Former Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Joel Ayayi was involved in a three-team trade last week, with his returning player rights getting shipped from the Capital City Go-Go’s to the Lakeland Magic, the G-League affiliate of the Orlando Magic.
Ayayi is the second former Gonzaga guard involved in a G-League trade this month after David Stockton, who was sent from Memphis to Fort Wayne a few days ago.
Ayayi spent the majority of his first professional season in the G-League with Capital City, where he averaged 10.6 points, 6.2 assists, and 5.8 rebounds while playing 31 minutes per night and leading the team to a 19-10 record in his 29 appearances.
Ayayi appeared in only seven NBA games last season, and Washington eventually released him from his two-way contract in March. He caught on with the Atlanta Hawks during summer league, averaging 5.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.4 steals across five games while shooting 40.7% from the field and 22.8% from deep.
Now he’ll look to establish himself in Lakeland under the watchful eye of the Orlando front office. Similar to Stockton, Ayayi is in a position to potentially make his way onto an NBA club that also features another Zag at his position. Stockton is with Indiana’s affiliate in Fort Wayne while Ayayi is with Orlando’s affiliate, NBA squads that feature Andrew Nembhard and Jalen Suggs, respectively.
Neither Stockton or Ayayi are under contract with Indiana or Orlando, but the possibility of playing together is certainly something for Gonzaga fans to keep an eye on as the season inches closer and closer to tipping off.
Andy hosts the Locked on Zags and Locked on College Basketball podcasts, and serves Locked On in a marketing/digital content creator role as well. He lives just outside Portland with his wife Jenna and dog, Tillie.