Rashad Vaughn’s basketball career has not developed exactly as planned. The former McDonald’s All-American and UNLV superstar finds himself in a situation where, after playing three years in the NBA, he must play well in the NBA Summer League just for a training camp invite.
So far, Vaughn has played well for the Miami Heat in the NBA Summer League and, at the age of 21, he has the opportunity to score a training camp invite after being released by the Orlando Magic back in March.
“You get to the league, you’ve got to specialize in one thing,” Vaughn told the Las Vegas Review-Journal Sunday afternoon. “Teams bring you there to do that one thing. I just wasn’t able to do it. It’s the league. It’s the business that I signed up for. It’s just about perseverance. Staying focused.”
Vaughn is a former Runnin’ Rebel (2014-15) and Milwaukee Buck. Before suiting up in a Rebel jersey, he played for the nationally dominate prep school team, Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.).
Sadly, Vaughn has only played 23 games at UNLV before he was sidelined due to a torn meniscus. At UNLV, he averaged 17.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. The athletic guard’s biggest accomplishment as a Rebel was when he helped lead UNLV to a 71-67 victory over the No. 3-ranked Arizona Wildcats.
Following his freshman season, Rashad declared for the NBA draft and went in the first round to the Milwaukee Bucks as the 17th pick. Primarily a bench player, Rashad has not posted impressive numbers. His career high is three points and one rebound and he played in just a few games for Milwaukee from before being traded to the Nets in early February of 2018.
He saw very little playing time with the Nets and was traded again three days later to the Pelicans before being waived by the team after two days. Vaughn then signed a 10-day contract with Orlando. He was once again let go after the contract expired because of the knee injury.
While in the NBA, Rashad spent some time in the G league with the Canton Charge, a Cavaliers affiliate, and the Westchester Knicks, who are affiliated with the New York Knicks. He played a grand total of seven games, averaging 9.9 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.
Vaughn has played well in the 2018 Summer League. The guard had a solid shooting night against the Pelicans in a 111-84 loss. He registered 11 points on 4-for-8 shooting with two steals and a block in 25 minutes of play.
Despite his health concerns, Vaughn is a solid shooting guard in this league who has the advantage of being just 21 and a free agent. With an impressive showing in the Summer League, Rashad can increase his stock and the chance to score an invite to a mini camp with another team once the season starts.
If not, he joins a handful of other former Rebels who left UNLV far too early and now sitting the athletic wasteland of the developmental leagues. Heck, you could put together an NBA Summer League team of former Rebels who left UNLV’s program far too early and have found the professional ranks far more difficult than the snake-ish advisors who misled them into leaving early in the first place.
With his young age, solid basketball IQ, and his ability not to make major mistakes, it would be surprising if he does not at least receive a training camp invite from one of the 30 teams in the league. Whatever happens, I’m sure Vaughn is happy to be playing in a familiar place for the time being.