College/Prep Sports Reporter

Scott Richey is a reporter covering college basketball at The News-Gazette. His email is srichey@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).

B1G after

Illinois forward Giorgi Bezhanishvili (15) shakes the Big Ten Commissioners hand following their overtime win against Ohio State in the championship game of the Big Ten basketball tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Sunday, March 14, 2021.

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Welcome to “Good Morning, Illini Nation,” your daily dose of college basketball news from Illini beat writer and AP Top 25 voter Scott Richey. He’ll offer up insights every morning on Brad Underwood’s team:

Episode 167: Pursuing new options

Giorgi Bezhanishvili's NBA path remains open. The former Illinois forward signed an Exhibit 10 contract wth the Denver Nuggets, which essentially means the 6-foot-9 forward secured himself a training camp invite. 

Bezhanishvili played for the Nuggets in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas last month after securing multiple workouts with several organizations leading up to the 2021 NBA Draft. While Bezhanishvili didn't play much — he averaged just two points and 1.7 rebounds in 8.6 minutes per game — he clearly did enough to keep Denver's interest piqued.

So what does an Exhibit 10 contract mean? Mostly just the training camp invite, although it's a non-guaranteed deal, and Bezhanishvili can be cut at any time. Denver does his retain his G League rights, and the Exhibit 10 contract can be rolled over into a two-way contract if he plays well enough to stick in the G League. This year that would be with the Nuggets' new affiliate, the Grand Rapids Gold.

Scott Richey covers college basketball for The News-Gazette. His email is srichey@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).

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