Hoosiers in the NBA: Eight of nine former IU basketball stars will participate in league’s July return

The NBA’s Board of Governors approved on Thursday a plan to resume its regular-season in a modified form according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

According to ESPN’s reporting earlier in the week on the NBA’s plan, 22 teams will convene at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports early in July to begin training camps.  Games would begin on July 31.

After playing eight regular season games in Orlando, the field will be reduced to 16 teams for the playoffs.  The league’s plans project that the NBA Finals will conclude in mid-October.

Eight of the nine former Indiana basketball players currently on contract with NBA clubs will participate in Orlando.  Only Cody Zeller and his Charlotte Hornets squad have been left out of the field.  It was a close call for the Hornets.  Charlotte was one game behind Thomas Bryant’s Washington Wizard team that was included.

Here are the nine NBA teams that include former Indiana players and how they are presently seeded.  The inclusion of the results of the final eight regular season games will determine the ultimate seeding for the 16 teams that make the playoffs.

EAST

2. Toronto Raptors (46-18) / OG Anunoby 

Anunoby is averaging more than 30 minutes per game and producing career bests statistically across the board.  He should play a major role as the Raptors attempt to defend their NBA title.

3. Boston Celtics (43-21) / Romeo Langford

Langford emerged from a rash of injuries and settled into a role in the Celtics rotation.  He is averaging 2.6 points per game and has earned a reputation as a good defender.

5. Indiana Pacers (39-26) / Victor Oladipo

Oladipo returned from a major knee injury in late January and was beginning to round into form before the season was delayed.  The extra time off likely helped the former IU star more fully recover and prepare for the playoffs.

9. Washington Wizards (24-40) / Thomas Bryant

It has been a frustrating season from an injury standpoint, but Bryant has put up career best numbers in 38 games working under a new contract in Washington.  The former Hoosier big man should be healthy and ready to roll for the resumption of play.


OUT – 10. Charlotte Hornets (23-42) / Cody Zeller

Zeller put up the best scoring and rebounding numbers of his career on a per game basis, but he will have to wait until next season as the Hornets just missed the cut.


WEST

3. Denver Nuggets (43-22) / Noah Vonleh

After a breakout season in New York last year, Vonleh struggled to find major minutes in Minnesota and was ultimately dealt to Denver not long before the season was postponed.

4. Utah Jazz (41-23) / Juwan Morgan

Morgan signed a deal with the Jazz and bounced between the NBA and the G-League.  He has played in 16 games for Utah thus far, and it remains to be seen what his role will be for the resumption of league play.

6. Houston Rockets (40-24) / Eric Gordon

Gordon has dealt with numerous injuries during his twelfth season in the NBA.  Now fully healthy, the one-and-done IU star should play a major role for a Houston team with major star power.

10. (tied) Sacaramento Kings (28-36) / Yogi Ferrell

Ferrell’s Kings were able to sneak into the modified conclusion of the season.  At just 11 minutes per game, IU’s all-time assist leader is seeing his most limited action since entering the league in 2016.

Wojnarowski is also reporting via sources that the NBA has set the draft for Oct. 15, with the draft lottery to be held Aug. 25.

The NBPA’s team player representatives have a conference call set for Friday to approve the league’s 22-team plan on restarting the season according to Wojnarowski.


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