Former UConn players currently in the NBA

You don’t have to wait until November 7 to see UConn men’s basketball players return to action on the court.

There are a few former UConn players in NBA training camps preparing for their respective preseason games. Some are veterans preparing for the season, others are trying to line up.

Here’s a list of former UConn players wearing NBA uniforms, a little something to get you through to the start of the Huskies season:

james bouknight

Bouknight is set to enter his second season with the Charlotte Hornets, who selected him with the 11th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. The Hornets, led by LaMelo Ball, have several players who can handle the ball and score in the fast break . The various options Charlotte had left Bouknight averaging 9.8 minutes per game in his rookie season and he didn’t see much playing time in the streak under coach James Borrego.

When he got more time in select matches, Bouknight proved his worth. Bouknight, who averaged 15.8 points in preseason last year, rode a four-game streak in December 2021 when he averaged 20.8 minutes and produced 12.5 points per match. This included his best performance of the season on December 10, when he was 9 of 14 from the ground and 6 of 8 from beyond the arc, finishing the game with 24 points in a win over Sacramento.

The Hornets have a new coach in New England, Steve Clifford, who would have trusted Bouknight during training camp.

Will this lottery pick get the chance to show off his skills this pre-season like he did last year? We’ll see Sunday at 1 p.m. when Charlotte takes on the Celtics in Boston.

Kemba walker

Walker, of course, made his mark at Storrs when he led the Huskies on a magical run to the 2011 NCAA title and was the tournament’s most notable player. He was also the second-leading scorer in the nation, averaging 26.7 points that season.

Walker was drafted by Charlotte in 2011 and spent eight years with the franchise before being traded to the Celtics. And while Walker was an NBA All-Star from 2017 to 2020, he recently struggled with injuries.

The Celtics sent him to Oklahoma City in 2021 and the team bought out his contract. Walker signed with his hometown New York Knicks before last season and perhaps his highlight was a triple-double in a Christmas Day win over Atlanta at Madison Square Garden.

Walker sat out in January due to knee pain, then he and the Knicks “mutually” agreed he would sit out the rest of the season. Walker was part of a nightly trade draft that brought him to the Detroit Pistons, but there was immediate reports that Detroit would buy out his contract.

At the start of training camp, Walker was still with the Pistons. Detroit’s first preseason game is at Madison Square Garden against the Knicks on October 4.

Rudy Gay

Gay played for UConn from 2004 to 2006, leading the team in scoring (15.2) as a sophomore. He declared for the NBA draft in 2006, leaving UConn after two seasons.

In 16 seasons with Memphis, Toronto, Sacramento, San Antonio and Utah, Gay has pieced together an impressive NBA career. The 2006 first-team NBA All-Rookie team member averaged over 20 points three times and was a consistent 17-20 point scorer in the first twelve years of his career.

After four seasons with San Antonio, Gay signed a three-year contract with the Jazz before last season. He averaged 8.1 points in 55 games last season.

Now 36, Gay recently said he was motivated to come back better this season. The Jazz gutted their team in the offseason, trading both Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. With so many new pieces on the roster, a veteran like Gay can be the glue that holds this Utah team together.

Or Gay could be sent to a competitor. His name has been mentioned in trade rumors.

It will open the preseason on Sunday when Utah plays in Toronto (6 p.m.)

André Drummond

The pride of Middletown, Drummond attended Woodrow Wilson Middle School before attending Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford and St. Thomas More.

The 6-foot-10 Drummond only spent one season with UConn, starting 30 of the 34 games he appeared in. Drummond led the team in rebounds (7.6), blocks (2.7) and field goal percentage (.538). He averaged 10 points and earned a spot on the Big East All-Freshman team and made himself available for the 2012 NBA draft.

He was drafted by the Detroit Pistons at No. 9 and played in Detroit through 2020. In the 2015-16 season, Drummond made his first-team NBA All-Star and was the league’s rebounding leader. NBA. He led the league in rebounding two more years, 2018 and 2020.

Drummond has since jumped from team to team and been on four rosters in just two seasons (Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets).

In July, Drummond signed a two-year contract with the Chicago Bulls. At 29 and entering his 11th season, Drummond will provide a rebound from the bench in Chicago.

The Bulls play their home opener against the New Orleans Pelicans on Oct. 4 at 9:30 p.m.

Jeremy Lamb

The 2012 first-round pick played for UConn from 2010-12 spent 10 seasons in the NBA, splitting last season between Indiana and Sacramento.

Lamb, a shooting guard, averaged 7.1 points for the Pacers and 7.9 for the Kings. In total, he averaged 10.1 points in 573 NBA games with Oklahoma City, Charlotte, Indiana and Sacamento.

At 30, he is currently a free agent.

Tyrese Martin

Martin played at Rhode Island and transferred to UConn to play for Dan Hurley, who recruited him. In two seasons with the Huskies, Martin turned into an NBA prospect.

He averaged 13.6 points and 7.5 rebounds as a senior. The 6-6 Martin went 51st overall in the NBA Draft, landing with the Atlanta Hawks.

After impressing in the Las Vegas Summer League, Martin signed a two-year contract with the Hawks. The Hawks started camp early and Martin would have impressed as a “catch and shoot” 3-point threat which contributes to the defense.

The Hawks travel to Abu Dhabi and will play preseason games Oct. 6-8 against the Milwaukee Bucks at noon.

Isaiah Whaley

The 6-9 Whaley had an interesting career at UConn, playing sparingly as a sophomore in Hurley’s first season to become an invaluable player as a senior.

He averaged 8 points and 6.2 rebounds while shooting 34.8 percent from 3-point range in 2020-21. As a freshman, he averaged 7.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and shot 29.1 percent on 3 while providing UConn with energy at both ends.

Overall, he averaged 5.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 138 games. But he was not drafted.

In September, he signed a non-guaranteed contract with the Hornets. He’s in camp, probably trying to earn a spot in the G-League.

About Ronda Reed

Check Also

TCU men’s basketball: Mike Miles scores 26 points in 77-66 win over Lamar

After a narrow victory over Arkansas Pine Bluff Monday, TCU took care of business Friday …