Who is Jacob Wiley? The man linked to Melbourne United...
July 16, 2018
With the NBA Summer League coming to a close and several NBL scouts, coaches and owners still floating around in the US we are hoping to see a few splashes in the "Import Free Agent" market. Over the past couple of hours floating around twitter and also having one media outlet report that former East Washington small forward Jacob Wiley is on the verge of signing for Melbourne United. We are sure there would be many NBL fans thinking who?
So let's take a look:
One of our local Aussie product's Mitch Creek would be able to tell us exactly who Wiley is after playing with him on the Dallas Mavericks Summer League squad these past couple of weeks. This was Wiley's second showing at the Summer League as last season he played with the Brooklyn Nets before signing a 2-way deal in August 2017 with the Nets. He went on to feature in 5 NBA games before being waived in January.
The road to professional basketball has been a long one for Wiley who has been described as an "A Grade Athlete" with "Mid Grade Pro Ability" who has lived in 4 states of America, attended 3 colleges and played 3 sports. It was his last year in college when he transferred to East Washington and had a huge end to the season to storm home and win Big Sky Conference Player of the Year averaging 20.2 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.8 blocks and 2.3 steals per game for the Eagles. This was the year that he turned into a potential late second round pick in the 2017 NBA Draft and interviewed or worked out for at least 15 NBA teams. He was one of the potential late second round gems NBA General Managers covet and after a successful Summer League debut with the Brooklyn Nets he was rewarded with a 2-way contract and spent time between Brooklyn and their G-League affiliate The Long Island Nets. While his NBA play only lasted 5 games he pulled on the Long Island jersey 16 times in the 2017-2018 season averaging 7.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 20.6 minutes of play per appearance.
From what we can see Wiley has spent his time between the SF and PF positions and seems fit into the positionless style of basketball that is sweeping the planet. His past coaches and draft scouting report called him the "Ultimate Competitor" and felt that he would fight for a spot on an NBA roster. He was known around the college game as a high energy player who cleans the glass and moves up the floor and who likes to finish above the rim when in space but also has some touch around the paint. With an impressive 82.4% clip from the free throw line during his college career you can see that he has some kind of stroke as well. His impressive 7-foot wing span is going to cause issues for smaller defenders attacking the rim but if United can bring back Casper Ware Jnr. it gives him another target to hit when he pushes the ball up the floor and provide ample spacing for catch and shoot king Chris Goulding.
From the chatter coming out of the US about Wiley this could seem like an ample and fantastic fit for a Melbourne United team who lost an inside presence in Tai Wesley who has flown over the Tasman to join the New Zealand Breakers. He might not be the back to the basket presence as Wesley was but he defensive skills would be an upgrade for a team that did not lake fire power on the offensive end last season.
The next month for United will be very interesting to see as their roster has been built nicely with the addition of Mitch McCarron but without an import signed to the roster, rumours are heating up about who the reigning champs are going to bring back.
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