The NBA is 13 days away.
Or — let me put this another way — just 13 days and Paul, Mario, Marcus and the gang will be back on your TVs and in the news. And we'll try to keep you up-to-date on it all, here on the Hawks in the NBA blog.
By now, you might have realized I'm not Matt Tait or Tom Keegan or any of the faces you're accustomed to seeing on this site. My name's Nick Gerik and… I'm the new guy. I graduated from KU in May and I'm a sports copy editor at the Journal-World. I'm not an NBA expert. In fact — this is important to remember — I'm a relatively recent NBA fan. So although I try to keep a close eye on things, I don't know everything. Suggestions and corrections are always welcome.
Like many of you, I've watched these players in Allen Fieldhouse, and I've followed the hoopla and heartbreak of the last few years. And because of that, I want to know what these guys are up to in the pros. Simple as that. I don't have any special contacts or access — only a search engine, official stats and some curiosity. I'll do the legwork, so you can do the oooh-ing and ahhhh-ing at awesome plays by your favorite former Jayhawks.
But first, a refresher.
There are 12 former Hawks currently on NBA rosters. They are:
- Josh Selby (Memphis Grizzlies)
- Marcus Morris (Houston Rockets)
- Markieff Morris (Phoenix Suns)
- Xavier Henry (Memphis Grizzlies)
- Cole Aldrich (Oklahoma City Thunder)
- Mario Chalmers (Miami Heat)
- Brandon Rush (Indiana Pacers, for now… more on that in a minute)
- Darrell Arthur (Memphis Grizzlies)
- Drew Gooden (Milwaukee Bucks)
- Kirk Hinrich (Atlanta Hawks)
- Nick Collison (Oklahoma City Thunder)
- Paul Pierce (Boston Celtics)
There are also two ex-KU players who were on NBA teams last season but haven't signed with a team for this season:
Julian Wright was with the Toronto Raptors last season and is an unrestricted free agent, free to sign on to any roster. Toronto isn't interested in re-signing him, but he should land on another team soon.
Darnell Jackson was with the Sacramento Kings in 2010/11, but signed with Ukraine's BC Donetsk and, according to his Twitter, is now waiting for an offer to play back to the States. The Kings renounced his rights, so he'd be a free agent if an NBA team wanted to sign him.
And we can't forget the handful of other ex-Jayhawks who are still playing for pay outside of the NBA:
- Tyrel Reed (Belgium's Verviers-Pepinster)
- Brady Morningstar (NBA D-League - Tulsa 66ers)
- Sherron Collins (Turkey's Hacettepe Universitesi)
- Sasha Kaun (Russia's CSKA Moscow)
- Rodrick Stewart (Kosovo's Bashkimi)
- Russell Robinson (Turkey's Trabzonspor)
- Aaron Miles (Russia's BC Krasnye Krylya)
- Jeff Graves (NBA D-League - Erie Bayhawks)
- Keith Langford (Israel's Maccabi Electra)
- Kenny Gregory (France's SLUC Nancy) hat tip to JayHawkFanToo
Between free agent signings, training camp additions and trades, NBA rosters are still in flux, so we might see some movement between the lists in the next two weeks. On Monday it was rumored that Brandon Rush might be traded from the Indiana Pacers to the Memphis Grizzlies. Small problem: Rush was at Pacers practice today and the Grizzlies' owner says a trade isn't in the works, for what that's worth. If the deal ever happens, four former Jayhawks (Arthur, Henry, Selby and Rush) would be NBA teammates. In Memphis. Good thing that city doesn't have any history with KU basketball.
Regardless, with a dozen former players on NBA rosters, it should be a fun season for KU fans.
Hope you'll follow along with me.