Wayne Chism nets two summer deals; Tyler Smith has options

Tennessee's Wayne Chism celebrates after a basket during the game against San Diego State at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, R.I. during Round 1 of the NCAA Basketball Championship Thursday, Mar. 18, 2010.

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee's Wayne Chism celebrates after a basket during the game against San Diego State at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, R.I. during Round 1 of the NCAA Basketball Championship Thursday, Mar. 18, 2010.

Photo with no caption

Former Tennessee Vol Wayne Chism has NBA summer league agreements to play for the New Jersey Nets in Orlando, Fla., and the Sacramento Kings in Las Vegas after not getting drafted Thursday night.

The New Jersey deal was offered prior to the NBA draft while the Sacramento deal came about Friday, according to Chism’s agent, Jared Karnes.

The Kings went 25-57 last season, while the Nets were 12-70 and have a new coach, Avery Johnson.

Chism, 6-foot-8, 240 pounds, departs for New Jersey on Tuesday and begins practice with the Nets on Wednesday. Johnson will conduct the practices for the summer team, which plays in Orlando, July 5-9.

Chism is scheduled to leave Orlando after his final game on July 9 and report to Sacramento. From there, Chism begins play in Las Vegas with the Kings, July 12-18.

Chism is hoping to impress New Jersey or Sacramento — or any other team, for that matter — enough to get invited to a team camp. The summer leagues consist of players in their first three years in the NBA along with undrafted free agents.

As UT coach Bruce Pearl indicated in the days leading up to the draft, a benefit of not getting picked is that players are free to negotiate with any of the 30 teams until they are under contract.

“You see some guys celebrating getting picked late in the second round,’’ Pearl said. “But if it’s after about the 40th (overall) pick, it’s really a false hope.’’

Former Vols Tyler Smith, J.P. Prince and Bobby Maze, who also went undrafted, could find places in the NBA summer leagues, too. If not, they’ll likely play overseas for contracts in the neighborhood of $100,000, or perhaps try to find a spot in the NBA D-League for significantly less money.

“I’ve got plenty of offers, I’m just deciding who I want to go with,’’ Prince said. “I plan on making a decision by the end of the weekend, but right now I’m exploring all options.’’

Smith said before the draft he would likely spend another year overseas before trying to play in the NBA.

“I feel like I need to go back overseas to keep improving,’’ Smith said. “The two months I was there (in Turkey), I felt I did a pretty good job. But I can get my shooting numbers up.’’

Maze is trying to work out a summer league deal with the Chicago Bulls.

Statistical trends and recent history indicate chances are slim for undrafted free agents to make an NBA roster next season.

Players selected in the first round of the draft have the advantage of guaranteed contracts, as do a handful of the top second-round picks.

Tennessee hasn’t had any players selected in the NBA draft since 2002, and C.J. Watson of the Golden State Warriors is the only Vol now in the NBA.

Chism will do his best to change that, and while the Nets need a lot of help, the franchise has a lot of salary cap room and is expected to be aggressive in the free-agent market.

New Jersey selected former Georgia Tech power forward Derrick Favors (6-10, 245) with the third overall pick. The Nets traded their No. 27 (Jordan Crawford) and No. 31 (Tibor Pleiss) selections for Texas small forward Damion James (6-7, 227), who was originally selected by Atlanta with the No. 24 pick.

James, like Chism, is considered a “tweener” between small forward and power forward.

Sacramento addressed it’s team need for big men by drafting Kentucky’s DeMarcus Cousins (6-11, 292) with the fifth overall pick and Marshall’s Hassan Whiteside (7-0, 227) in the second round.

Chism worked for most NBA teams at power forward, but his height and durability have been questioned at the league’s interior positions. Some teams see Chism finding his niche as a small forward; he has shown good shooting range and quickness for a bigger player. But Chism’s consistency shooting 3-pointers remains in question.

Chism did not get a private workout with the Nets nor the Kings prior to the draft, but both franchises had seen him play in person.

Should Chism not make an NBA club, he’s expected to play overseas, most likely in Spain or Italy. Karnes said Chism had a six-figure offer on the table from a team in Europe prior to the draft.

Smith also has a six-figure offer in Europe, but Karnes said Smith is weighing all options.

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Comments » 30

Digger writes:

Make us proud, Wayne. Wherever you go!

AppreciativeAlum writes:

Avery is tough and demanding. Wayne ought to be able to work his way onto that team. And if he doesn't stick there, he'll be better off for the effort. Take it to the hoop and make your free throws. Rebound like you know you can. Play defense. Avery will love you.

jclowers writes:

I know every college player wants to go to the NBA, but I don't think you should characterize a six-figure deal overseas as "resigning" themselves when they take it. Hopefully Smith, Chism, Maze and Prince do 2 things if they can't make an NBA roster: 1. Keep their head up and prove they can make one and 2. Use the European leagues to become better ball players. If they do both of those there's a chance they could end up like C.J. on an NBA roster.

robvols#366273 writes:

-As a big Nets fan (in the good times and (mostly) bad times) and being a UT alum living in N.J., it would be great to see Wayne on the team. It won't be easy, but I hope he can make it.

maciste54 writes:

Best of luck to Weezy ! He became one of my all time favorite Vols and will always remain so.

sitinhere writes:

The MOST under-rated player in the NCAA. All he ever did was out play guys with more hype. Whichever NBA team finaly grabs him will have the steal of the draft. I predict in 3 or 4 years the story will be about the undrafted free agent that is making big news. When you read about all of the draft busts you know the teams are looking for a quality person and player like Wayne. Good luck Wayne. It was a pleasure watching you play these past 4 years and it will be a pleasure to watch you play in the NBA.

bugman (Inactive) writes:

Wayne is slow off the dribble, isn't a consistent three point shooter. He will be thrown in to a small forward. I doubt he will play much if any in the NBA. He will go to Europe. If anyone has a chance for the NBA it's Prince. He just needs to work on his shot and i dont mean junk put backs like he's use too. His D is intense but he's overagressive and we all know how horrible the refs are getting in the nba for touchy feely calls.

RoadTrip writes:

I want Wayne and the rest of the Vols to do well no matter what they choose to do. As to the NBA, there are many, many good reasons why most people could care less about them.

Fulton_Vol writes:

Good luck to Wayne and the other Vols trying to find pro teams to play for. I doubt many of us would turn down 6 figure jobs to play a game. I know you have worked many hours to get to this point and I hope you make your dreams come true. Don't forget to come back and finish your degrees if you haven't done so already. We need you to remember you were student athletes so please finish those degrees.

CroKev writes:

OK, I'm not a B'ball guy but it's amazing to me that there are no Vols in the NBA except one. This tells me that Pearl must be the best coach in the NCAA to have done so well with so little. Also, I wonder how much of a drawback this is for a kid considering whether to go to UK or UT. UK promotes the "one and done" approach for 5-star recruits but if a guy wants to learn basketball, UT is the place to go. It just seems that B'ball players coming out of HS just want to get to the NBA as fast as they can (i.e., rags to riches, etc.) so they could care less about values and learning the game so they choose Caliperi...

Vol86 writes:

I was always more of a football fan, but in modern era i have to say Bradshaw, Lofton, and Chism have brought some great memories. I hope all three of these men excell in what ever they do. I think they will.

vol88 writes:

Looks like the Nets could use him...or me.

Seriously, Wayne, good luck!

RoadTrip writes:

Let's see - UK does not even make it to the Elite 8 and they have 5 guys drafted in the first round - one of which didn't play more than 15 minutes a game and has no offense outside of 2 feet from the basket. UT is one last second basket (or a couple of made FTs) from the Final Four and has no players drafted. I guess we know who the better coaching staff is by making do with much less per the NBA gurus. And we are supposed to take the NBA seriously?

I will take CBP's program any day of the week over Calipari's. There are less than 300 kids that come out annually and get a contract to play ball aound the globe. CBP prepares his with the college experience and a life after BB.

NeylandWest writes:

in response to wallandhiker:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Perfect analogy. That is so true.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

Wayne has worked out for a lot teams and worked hard all summer and it's paying off!!!He made some amazing shots in the paint last year and led us to the elite 8..To make an NBA roster is icing on on one big cake!!!

VolunteerLifer writes:

Go get em, Weezy.

mjmsaysgovols writes:

if Wayne had a six figure offer from a team overseas, why in the world would he pass that up...had to know he wasnt going to be drafted, and to make an NBA team going to be tough...cant believe he would not take the offer...

tennrich1 writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I dont know about the kid from Villanova but did anyone else find it incredibly odd that Elliot Williams was chosen in the first round? I know i'm not an NBA evalutor but the three or so games i saw him play, he was shut down by forcing him to his right....I mean every game I saw the defense shut him down like that...Against us (UT) he scored almost all his points from the line.....Oh well, somebody sees something I dont...

CoverOrange writes:

in response to mjmsaysgovols:

if Wayne had a six figure offer from a team overseas, why in the world would he pass that up...had to know he wasnt going to be drafted, and to make an NBA team going to be tough...cant believe he would not take the offer...

You're 3000-6000 miles from home. In a country with a language you barely speak if at all. With teammates that don't speak your language. All your friends are in a time zone 5-8 hours behind you. You're constantly on the move from city to city so you really don't have a home or an apartment, living out of hotel rooms, eating at restaurants every night. Money is good, taxes are higher, psychological burden is higher.

If 6'9" 245 is small for a power forward, what is the standard now a days? What's the standard for a center 7'4" 300?

mrvol2u writes:

Tough break for these guys but I hope they can find a place to play and make a little coinage. The NBA is more stuck on prototypes than the NFL. If you don't fit the prototype you have a way to go to make it

Good luck guys and no doubt you have provided the Vol BBall nation many great memories and pride.

knox7320 writes:

This is the year to be a undrafted free agent. So many teams have plenty of room under the salary cap, which makes players like Wayne huge assests. They can sign him for cheap but he will be on a good team with great players. The Miami Heat currently have two players on their roster. Wayne will make a team this year!

77VolFS writes:

Good luck Weezy !! You were a warrior this past year for the Vols. I was so glad to see how hard you worked to graduate on time. You have made Vol Nation proud with the way you represented our university both on and off the court. Wishing you success wherever you end up.

Ironcity writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Kind of amazing. The NBA doesn't look for basketball players anymore they look for tall athletes. Then people wonder why our athletic studs struggle to win gold. I think Reynolds will eventually make it but one never knows. As for Chism I think he will do fine in Europe but I hate to say it I don't think he is an NBA player.

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to bugman:

Wayne is slow off the dribble, isn't a consistent three point shooter. He will be thrown in to a small forward. I doubt he will play much if any in the NBA. He will go to Europe. If anyone has a chance for the NBA it's Prince. He just needs to work on his shot and i dont mean junk put backs like he's use too. His D is intense but he's overagressive and we all know how horrible the refs are getting in the nba for touchy feely calls.

good post, dude. hope no one whacks you for it, you just gave your honest opinion.

JP is SUCH an athlete...if he could just shoot the damn ball AND use his right hand.

Sad to say, I don't think he makes it....but he does have some Rodman about him, doesn't he??

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Fulton_Vol:

Good luck to Wayne and the other Vols trying to find pro teams to play for. I doubt many of us would turn down 6 figure jobs to play a game. I know you have worked many hours to get to this point and I hope you make your dreams come true. Don't forget to come back and finish your degrees if you haven't done so already. We need you to remember you were student athletes so please finish those degrees.

Chism, Prince, and Maze all have their degrees. Tyler is close. These guys will all be fine whether they make the NBA or not.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to mjmsaysgovols:

if Wayne had a six figure offer from a team overseas, why in the world would he pass that up...had to know he wasnt going to be drafted, and to make an NBA team going to be tough...cant believe he would not take the offer...

I see what you're saying, but the MINIMUM salary in the NBA is over $500K/year! It is hard to blame those guys for reaching for that brass ring until they fall off the darned merry-go-round. Overseas ball can be a nice consolation prize, though. Wayne's overseas offer will still be on the table whenever he decides to pick it up, and if not the one that is there now, another will come along. No way playing in the NBA Summer League can do anything but help him, unless he gets hurt, of course.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

You're 3000-6000 miles from home. In a country with a language you barely speak if at all. With teammates that don't speak your language. All your friends are in a time zone 5-8 hours behind you. You're constantly on the move from city to city so you really don't have a home or an apartment, living out of hotel rooms, eating at restaurants every night. Money is good, taxes are higher, psychological burden is higher.

If 6'9" 245 is small for a power forward, what is the standard now a days? What's the standard for a center 7'4" 300?

You make some decent points, but in fact the salaries paid to foreign athletes in Europe at least are TAX-FREE and most of the player's living expenses are comped as well, including apartment, food allowance, car, and assigned driver. A reasonably frugal person can come home with almost all his foreign basketball earnings intact. A player who does take the opportunity to learn a bit of the local language and mingle with the population a bit can be the most popular guy in town. True, any player or other visitor who is constantly looking at everything and everyone he encounters as "inferior" just because it is "different" could well have a miserable time.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm sure the environment is different these days in some respects than it was in the 1980's in Germany, for example. I'm not saying the players quoted were wrong, but what kind of impression do you think foreigners get about traveling in the US these days, if all they knew about America was what they saw on our local newscasts? Also, you must admit that most Americans, and young athletes in particular, don't know one foreign country from another. As far as they are concerned, Iraq and Italy might as well be the same place, since most people don't speak English there and they had to cross an ocean to get to it.

AppreciativeAlum writes:

I had trouble with slovenia and slovakia.

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

in response to wallandhiker:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Wow. That second paragraph is as strong a statement said in here in a while.

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