Isaiah Miles was ready to bet on himself. While he and agent Zach Charles said he could have made substantially more money playing basketball overseas, he signed a contract Thursday with the 76ers.
“ "I am relying on my ability that I can play in the league,” Miles said in a phone interview Friday.
For Miles, the 25-year-old wing who led St. Joseph’s to the NCAA Tournament as a senior in 2016, money at this point isn’t everything.
“I played in Europe three years, and after the money I saved up I said, ‘Why not bet on myself?’ I feel the window is closing for the NBA at my age.”
Last season, Miles played for Limoges CSP in Pro-A, the top professional league in France. In 50 games, including 33 starts, he averaged 9.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 22.9 minutes per game. He shot 41.4 percent from three-point range.
He has also played professionally for Usak Sportif in Turkey and JDA Dijon Basket in France.
Miles signed an Exhibit 10 contract. Exhibit 10 players get bonuses of up to $50,000 to sign with a team’s G-League affiliate if waived. They have to play for the affiliate for at least 60 days to earn the bonus.
Miles signed a full Exhibit 10 deal, which means he would get the entire $50,000 bonus, plus his G-League salary of $35,000. The likely scenario is that Miles will compete for the Sixers’ G-League team, the Delaware Blue Coats.
Charles and Miles estimate that he could have earned at least three times that amount in Europe.
“I am single, have not kids, no mortgage, and have invested the money that I made, so I am not in a financial bind,” Miles said.
Miles competed with the Sixers’ summer league teams in 2017 and 2018 and was with the Orlando Magic this summer, averaging 6.3 points and 17.8 minutes in four games.
Miles, who says he is 6-foot-8 (although he is listed at 6-7), has been working out at the Sixers’ practice facility in Camden preparing for training camp.
He believes that he can find a place in the NBA, especially with his long-range shooting skills.
“Shooters space the floor and make the game much harder to defend,” he said. “I feel I can help an NBA team with my shooting.”
And he would like it to be the Sixers.
“It was an overwhelming feeling of joy when I signed with the Sixers,” he said. “Anybody would be happy to be one step closer to achieving their dream.”