The next Billiken to get an opportunity to play in the world’s best basketball league is an all-time great.
Despite going undrafted, Saint Louis University Billiken star Jordan Goodwin has signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Washington Wizards. Potentially setting up a situation where Jordan will be united with fellow St. Louis Prep star and NBA All-Star Bradley Beal.
Before the draft, Goodwin had been in communication at least once with every NBA franchise and was holding out hope that at least one of them would take the risk and call his name on draft night. One of his Agents, Kev Martin of JCK Sports, indicated they believed there was a 50/50 chance he could be drafted in the weeks leading up to draft night. Ultimately that call never came.
He was met with several opportunities post-draft though, fielding offers from at least 10 teams. But ultimately decided the Wizards were the best opportunity for the 22-Year-Old Senior.
Goodwin’s deal with the Wizards is an Exhibit 10 deal. This means that Jordan will be joining the organization for the summer, including the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, and into training camp this fall. The deal entitles Jordan to a signing bonus of anywhere from 5,000 to 50,000 dollars should he break camp with the team (in addition to league minimum salary) or if he was to sign with the G-League affiliate of the franchise, who, in this case, would be the Capitol City Go-Go.
In the future, an Exhibit 10 deal can be converted to a Two-Way, which would allow Jordan to float freely between the NBA and the G-League and be paid at the commiserate rate that each league provides. But Jordan would still be entitled to that signing bonus if he were to join the Go-Go and stay on the roster for 60 days. Rather than go overseas to a European league.
The Wizards became the destination of choice for Jordan based on a myriad of factors. For starters, one of Jordan’s representatives indicated to me in a phone call post-signing that the Wizards were clear and away the most enthusiastic about bringing Jordan into their organization. He had a great workout with the team, and the Wizards were consistent in their desire to make it work after that. As many as 9 other organizations provided formal offers to Jordan, but the Goodwin camp decided to “go where the love was” and sign in DC.
Additionally, Jordan makes for a great fit in the organization from a depth perspective. Not only did the Wizards improve their depth at the guard position, but Goodwin is in an organization that lacks guards in a very dire way, giving him an excellent opportunity to play his way roster spot or to have his Exhibit 10 deal promoted to a Two-Way deal.
Wizards roster right now is not yet balanced. Renovations still incoming:
PG: Aaron Holiday
G: Bradley Beal
W: Caldwell-Pope, Deni Avdija, Corey Kispert, Hutchison, Caleb Homesley
4s: Rui, Bertans, Kyle Kuzma, Anthony Gill, Isaiah Todd
C: Thomas Bryant, Gafford, Montrezl Harrell
— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) July 30, 2021
While free agency is going to impact the way rosters shake out, Jordan’s ability to play both guard positions as a ball-handler, as well as being able to play off-ball if needed, and defend down the lineup; Jordan’s skill set makes him a very versatile guard for a team with no (very few) guards.
Signing with the Wizards makes sense from a basketball perspective that will set him up for the future and will likely keep him in the organization for longer than just summer league and training camp one way or another.
Jordan will be traveling to Las Vegas next to attend NBA Summer League. The league runs from August 8th to the 17th on UNLV’s campus, but Jordan will be leaving St. Louis (where he watched the draft and ultimately signed his deal with the Wizards) early this week on August 3rd to join up with his new team and teammates.
Trying to make an impression on his new organization, Jordan indicated that he is not looking to show off any one particular skill. “I’m just looking to work hard and play winning basketball and show that’s what I do,” Goodwin said in a phone call the day after signing his deal with the Wiz. “I just want to play my game and prioritize winning games, playing winning basketball.”
While there is sort of a convenient reunion between Goodwin and local hero and mentor to many area kids in Bradley Beal. I am told Beal played no role in recruiting or convincing Goodwin to join the Wizards, nor did he influence the Wizards to pursue Goodwin. Jordan did seek the advice of Beal prior to the NBA draft process to get advice on finding an agent and what the process would feel like, but he hasn’t spoken to the star recently. That being said, when asked about the potential to share a locker room with the NBA All-Star, Jordan did not mince words, “Straight up, I’m really excited to be with Brad.” He also added that he would be talking to Beal soon.
Thus far, Jordan is one of seven players signed to play at the Summer League with the Wizards. Number 15 overall pick, Gonzaga alum, and Wizards draft pick in 2021 Corey Kisperts headlines the group, with second-round selection, power forward Isaiah Todd of the G-League Ignite also joining the roster.
Only one other guard has signed thus far in 29-year-old former Minnesota Golden Gopher Austin Hollins joining the bunch. Hollins graduated in 2014 but has since played in leagues overseas, making stops in Finland, Germany, and Russia. Virginia Center Jay Huff, Dewan Hernandez of the G-Leagues Rio Grande Vipers (who is also a center), and undrafted prep school small forward Kyree Walker round out the seven currently signed.
It is also reported that last season’s Wizards two-way players, Cassius Winston and Caleb Homesley, will participate in the summer league with the organization. Last season’s number nine overall pick forward David Avdija’s status is still up in the air as he may still be recovering from an injury.
The newly announced Wizards Head Coach, Wes Unseld Jr, is expected to lead the team through the summer league. So Goodwin will have every opportunity to earn face time with the head boss and show that winning style he hopes to display to the highest decision-maker.
Teams will play 5 games each over the 10 days, and rosters usually consist of anywhere between 13-16 players apiece. So, while as it stands, only two other “true” guards are on the roster (Winston and Hollins) in addition to Goodwin, that may change.
On Social Media, the prevailing comment in celebrating Jordan’s signing in the pros was that Jordan always just wanted a chance. Well, he’s worked hard, and now he’s getting that opportunity.
Carter Chapley has burst onto the scene becoming one of the most trusted voices in Billikens Athletics and beyond for Scoops with Danny Mac.
Starting at the University News, Carter joined Scoops in 2019 and has provided coverage primarily on Saint Louis University Athletics, including Basketball, Soccer, and Baseball. He has also written on such major events as the NCAA Tournament, Arch Madness, the NHL All-Star Game, the founding of STL City FC, and the NCAA reaction to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
You can find Carter more on Twitter at @ChapleyMedia where he will always be talking Billikens, Sports, and More!