Before the NBA draft, Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld said that it was unlikely that the team would enter next season with three rookies on the roster. After taking Georgetown star Otto Porter with the third overall pick on Thursday, the Wizards decided to package their two second picks to acquire Glen Rice Jr. from the Philadelphia 76ers, according to multiple league sources with knowledge of the situation.
The 76ers originally chose Rice, the son of the three-time NBA all-star, with the 35th pick. In return, the Wizards sent South Dakota State point guard Nate Wolters (the 38th pick) and Oregon power forward Arsalan Kazemi (54th) to Philadelphia.
Playing last season in the NBA’s D-League, Rice originally enrolled at Georgia Tech, where then-coach Paul Hewitt benched the top 50 high school recruit for the final five games of his sophomore season in 2010-11. Hewitt cited disciplinary reason for the benching.
Brian Gregory took over for Hewitt, now at George Mason, and suspended Rice for the first three games of his junior season for violating team rules. The son of the three-time NBA All-Star was suspended again Feb. 15, 2012, for violating team rules and finally was dismissed from the team when he was charged with “permitting unlawful operation” stemming from an incident involving a Yellow Jackets assistant driving Rice’s car while intoxicated and another passenger discharging a firearm.
Rather than transferring and sitting out a year, Rice opted for the D-League, where he joined the Rio Grande Valley Vipers as the No. 55 pick overall of the Houston Rockets’ affiliate.
The Vipers won the D-League championship behind a standout performance from Rice, who averaged 29 points, 11.5 rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocks in the series on the way to being named finals MVP.