Longhorns in the NBA: 2016-17 Season Preview

Nick Sauseda

The NBA season is just around the corner with training camps and preseason underway. There are currently nine former Longhorns in the NBA, and the majority of them will play significant roles for their teams. 

Here are five Longhorns to watch during the 2016-17 NBA season. 

LaMarcus Aldridge, Forward, San Antonio Spurs

After struggling early last season, Aldridge found a rhythm in the second half of the year, finishing with 18 points per game paired with an average of 8.5 rebounds. Aldridge hopes to build off an impressive playoff performance — he averaged just under 22 points on 52 percent shooting — as he enters year two in San Antonio.

Kevin Durant, Forward, Golden State Warriors

Durant drew a lot of criticism this offseason for joining the Warriors, who broke the record for most regular-season wins in 2015-16. His transition thus far has been smooth: He scored in the twenty-plus points in two of the first three preseason games and lead the Warriors in points in their most recent game against the Kings. Golden State hopes his presence boosts the team to its second title in three years. 

Tristan Thompson, Center, Cleveland Cavaliers 

Thompson became the fourth Longhorn to win an NBA championship last season as a crucial part of Cavaliers’ postseason success. He averaged nine rebounds and nearly one block per game en route to the team’s title . His defensive and rebounding prowess should help the Cleveland reach the top of the Eastern Conference again in 2016-17.

Myles Turner, Center, Indiana Pacers 

Turner posted a strong rookie season, garnering All-Rookie Second Team honors along the way. He should solidify the Pacers’ starting center spot as they try to climb their way to a higher seed in the Eastern Conference. 

Isaiah Taylor, Guard, Houston Rockets 

Though Taylor went undrafted this offseason, he played for the Rockets at the Las Vegas Summer League and earned an invitation to the team’s training camp. If Taylor fails to make the regular-season roster, he will try to earn a spot in the NBA Development League or overseas.