Pro Hoosiers: Eight former IU basketball stars with NBA organizations to start 2020-21 season

The 2020-21 NBA season tips on Tuesday night.

Eight former IU basketball stars are with NBA teams or their G-League affiliates as the new campaign begins.

Here is the latest on each player and what to look for this season.

OG Anunoby – Toronto

Anunoby might be the happiest player on the list.

The 23 year old signed a new four-year, $72 million contract this week.

Anunoby is entering his fourth season in the NBA, all with Toronto.  He projects to be a starter and a significant two-way player for the Raptors in 2020-21.

He averaged 7 points while playing 20 minutes per game in the preseason.

2019-20 Stats:

Games/Games Started – 69/68

MPG – 29.9 (career high)
Points – 10.6 (career high)
Rebounds – 5.3 (career high)
Assists – 1.6 (career high)
Blocks – .7 (career high)
Steals – 1.4 (career high)
FG% – .505 (career high)
3FG% – .390 (career high)
FT% – .706 (career high)

Thomas Bryant – Washington

Photo of Thomas Bryant

Bryant is also entering his fourth season in the league, and much like former teammate and good friend Anunoby, his career arc is trending up.

The 23 year old New York product projects to be the starting center on a Washington team that now features a Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook backcourt.  With so much attention on that duo, Bryant should get plenty of opportunities to shine as he continues to expand his game.

Bryant’s contract runs through the 2021-22 season.  He averaged 14.3 points and 6.7 rebounds playing around 25 minutes per game in the preseason.

2019-20 Stats:

Games/Games Started – 46/36

MPG – 24.9 (career high)
Points – 13.2 (career high)
Rebounds – 7.2 (career high)
Assists – 1.8 (career high)
Blocks – 1.1 (career high)
Steals – .5 (career high)
FG% – .581
3FG% – .407 (career high)
FT% – .741

Yogi Ferrell – Utah/G-League

Ferrell spent the preseason as a free agent.

He was signed by the Utah Jazz last week, who then waived him soon thereafter in a collective move to secure his rights for the G-League.  The status of the 2020-21 G-League season is currently in a state of flux with the organizations reportedly eyeing a bubble format in Atlanta.

Ferrell spent the 2019-20 season with the Sacramento Kings.

The 27 year old is looking to earn his way onto an NBA roster for a fifth season.

2019-20 Stats:

Games/Games Started – 50/0

MPG – 10.6
Points – 4.4
Rebounds – 1.0
Assists – 1.4
Blocks – .1
Steals – .4
FG% – .420
3FG% – .304
FT% – .857

Eric Gordon – Houston

With Russell Westbrook off to Washington, Gordon has a chance to take back a more prominent role in Houston.  He is expected to start the season as the first guard off the bench, but he should see big minutes as both a scoring threat and trusted defender.

Gordon turns 32 years old on Christmas.  The longest tenured Hoosiers in the NBA, Gordon is entering his 13th season overall, and fifth with Houston.

The 6-foot-4 Gordon is 31st all-time in NBA history for three-pointers made with 1,553.  His contract runs through the 2023-24 season.

Gordon average 15 points and 3 assists per game during the preseason in about 22 minutes of action per contest.  He made 11-of-27 (40.7 percent) three-pointers.

2019-20 Stats:

Games/Games Started – 36/15

MPG – 28.2
Points – 14.4
Rebounds – 2.0
Assists – 1.5
Blocks – .4
Steals – .6
FG% – .369
3FG% – .317
FT% – .766

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Romeo Langford – Boston

Photo of Romeo Langford

Langford will start his second NBA season in a familiar place — on the injured list.

The one-and-done Hoosier tore ligaments in his wrist during the NBA Playoffs.  Langford had his hard cast removed a couple weeks ago and has since focused on regaining strength and range of motion before using the wrist for basketball activities. He is unlikely to return during the first half of the regular season.

Langford turned 21 in October.  His contract runs through the 2022-23 season.

2019-20 Stats:

Games/Games Started – 32/2

MPG – 11.6
Points – 2.5
Rebounds – 1.3
Assists – .4
Blocks – .3
Steals – .3
FG% – .350
3FG% – .185
FT% – .720

Juwan Morgan – Utah

Morgan is on the Utah Jazz roster to open the NBA season, and he will be looking to build on a strong year one progression as a professional.

The 6-foot-7 Morgan quickly found a home in with the Jazz after a strong showing in the NBA G-League.  He ended his first season by starting two games in the NBA Playoffs for Utah.

The 23 year old Morgan averaged 13 minutes, 3.7 points and 3 rebounds per game in 3 preseason contests for the Jazz.  He has one year left on his contract.

2019-20 Stats:

Games/Games Started – 21/0

MPG – 6.4
Points – 1.7
Rebounds – 1.4
Assists – 0.3
Blocks – 0.1
Steals – 0.0
FG% – .577
3FG% – .375
FT% – .750

Victor Oladipo – Indiana

Photo of Victor Oladipo

Despite being the subject of seemingly never-ending trade speculation, Oladipo is back with the Pacers.

The now 28 year old Oladipo is entering his eighth NBA season overall, and fourth in Indiana.

Oladipo struggled in 2019-20 after returning midseason from a year long recovery from a major knee-injury.

Early reports indicate that Oladipo is looking much more like his former NBA All-Star self as the season gets set to begin.  Oladipo should be highly motivated, both to quiet lingering doubters and to position himself for an NBA max-contract.

Oladipo averaged around 12 points per game playing 23 minutes in 3 preseason contests.

2019-20 Stats:

Games/Games Started – 19/16

MPG – 27.8
Points – 14.5
Rebounds – 3.9
Assists – 2.9
Blocks – 0.2
Steals – .9
FG% – .394
3FG% – .317
FT% – .814

Cody Zeller – Charlotte

Zeller is set to embark on his eighth season in the league, all in Charlotte.

The 28 year old big man is likely to start at center for the Hornets but has competition.  Zeller showed some promise expanding his game out to the three-point line last season, something that is likely key to lengthening his career.

Zeller is entering the final year of his contract with the Hornets.

He averaged 10 points and 4.5 rebounds playing 18.5 minutes in 4 preseason games.

2019-20 Stats:

Games/Games Started – 58/39

MPG – 23.1
Points – 11.1 (career high)
Rebounds – 7.1 (career high)
Assists – 1.5
Blocks – .4
Steals – .7
FG% – .524
3FG% – .240
FT% – .682

Note:  Noah Vonleh was signed by the Chicago Bulls and then later waived.  He is not currently with a team as of this writing.

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