Orlando.
· Expert Opinion: “With a potential hole at shooting guard to fill, the Magic have their choice of Ben McLemore and Oladipo. Both guards represent better value and have higher ceilings than Trey Burke. The current preference is Oladipo, who projects as a better defender and is a better athlete than McLemore. Although McLemore has been as high as No. 1 in our mocks, Oladipo looks to be making a push. Considering Orlando GM Rob Hennigan came from Oklahoma City, going with a player that has a high upside, high character and is very long and athletic makes the most sense. While Oladipo has continually risen up NBA draft boards, McLemore has started to slip a bit, and that could see him fall more than initially anticipated.” – SheridanHoops.com.
With the combine complete and the lottery taking place tomorrow, it’s time for an updated look at the prospects for Cody Zeller, Victor Oladipo and Christian Watford in next month’s NBA Draft.
In our latest update, we’ll walk you through the latest projections for each player as well notes and measurements from the combine for Zeller and Oladipo:
ESPN: (12) Draft Express: (9) NBADraft.net: (4)
Combine measurements and testing results:
· Height w/o Shoes: 6′ 10.75”
· Height with Shoes: 7′ 0.25”
· Wt.: 230
· Wingspan: 6’10.75″
· Reach: 8’10″
· Body Fat: 4.75
· Hand Length: 8.5
· Hand Width: 10.5
· 3/4 sprint: 3.15
· Lane agility: 10.82
· Modified lane agility: 2.69
· Standing vertical: 35.5″
· Max vertical: 37.5″
· Analysis: After drawing more scrutiny than any other player during the college hoops season, Zeller stepped onto the floor on Friday at the combine and stood out in the testing against his peers. His standing vertical of 35.5 inches was the best ever recorded at the combine for a player 6-foot-9 or taller. Zeller also fared favorably in the 3/4 sprint, lane agility and modified lane agility tests. Zeller was criticized for his play against Syracuse in the NCAA Tournament, but his athleticism really stood out at the combine and that should help him move up in the draft.