NBA Draft: Rabb Slides to 35th, Bird Taken at 56


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By David Bush, Staff Writer
Posted Jun 22, 2017
If by BearInsider Staff or Contributor, this article is Copyright © 2017

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Former Bears Jabari Bird & Ivan Rabb
Ivan Rabb had to wait longer than he thought he would to hear his name called Thursday night, and the delay could be an expensive one. Jabari Bird had to wait even longer, but he probably felt it was worth hanging around.
Projected as a late first round selection in the NBA draft, the Cal forward lasted five picks into the second until the Orlando Magic took him at No. 35. They didn't keep him very long, sending him to Memphis for a 2018 second round choice. The Magic had nothing against Rabb, it is just that they had managed to stockpile four draft picks this year. They knew four rookies would not make their 2017-18 roster, so they did some business with Memphis, which did not have a selection going into the night.

Whereas salaries for first-round draft choices are pre-determined and guaranteed, second round picks have to negotiate terms. If they make the team the contracts can be lucrative, the burden is on them proving themselves.

The rookie salary scale for the 30th and last pick in the first round is $1.162 million, with a second year figure of $1.379 million. Rabb and agent Aaron Goodwin will have to work to reach those numbers.

Bird, who probably resigned himself to going undrafted, was selected at No. 56 by the Boston Celtics, where he will be reunited with former teammate Jaylen Brown.

Why Rabb slid is unclear. He might not be as tall as everybody thought he was. Cal listed him at 6-11, he measured 6-8 3/4 in bare feet and 6-10 with shoes on. His wingspan, however, is greater than seven feet, and the location of your hands is more important than the top of your head when going for a rebound. He averaged 10.7 rebounds a game, tops in the Pac-12.

He shooting percentage declined from 61.5 per cent as a freshman to 48.4 last year, but that did not represent a decline in ability as much as defenses designed to stop him and pretty much ignore the rest of the Bears.

The addition of Rabb, and Oregon forward Dillon Brooks in a later trade, probably means the Grizzlies would like to shake up their front line, if not immediately then in the near future.

Rabb, who was projected as a high draft choice had he joined Brown and left Berkeley after his freshman year, apparently almost wound up in Cleveland Thursday night. Draft scuttlebutt said the Cavaliers wanted the make the deal with Orlando for that pick, but terms could not be worked out.

Bird faces a tough task to make the Celtics roster, but at least he won't have to shop for a summer league spot as an undrafted free agent. His 1,227 points is 25th best in Cal history and he is fourth in career three-point attempts (504) and fifth for three-pointers made (187).

Both he and Rabb are represented by Goodwin, who did not return a phone call from Bear Insider.

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