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Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Former Gonzaga forward Killian Tillie joining Memphis on two-way contract

UPDATED: Thu., Nov. 19, 2020

Gonzaga's Killian Tillie shoots over San Francisco's Remu Raitanen during the first half of the Zags' WCC Tournament semifinal win last March.  (By Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga's Killian Tillie shoots over San Francisco's Remu Raitanen during the first half of the Zags' WCC Tournament semifinal win last March. (By Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Plan B seems to have turned out quite well for Killian Tillie. 

The former Gonzaga standout wasn’t taken during the four-hour NBA draft Wednesday night, but he didn’t have to wait long before finding a landing spot. He agreed to a two-way contract with the Memphis Grizzlies, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted, within 30 minutes of the draft’s conclusion.

Tillie flew from Spokane to Memphis on Thursday. He rejoins former Zag teammate Brandon Clarke, who was drafted by the Grizzlies in the first round in 2019.

The Grizzlies have a talented young roster, led by 2020 rookie of the year Ja Morant, first-team All-Rookie selection Clarke, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Dillon Brooks. They drafted TCU guard Desmond Bane in the first round and Michigan State forward Xavier Tillman in the second.

Veteran center Jonas Valanciunas and Jackson are both 6-feet-11, but Jackson had knee surgery in August and won’t be ready for the season opener. Guard/forward Justise Winslow is recovering from a hip injury. He’s expected to return before Jackson, but not expected back for the season opener.

The 6-foot-10 Tillie could be an effective stretch forward after hitting 44.4% of his 3-point attempts at Gonzaga. He’s also a quality passer with a soft shooting touch around the rim.

Two-way contracts have been revised for the upcoming season because of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the NBA schedule and the G League. Two-way players are eligible for as many as 50 NBA games. Players were previously limited to 45 days with an NBA team, which included travel and practices.

Opening day for the NBA’s 72-game schedule is Dec. 22. Preseason games are scheduled from Dec. 11-19.

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