Longhorns in the NBA

Riley Glenn

The Texas men’s basketball program is well represented in the NBA with ten former players currently on active rosters. As the league’s playoffs loom nearer, here’s how five of the Longhorns’ top alumni have performed thus far in the 2020-21 season.

Kevin Durant, SF Brooklyn Nets

Arguably the second-best player in the world for over a decade, many questioned whether or not Kevin Durant could return to peak form after missing all of last season with an achilles injury suffered in the 2019 NBA Finals. When he’s suited up, the 6-foot-10-inch small forward is as dominant as ever, averaging 28.3 points with 6.9 rebounds and 5.2 assists this year. The problem is Durant has played in only 29 of 66 games so far due to various nagging injuries and load management measures. The Brooklyn Nets are currently the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference and hope to have their big three of Durant, point guard Kyrie Irving and shooting guard James Harden healthy for the playoffs.

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Daulton Venglar

Myles Turner, C Indiana Pacers

A 6-foot-11-inch center and six-year NBA veteran, Myles Turner was stringing together another solid season for the Indiana Pacers. Turner averaged 12.6 points and 6.5 rebounds per game while leading the entire league in blocks per game with 3.4. His momentum was halted, however, when the Pacers announced on April 19 that Turner would be out indefinitely with a partial tear in his big toe. His status for the rest of the season is unknown as Indiana fights for a playoff spot as the current No. 9 seed in the Eastern Conference.

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Anthony Mireles

Mohamed Bamba, C Orlando Magic

Mo Bamba’s NBA career since getting drafted No. 6 overall in 2018 to the Orlando Magic hasn’t exactly panned out as many hoped, but the jaw-dropping athleticism that made him a lottery pick has flashed at times during the 2020-21 NBA season. Although he’s currently averaging only 7.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, Bamba recently had a career-game against the Detroit Pistons on May 3. Bamba posted 22 points and 15 rebounds, showcasing his potential in the post for years to come.

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Joshua Guerra

Jarrett Allen, C Cleveland Cavaliers

On Jan. 14, Jarrett Allen was traded from the Brooklyn Nets to the Cleveland Cavaliers as part of a blockbuster four-team trade that sent perennial All-Star James Harden to Brooklyn. Allen hasn’t enjoyed the team success he could have had this season with the Nets, as the Cavaliers are currently second-to-last in the Eastern Conference. However, the 6-foot-11-inch center is averaging 13.2 points and 9.9 rebounds a game.

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Angela Wang

Jaxson Hayes, C New Orleans Pelicans

In his second year with the New Orleans Pelicans, Jaxson Hayes has regressed from his rookie season as he attempts to reach his massive potential. Currently, Hayes is averaging 6.6 points and 4.0 rebounds per game, but the one area he has improved upon is his free throw shooting. After shooting 64.7% as a rookie, Hayes is making 78.7% of his shots from the charity stripe this season. The former Big 12 Freshman of the Year is only 20 years old, which means he has a lot of time to improve his game.