Morgan and Cannady sign NBA contracts, set to start season in G League

Days before the start of the regular season, former Ivy League stars Matt Morgan and Devin Cannady were each offered an NBA contract.  Cannady was signed by the Brooklyn Nets last Tuesday and Morgan inked his deal with the defending champion Toronto Raptors on Thursday.  Both guards were waived by their parent clubs and will start the year in the NBA’s G-League.

Morgan finished his four years at Cornell as the Ivy League’s second leading scorer with 2,333 points, trailing only Princeton’s Bill Bradley (2,503).  In addition to total points, the Concord, North Carolina native left the Big Red as the program’s leader in scoring average (20.5 ppg), made field goals (743), attempted field goals (1,580) and made free throws (513).  He was second in made three-pointers (334), third in minutes played (3,705), fourth in free-throw percentage (.834) and eighth in assists (296).

For his career, Morgan was a four time All-Ivy selection, with first team accolades in his junior and senior seasons.

Morgan entered his name in the NBA Draft in 2017 and 2018, but withdrew both times.  He went undrafted this past June, but was picked up by the Raptors for the 2019 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.  In four appearances, he averaged  4.3 points, two rebounds, one assist and 13.8 minutes per game.

Cannady played in 104 games with 67 starts for the Tigers.  The Mishawaka, Ind. native, was a 2017 honorable mention and 2018 second-team All-Ivy selection.

Despite ending his college career prematurely, Cannady, a key contributor for the undefeated 2016-17 Ivy regular season and tournament champions, finished fifth in program history with 1,515 career points and was third in made three pointers with 268.  Overall, he averaged 14.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.1 steals in 31.1 minutes per game.

Cannady was arrested following an early morning confrontation with customers and campus police at a local store in January. In response, the men’s basketball program suspended him as the school investigated the matter.

Cannady would go on to miss three games as the university completed its investigation and adjudication process, ultimately determining that the athlete served “the appropriate suspension from competition” based on the result of the school’s disciplinary process. Cannady eventually played in four more games in February but subsequently took a leave of absence for personal reasons, ending his collegiate career.

In mid-March, it was reported that Cannady entered into a plea deal for the four charges brought against him after his January arrest.  Three of the charges were dismissed with the fourth resulting in a conditional discharge that could be dismissed in a year if he does not face any other arrests or convictions.  He was also required to serve 20 hours of community service.

At that time of his plea, his lawyer had noted that Cannady expected to return to Princeton in the fall to complete his degree.  In an in-depth interview with the South Bend Tribune a month later, he stated that he planned to finish requirements for his sociology degree in the fall, either back on campus or online.

“If I can be a voice or a light to people who are dealing with stress and anxiety and even depression, seeking help and getting help is such a good thing,” Cannady told the South Bend Tribune. “I’ve taken those steps now and I’ve learned. This could have been avoided had I done that earlier.”

Although not having his name called in this year’s NBA Draft, Cannady played for the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Las Vegas Summer League.  He averaged 2.4 points, 0.6 rebounds, 0.2 assists and 4.2 minutes per game over five appearances for the Thunder.

While G-League rosters have not been completed at this time, Morgan appears to be headed to the Raptors 905 and Cannady will be playing for the Long Island Nets once he clears waivers.

These recent Ivy stars will look to join several other Ancient Eight alums who played in last year’s G-League: Kyle Casey (Harvard ’14), Shonn Miller (Cornell ’15), Luke Petrasek (Columbia ’17), Jeff Coby (Columbia ’17), and Nate Hickman (Columbia ’18).

For all, the goal continues to be the NBA, where 2019 Ivy League Player of the Year Miye Oni, selected in the second round of this year’s draft, continues to make a name for himself with the Utah Jazz.

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