An All-Time High 19 Jayhawks on NBA Opening Day Rosters
LAWRENCE, Kan. – There will be an all-time high 19 Jayhawks on opening day rosters for the 2015-16 NBA regular-season that begins Tuesday.
Paul Pierce has the most tenure of the Jayhawks in the NBA, entering his 18th season and his first with the Los Angeles Clippers. He left the Washington Wizards after the 2014-15 season. Drew Gooden continues to play with the Wizards in his 14th season in the league and is joined by rookie and fellow Jayhawk Kelly Oubre Jr.
Kansas 2002 and 2003 Final Four standouts Nick Collison (Oklahoma City Thunder) and Kirk Hinrich (Chicago Bulls) return for their 13th seasons in the NBA.
Five Jayhawks from Kansas’ 2008 NCAA National Championship team remain active in the NBA. Cole Aldrich (Los Angeles Clippers), Darrell Arthur (Denver Nuggets), Mario Chalmers (Miami Heat) and Brandon Rush (Golden State Warriors) will all continue to play this season. Rush became the 11th Jayhawk to win an NBA title when he took the 2015 title with the Warriors. Sasha Kaun has returned to the United States to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers after playing seven seasons with a Russian professional team.
Fifth-year twins Marcus and Markieff Morris have been separated as teammates from the Phoenix Suns, as Marcus will represent the Detroit Pistons and Markieff will remain with the Suns this season.
Thomas Robinson (Brooklyn Nets) and Jeff Withey (Utah Jazz) were part of KU’s NCAA runner-up team in 2012. This will be Robinson’s first season with the Nets after two years with the Trailblazers and a brief stint with Philadelphia. Withey will also be playing his first season in a Utah Jazz uniform after two years with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Third-year player and No. 7 overall in the 2013 NBA Draft Ben McLemore will continue his career with the Sacramento Kings.
KU’s second-only No. 1 NBA Draft selection, joining Danny Manning in 1988, Andrew Wiggins is one of three NBA players from the 2013-14 Kansas team. Wiggins, the 2015 NBA Rookie of the Year, is with the Minnesota Timberwolves, while Joel Embiid, the No. 3 overall pick, is with Philadelphia 76ers and Tarik Black is with the Los Angeles Lakers. Joining Oubre in the rookie ranks is Cliff Alexander who is beginning his NBA career with the Portland Trailblazers.
Kansas’ 19 players on the opening-day NBA rosters are two more than last year’s previous KU high of 17 Jayhawks and continues to be the highest among the Big 12 schools.
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