TUCSON, Ariz. – With the NBA regular season set to begin on Tuesday, the Arizona men’s basketball program is represented by 12 former players currently on NBA rosters.
Jerryd Bayless is entering his seventh season in the NBA, and first with the Milwaukee Bucks. The 11th overall selection in the 2008 NBA Draft has career averages of 8.5 points and 2.9 assists per game, and advanced to the postseason three times in his six years in the league.
Chase Budinger is in his third year with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and his sixth season in the league. A second-round draft pick by Detroit in 2009, he was traded on draft night to Houston, where he spent his first three NBA seasons. Budinger has career averages of 9.0 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.
Channing Frye is in his first year in Orlando, and his ninth as a pro, after signing with the Magic as a free agent this summer. The eighth pick in the 2005 NBA Draft was a first-team All-Rookie selection in 2006 and owns career averages of 9.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. He is also 38.5 percent shooter for his career from outside the arc.
Joining Frye in Orlando for his first NBA season is Aaron Gordon, who became UA’s latest lottery pick in 2014 when the Magic selected him fourth overall. Gordon was the 2014 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year for the Wildcats, averaging 12.4 points and a team-high 8.0 rebounds per game in his lone season in Tucson.
Jordan Hill, the eighth pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, is in his sixth year in the league and third full season with the Lakers. He has averaged 6.7 points and 5.3 rebounds for his career and helped lead the Lakers to the playoffs twice in his tenure in Los Angeles.
A second-year pro, Solomon Hill was the Pacers’ first-round draft pick in 2013. He played in 28 games for a veteran-laden Indiana team last season, averaging 1.7 points and 1.5 rebounds as the Pacers made the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Andre Iguodala is entering his second year with the Golden State Warriors, which will mark his 11th season in the NBA. He has been in the playoffs seven times in his first 10 years in the league. Iguodala was named to the NBA All-Defensive first team in 2014 and the second team in 2011, won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2012 Olympics and has career averages of 14.6 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game.
Iguodala teams with three former Arizona players on his coaching staff in Golden State, as Steve Kerr is entering his first season as the team’s head coach and Bruce Fraser and Luke Walton both serve as Warriors’ assistants.
Richard Jefferson is in his first season with the Dallas Mavericks, marking his 14th year in the NBA. He was the 13th pick in the 2001 NBA Draft and has posted career averages of 14.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists. Jefferson is a nine-time playoff participant, won a bronze medal with Team USA at the 2004 Olympics and was a second-team All-Rookie selection in 2002.
Grant Jerrett is in his second year with the Oklahoma City Thunder organization, and is currently rehabbing from injury. He was a second-round pick by Portland in the 2013 NBA Draft, and was dealt to the Thunder on draft night. He was the first overall pick in the 2013 NBA D-League Draft by the Tulsa 66ers and was named to the D-League All-Rookie second team after averaging 15.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.
The Rockets’ second-round pick in 2014, Nick Johnson is entering his first season with the Rockets. He was a first-team All-American and Pac-12 Player of the Year at UA in 2014, averaging 16.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.
Johnson is joined in Houston by another former UA All-American in Jason Terry, who is entering his 16th season in the league and first with the Rockets. An NBA champion in 2011 with Dallas, Terry has career averages of 15.4 points and 4.4 assists per game. He was 10th overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft, and was named the 2009 NBA Sixth Man of the Year.
Derrick Williams is in his first full season with the Sacramento Kings, marking his fourth year in the NBA. The second overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft has career averages 9.6 points and 4.8 rebounds, and was an NBA All-Rookie second team selection in 2011.
In the summer of 2013, ESPN ranked Arizona sixth among all college programs in terms of producing top NBA talent over the last two-plus decades.
UA players have been far from content by just hearing their names called on draft night, however. As has been reported by various media outlets, the fraternity of Arizona’s NBA players has surpassed the collective $1 billion mark in career earnings.
Collectively, the Wildcat players who have been drafted since 1988 are an accomplished group, having won 13 NBA championships and made six All-Star appearances. The group boasts a Rookie of the Year (Damon Stoudamire), a Sixth Man of the Year (Jason Terry) and a Most Improved Player (Gilbert Arenas).
For the latest updates on Arizona men’s basketball and an inside look at the program, follow @APlayersProgram on Twitter and @uaplayersprogram on Instagram.