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Craft to play for 76ers, Warriors this summer

06/28/2014, 12:06am EDT
By DAVID BRIGGS BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Craft to play for 76ers, Warriors this summer

Aaron Craft from Ohio State participates in the 2014 NBA basketball Draft Combine. ASSOCIATED PRESS

Aaron Craft is packing his bags for a business trip to Orlando, Fla., and Las Vegas.

The former Ohio State basketball star and Liberty-Benton graduate will play for the Philadelphia 76ers and Golden State Warriors in the two upcoming NBA summer leagues, his agent, Lance Young, told The Blade on Friday.

Craft will play for Philadelphia’s entry in the Orlando summer league, which runs July 5-11, and join Golden State on the Las Vegas circuit the following week. He signed a nominal free-agent contract with both teams and hopes to make enough of an impression to make an NBA roster this fall.

Craft, who was not among the 60 players selected in the NBA draft on Thursday, intends to remain in the United States this season but is open to playing in Europe. Young previously said Craft plans to play professional basketball as long as he can, ending speculation that the academic All-American would choose to attend medical school if he could not crack the NBA.

“Aaron's going to get married in August, and I think right now they're looking at whatever comes their way,” Young said. “If they need to go to Europe for five years, they would do it.”

Craft is vying to latch on as the third point guard on an NBA roster, then perhaps flout the odds a little more. Though questions remain about his uneven shooting, he hopes to become the latest undrafted player to enjoy a successful NBA career — a roster that includes Bruce Bowen, John Starks, Avery Johnson, Andres Nocioni, Brad Miller, David Wesley, and Ben Wallace. Craft, the Buckeyes' all-time steals leader and reigning Big Ten defensive player of the year, averaged 9.8 points and 4.7 assists as a senior last season.

With former OSU forward LaQuinton Ross also not drafted, the Buckeyes did not have a player selected this year for the first time since 2006.

Contact David Briggs at: dbriggs@theblade.com, 419-724-6084 or on Twitter @DBriggsBlade.

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