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Azuolas Tubelis signs two-way deal with 76ers

azuolas-tubelis-signs-two-way-deal-with-philadelphia-76ers-nba-undrafted-arizona-wildcats Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Draft night didn’t go quite the way Azuolas Tubelis wanted, but the former Arizona big man will still have an opportunity to prove himself to the league this summer.

Tubelis signed a two-way contract with the Philadelphia 76ers as an undrafted free agent, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

Tubelis didn’t get selected in the 58-pick draft, which came as little surprise after most mock drafts left him out of their projections.

As a two-way player, Tubelis will have to fight for a spot on the 76ers’ roster during Summer League.

The 21-year-old Lithuanian chose to turn pro this spring after three seasons at Arizona, a choice that some might criticize in retrospect. However, if Tubelis’ two-way deal carries over to the 2023-24 season, he stands to earn a salary of $508,000, half of the rookie minimum. That’s likely a lot more money than he would have made through NIL had he stayed in college, and now he gets to fully devote himself to playing basketball.

Tubelis posted a prolific junior season for the Wildcats, averaging 19.8 and 9.1 rebounds. Questions remain about his defensive effort and his shooting ability, and no NBA teams were comfortable spending a draft pick on him.

2023 marked the third time in five years no Wildcats were drafted. The Pac-12 had four players selected, led by UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez who went No. 18 to the Miami Heat.