Virginia Basketball Notes: Reece Beekman To Golden State, Trey Murphy III To USA Select Team

Virginia CavaliersVirginia guard Reece Beekman signed a two-way contract with Golden State. ~ Photo by Kris Wright/TheSabre.com

Reece Beekman is adding the West Coast to his Bingo card.

Beekman grew up in Wisconsin, played high school hoops in Louisiana, and starred at Virginia in college. He will now start his professional basketball career in California. Golden State signed Beekman as a free agent to a two-way contract on Thursday night after the NBA Draft.

For those unfamiliar with how a two-way contract works in the NBA, it allows franchises to sign someone to a G-League contract with their feeder club and still have that player active for up to 50 games with the NBA team during the season. Franchises may have three players on a two-way contract and the players must have three or fewer years of NBA service in their career. Former UVA players Braxton Key and Jay Huff held two-way contracts with the Denver Nuggets last season, appearing in 20 NBA games each.

Beekman started 121 games for the Hoos and became the school’s all-time steals leader this past season with 228 in his career. He scored more than 1,000 points (1,195), dished out more than 600 assists (636), and grabbed more than 400 rebounds (428) too. He earned the ACC Defensive Player of the Year Award twice in his career.

In his final season at UVA, Beekman produced career highs for the second straight season in points and assists, set a new career high in free throw attempts per game, and matched his career high in 2-point shooting percentage. The numbers checked in at 14.3 points, 6.2 assists, 3.6 rebounds (second best career season), and 2.0 steals (second best career season). He shot 48.7% from 2-point range with a 57.4% shooting clip on shots at the rim (also a career high).

Evaluating Beekman’s play during the season, Virginia coach Tony Bennett said: “Those who have eyes let ‘em see and I think when the time is right, he’s going to make someone pretty happy.”

That chance comes with Golden State, who are trying to form a roster for another run at the NBA Championship with Steph Curry.

Ryan Dunn’s Draft Night Call

Beekman’s Virginia teammate is also headed west. The Phoenix Suns picked up Ryan Dunn in the first round of the NBA Draft with the 28th pick (via Denver). In a social media video released by the team, members of the front office celebrated the moment on a call with Dunn.

As a first round pick, Dunn can sign for as much as 120% and as little as 80% of the rookie scale. For his draft slot at No. 28, the rookie scale for the first three years is projected at $2,115,200 in year one, $2,221,300 in year two, and $2,327,000 in year three based on the salary cap. That means his contract range could be between $1,692,160 and $2,538,240 in year one, $1,777,040 and $2,665,560 in year two, and $1,861,600 and $2,792,400 in year three. There are team options for the fourth and fifth year of the contract. In recent years, most picks get the maximum 120% contract but keep an eye on how Phoenix manages its cap situation during the offseason.

Dunn’s debut with the Suns is likely to come in the NBA Summer League in July. As it turns out, the Suns are scheduled to face the Warriors in the first summer game for both teams on Saturday, July 13 at 11 p.m. ET on ESPN2. That means Dunn and Beekman may compete against one another in their first pro basketball appearance.

Trey Murphy III Named To Select Team For USA

Dunn became the fifth Virginia player selected in the first round of the NBA Draft during the Bennett era. The last player before him to go in the first round will be playing this summer too.

That’s because Trey Murphy III, the 17th pick of the 2021 NBA Drafty by New Orleans, has been named to the Select Team for USA Basketball. The Select Team will train with the Men’s National Team in preparation for the Olympics in Paris this summer. The Select Team features 15 players that will train with the Men’s National Team from July 6-8 in Las Vegas. Orlando Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley will coach the Select Team.

“As a former member of the USA Select Team, I know how important and fun this opportunity is for each of these players,” said Grant Hill, USA Basketball Men’s National Team managing director, in a news release. “There is a tremendous amount of talent on this Select squad with the significant job of helping the 2024 USA Men’s National Team as they begin their journey to the Olympics. Each of these athletes will play a role in our preparation as we also develop the national team pipeline for the future.”

Murphy played 29.6 minutes per game for the Pelicans this past season with 23 starts. He averaged a career-best 14.8 points while shooting 38.0% from 3-point range. He also set new career highs of 4.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists.

Virginia Back At Practice

While former Hoos have been in the headlines, the current Cavaliers have started summer workouts in Charlottesville. With seven players who were not at UVA last season, it’s an important time for acclimation and setting the foundation for the upcoming season. The newcomers include transfers Dai Dai Ames (Kansas State), TJ Power (Duke), Elijah Saunders (San Diego State), Jalen Warley (Florida State), and preferred walk-on Carter as well as freshmen Jacob Cofie and Ishan Sharma.

Virginia released some brief social media videos of these early season sessions. Here are the first two:

Virginia News You May Have Missed

With summer here and the break in the college sports calendar, two other news releases this month provided some context for the upcoming season.

First, in some tough but expected news, Virginia announced that sophomore Elijah Gertrude would miss the 2024-2025 season with a knee injury. The news release said: “Gertrude injured his right knee in a scooter accident on April 30. He underwent successful surgery to repair the knee on May 17.”

After expecting to redshirt initially last season, Gertrude appeared in 16 games for the Hoos. He averaged 3.4 points and 1.2 rebounds. With the roster turnover noted above, however, he appeared to be in line for increased opportunities this season prior to the recent injury.

In another news release, the Cavaliers also learned their ACC-SEC Challenge opponent for the upcoming season. Virginia will travel to Florida on Wednesday, Dec. 4. Tipoff time is to be determined. UVA defeated Florida 73-70 last season in a Hall of Fame Series game in Charlotte.

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  1. Not only 7 new players but also two RS frosh ( 6’5 PG Bliss and 6’10,245# center Roberts) vie for PT. 11 of the 15 (two non-scholies) will be new to coaches and fans.

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