After a strong showing in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, Australian Joe Ingles has earned an NBA contract.
Going to LA
According to sources, Ingles has agreed to a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Clippers. The 26-year old Happy Valley, Australia native impressed NBA teams by averaging 11.4 points, 3.4 assists and 3.2 rebounds in 31.0 minutes of action per game in Australia’s six game stint at the World Cup.
It was unclear however, if the contract was guaranteed as the Clippers now have a total of 15 players in their current roster with the addition on Ingles. At Los Angeles, The 6-8 Ingles will fight for a roster spot against starter Matt Barnes and reserve small forwards Reggie Bullock and Chris Douglas-Roberts.
Not a first timer
Although Andrew Bogut is the first Australian to play in the NBA, it was Joe Ingles who first set foot in America. An 18-year old Ingles applied for but was undrafted in the NBA Draft of 2009. He tried his luck by playing for the Golden State Warriors’ summer league team in the same year but didn’t get the call after shooting a miserable 20% from the field and averaging just 3.2 points per game in five games.
Ingles was close to going to the NBA again in 2013 when his former Barcelona teammate Marc Gasol lobbied for him at Memphis. But Ingles opted to play in Europe at that time. The Grizzlies renewed their interest in Ingles last week after the FIBA tournament, but luxury tax issues kept them from making a bid this time around as they are $1.2M away from the NBA salary cap limit. The Philadelphia 76ers also reportedly made a run at Ingles since their head coach Brett Brown called the shots for the Australian National Team in 2012.
Ingles isn’t really a tremendous athlete who has superstar potentials. But he’s one guy who can shoot the lights out at any given night. His ticket to the NBA was his showing at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup where he torched the nets with his 69% FG shooting. The 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup was the second straight major international competition where Ingles shone. He was the Boomers’ second leading scorer at the 2012 London Olympics with his 15.0 points per game average. Their leading scorer Patty Mills earned a contract with the reigning NBA champion San Antonio Spurs after playing well in the Olympics. Ingles hopes to follow Mills’ footsteps with this leap to the big league.