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Killian Tillie Goes Undrafted, Signs Two-way Deal with Grizzlies

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Injury history got the best of Tillie.

NCAA Basketball: West Coast Conference Tournament-Gonzaga vs San Francisco Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Killian Tillie went undrafted in the NBA Draft on Wednesday night. Immediately after, he signed a two-way deal with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Ultimately, it is a disappointment for an incredibly talented player whose body has thwarted his goals. Tillie has flirted with the NBA Draft multiple times throughout his career, only to be sidelined by injuries. In fact, if it wasn’t for his injuries, we most likely would have written this post a year ago, and Tillie would have been a first round pick.

But alas, that history, for Tillie, is real. When healthy, Tillie was one of the best players in college basketball—full stop. Few forwards stretched the floor like Tillie. He was defensively nimble, able to stay light on his toes and in front of quicker guards. Although his frame meant he wasn’t the strongest rebounder, his basketball IQ more than made up for it. For the past three years, Tillie has been the most supplemental piece on one of the nation’s top offenses.

Tillie averaged 13.6 points and five rebounds per game last season—numbers that are not going to jump out for your average NBA nut. You just have to look towards Tillie’s other shooting percentages to see where the hype lies. Tillie shot 44 percent from beyond the arc throughout his college career. His true shooting percentage of 63 percent is higher than Doug McDermott’s 2020 effort—the top three point shooting forward in the NBA last season.

As long as he stays healthy, Tillie has all of the tools required to be a major contributor off the bench in the NBA. With the two-way contract, Tillie will bounce between the NBA and the G League. Hopefully, we will see him competing against the likes of Brandon Clarke, Zach Collins, Rui Hachimura, Domantas Sabonis, Johnathan Williams, Nigel Williams-Goss, and Kelly Olynyk soon.