Longhorns in the NBA: Mo Bamba, Jaxson Hayes, Kerwin Roach

David West Jr.

Former longhorns looking to find their way in the pros. 

We’re just about 10 games deep into the NBA season and already the league has been full of intriguing storylines. The more seasoned former Longhorns have sustained their roles from previous seasons while fresh-faced talent such as second-year pro Mohamed Bamba and rookie Jaxon Hayes still look to carve out consistent roles on their teams.

Mohamed Bamba

Bamba has played in nine of the Orlando Magic’s games so far, where he has averaged 4.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.0 blocks. Bamba has nursed a lingering left leg injury dating back to the 2018-19 season, when he was sidelined for Orlando’s final 30 regular season games and playoff run. He did appear in one game of the 2019 Summer League but missed the remainder after dealing with left leg soreness. Bamba’s injury has resulted thus far in a regression of statistics with drop-offs coming in scoring, rebounds and blocks from his rookie season. As Bamba continues his path to 100%, the Magic will look to ease him back into a more prominent role.

Jaxson Hayes

First-rounder Jaxson Hayes has appeared in seven games this season for the New Orleans Pelicans. The standout rookie follows a long list of highly skilled and coveted big men to come out of Texas, succeeding notable names such Indiana Pacers big Myles Turner, Brooklyn Nets center Jarett Allen and Bamba. After three consecutive did-not-plays, Hayes made his official rookie debut against the Golden State Warriors. Through his first eight games, Hayes has averaged 6.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 0.5 blocks on 14 minutes of action. Hayes has been a bright spot on an injury-riddled Pelicans roster, providing him with more playing time to start the season than expected. The slow-start Pelicans will look to continue rolling out Hayes in order to accelerate his development.

Kerwin Roach II

Former Texas guard Kerwin Roach made his official NBA G League debut for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Nov. 9 against the Austin Spurs where he went for zero points in just 4.8 minutes of action. Roach has continued to work on improving his game since departing from Texas and going undrafted in the 2019 NBA Draft.