When the Fraser Valley Bandits hit the hardwood on Saturday they will do so without arguably the team’s most notable off-season free agent acquisition.
Former NBA talent Julian Washburn will not compete in the Canadian Elite Basketball League after the Bandits said they released the ex-Memphis Grizzlies starter.
Bandits officials stated they released Washburn on Thursday (June 24) “to allow him to consider other playing opportunities.”
The club announced that Washburn had signed a contract on June 11 and also confirmed to The News that he had completed a two-week quarantine in Canada because he had arrived outside of the country.
It’s unclear when he made the decision to request his release, but Washburn was not present at the Bandits media day on June 17.
“I’m thrilled to join the Fraser Valley Bandits family,” he stated in a press release, prior to requesting his release. “It’s clear that this is a team that is dedicated toward building together, both on and off the court. I’m excited to be part of the community and to showcase a brand of basketball that is up-tempo and exciting for fans.”
Washburn told The Province that his agent told him the CEBL was a good league and indicated he had heard it featured competitive basketball. He also stated he did not know much about the league.
The News did reach out to Washburn and his agent for more details, but they did not respond to requests.
The Bandits also announced they have signed forward Ryan Ejim. He was a part of the 2019 CEBL champion Saskatchewan Rattlers team and played with the Niagara River Lions during the 2020 CEBL Summer Series.
He has also played professionally in Portugal and Spain.
The Bandits open the CEBL regular season on Saturday (June 25) against the Rattlers.