Bayern signs former NBA professional Wade Baldwin
FC Bayern Basketball has signed their first signing for the new season: The young American combo-guard Wade Baldwin is moving to Munich for the 2020/2021 season, which starts in October. He played last year with EuroLeague rival Olympiakos Piraeus. The former NBA professional (56 games) can be used in both guard positions. In the 2016 draft he joined the world's best league as a member of the Memphis Grizzlies after they drafted him in the #17 in the first round. The 24-year-old made his European debut in Greece.To the Baldwin Challenge
"I am incredibly excited to come to Munich because Bayern is a strong organization and it will be my first real season in European basketball," said Wade Baldwin IV, who is still in the States. *Olympiakos did not compete in the Greek premier league last year due to sports-political quarrels, but only in the Euroleague.*
Athletic and a wingspan of 213 centimeters - 6'98 ft
"I'm looking forward to playing well over 60 games, as is usual. With a team that is now taking a new direction, with a new coach, and in addition to the establsihed core they will add new players - I am one of them. I want to provide a lot of energy, as well as a lot of consistency, you can rely on me."
FCBB sports director Daniele Baiesi has had his eye on Baldwin for some time, saying: "Wade will give us tremendous toughness, energy and physicality, and that on both sides of the court. We were already working hard to bring him in a year ago and we would have loved to have gotten him. Now, fortunately, it worked out and he has shown a great desire to come to us. We look forward to having him here."
Wade Baldwin IV moved to Europe for the first time last summer, but Olympiakos and had just under 17 minutes of play and 5.5 points per game in the six months until the break in the competition with 24 appearances in the EuroLeague. What he is capable of and what he has been too seldom able to show in his early professional years was demonstrated by his 19 points in Olympiakos' 85-82 loss in Munich's Audi Dome.
Baldwin is from New Jersey. In 2014 he went to college and played for Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. In the first year for the Commodores he scored 9.3 points while his 155 assists (4.4 apg) were a freshman record for Vanderbilt. In his second season he managed 14.1 points, 5.2 assists and four rebounds on average - which aroused the attention of the NBA. Wade decided to skip the two additional years in college and was drafted by the Grizzlies one day before his 20th birthday. He was given a multi-year contract and in his rookie season, he played in 36 games (3.0 ppg) for Memphis, and also saw time with the Iowa Energy farm team in the G-League (12.9 ppg).
The following year, the athletic guard moved to Portland for two seasons in the NBA on a two-way contract (26 games; 2.8 ppg); his G-League team here was the Texas Legends, where he dominated with an average of 19.4 points over two seasons. In February 2019, he got sucked into the infamous trade mill of the NBA: first, his rights went to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a transfer package, then three days later to the Houston Rockets and then - just a few hours later - to the Pacers in Indiana. 2019 ended for him with some games in the NBA G-League for the Toronto Raptors' farm team.
The young point guard's real potential is undoubtedly far from exhausted. Baldwin's strength, apart from his passing game, is his athletic drive to the basket, and his high shooting percentage. In his second year of college he averaged almost 41 percent from three. On defense Baldwin brings a lot of energy and a huge range to the table.
Point Guard/Shooting Guard – 1,93 m – 91 kg (6'3 - 200 lbs)Until 2014:
- Immaculata High School, Somerville, & St. Joseph High School, Metuchen (New Jersey)
- Vanderbilt University (NCAA)
- Memphis Grizzlies (NBA)
- Iowa Energy (NBA G-League)
- Portland Trail Blazers (NBA)
- Texas Legends (NBA G-League)
- Raptors 905 (NBA G-League)
- Olympiakos Piräus