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Bacon, XRM, and Isaac agree to their first NBA contracts

When Dwayne Bacon and Xavier Rathan-Mayes decided to leave Florida State to pursue professional basketball careers, a lot of people were skeptical about how their skills would translate to the next level. Especially XRM, who has only played point guard for two seasons and could’ve turned himself into an NBA Draft pick with a solid senior year. However, Bacon, XRM, and Jonathan Isaac have all signed NBA deals after playing in the Orlando Summer League.

Isaac was the first to sign his deal, which he did prior to participating in the Orlando Summer League. His first two seasons are guaranteed, while his last two will be team options. In total, Isaac will be paid $22.3 million over his four-year contract.

The sixth overall pick looked good in summer league early. He averaged 10.3 points, 8 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks over three games. Unfortunately, Isaac was sidelined for the remainder of the exhibitions in Orlando after straining his left hip. He was also bothered by a hip injury at FSU, so the Magic might want to keep an eye on his health. Still, Orlando said Isaac’s injury was not serious and that he was being held out for precautionary reasons. Isaac showed off the potential to break into the Magic’s rotation as a rookie.

Bacon had an outside shot of being selected in the first-round of the draft but he instead slipped into the second round where he was drafted at no. 40 by the New Orleans Pelicans who then traded him to the Charlotte Hornets. Shortly after the draft, the Hornets front office discussed how pleased they were with being able to acquire Malik Monk (no. 11 overall) and Bacon. Monk would miss the Orlando Summer League due to an injury, so Bacon was the lone 2017 Charlotte draft pick to take the floor.

He struggled throughout his first two games, scoring 9 (3-9 FG) and 8 (3-9 FG) points respectively. Bacon’s shot finally began to fall in his third game. He led the Hornets with 17 (6-12 FG) points, 2 assists, and 3 steals as Charlotte defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder. Bacon would carry this momentum into championship day. He would record 29 (11-20 FG) points, 8 rebounds, and a steal as the Hornets finished 3-2 at the Orlando Summer League.

Shortly after his scoring outburst, Charlotte announced that they had agreed with Bacon on terms for a three-year deal. The first two years of the contract will be guaranteed, but the full terms of the contract have not yet been released. Regardless, Bacon will be earning an NBA salary soon.

XRM was the long shot coming into the draft. Despite working out for upwards of 10 teams, Rathan-Mayes would go undrafted during the 2017 NBA Draft. He landed with the New York Knicks and hoped to prove himself amongst the other guards on the roster. XRM recorded 11 (4-10 FG) points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds in his debut. His playing time was inconsistent throughout the Orlando Summer League.

Rathan-Mayes averaged 6 points, 3.5 assists, and 1 steal over 4 appearances. He’ll need to keep working on his efficiency. XRM shot just 9-25 (36%) from the field and 4-11 (36.4%) from behind the arc. His performance in Orlando impressed the Knicks enough for them to offer XRM a training camp deal. Now it will be up to the developing point guard to impress during the preseason if he wants a shot at making New York’s roster.

I think it’s safe to say that all three Seminoles made the right decisions to go pro. Nothing is guaranteed, especially in sports when freak injuries can derail careers at the drop of the hat. Despite having the odds against them, Bacon and XRM have both earned their first contracts and they will need to continue making an impression on their respective teams.


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