Jayhawks well represented on NBA opening day rosters
LAWRENCE, Kan. – There will be 12 Kansas Jayhawks on opening day rosters for the 2018-19 NBA regular season that begins Tuesday, Oct. 16. Since 2005, Kansas has had at least 10 players on NBA opening-day rosters each year.
The NBA season kicks off Tuesday night as the Boston Celtics host the Philadelphia 76ers, with both teams featuring former members of the Kansas basketball team. Tip-off from Boston is set for 7 p.m. (CT) on TNT.
The Washington Wizards and Sacramento Kings each carry two Jayhawks. Washington features Markieff Morris and Kelly Oubre Jr., and Sacramento includes Frank Mason III and Ben McLemore.
With Nick Collison retiring following the 2017-18 season, Markieff and his twin brother Marcus Morris become the longest-tenured Jayhawks active in the NBA. Markieff is in his fourth season with Washington and his eighth overall in the league, and is joined on the squad be Kelly Oubre Jr., who enters his fourth year in the league, all with the Wizards. Markieff was the No. 13 overall selection in the 2011 draft, while Oubre was the No. 15 pick in 2015. Marcus Morris, the No. 14 overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft, begins his eighth season in the league and second with the Boston Celtics.
Josh Jackson starts his second season with the Phoenix Suns after being the the No. 4 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
McLemore, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2013 draft, returns to Sacramento where he played the first four years of his NBA career. Last year, McLemore played for Memphis before returning to the Kings over the summer. Mason was the 2017 consensus national player of the year while at Kansas and enters his second season in Sacramento.
Andrew Wiggins, the No. 1 overall draft selection in 2014, goes into his fifth season with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Joel Embiid, the No. 3 overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft who was an NBA All-Star in 2018, has become a household name in the league with the Philadelphia 76ers. Last season, Embiid averaged 22.9 points per game, 11 rebounds per game and 1.8 blocks per game, all numbers ranking him among the top-15 in the NBA in their respective categories. Another KU big man, center Cheick Diallo, begins his third season with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Wayne Selden Jr., came on strong at the end of his rookie season in 2016-17, playing briefly for New Orleans and was a regular for Memphis down the stretch and into the playoffs. He now enters his third year with the Grizzlies.
Two Jayhawks from KU’s 2018 Final Four team are on opening-day rosters as Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is with the Los Angeles Lakers and Devonte’ Graham a Charlotte Hornets.
Jayhawks in the NBA
Joel Embiid, Phildelphia 76ers
Cheick Diallo, New Orleans Pelicans
Devonte’ Graham, Charlotte Hornets
Josh Jackson, Phoenix Suns
Frank Mason III, Sacramento Kings
Ben McLemore, Sacramento Kings
Marcus Morris, Boston Celtics
Markieff Morris, Washington Wizards
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Los Angeles Lakers
Kelly Oubre Jr., Washington Wizards
Wayne Selden Jr., Memphis Grizzlies
Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota Timberwolves
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