Following a summer filled with superstar trades and a litany of player movement, the NBA is gearing up for the start of the regular season on Oct. 17. Ten former Longhorns will be on NBA rosters on opening day, including 2017 Finals MVP Kevin Durant. Below are three former Longhorns to watch before the season tips off.
Avery Bradley, Guard, Detroit Pistons
Coming off his best year in the NBA, with career highs in points, rebounds and assists, Avery Bradley was traded from the Boston Celtics to the Detroit Pistons on July 7. Now, playing alongside center Andre Drummond and point guard Reggie Jackson, Bradley is expected to be a key piece for a team with little success in recent memory. The Pistons haven’t won a playoff series since 2008.
Myles Turner, Center, Indiana Pacers
Despite the major headlines coming out of Indianapolis this summer surrounding the departure of star forward Paul George, few talked about the impact the trade would have on Pacers center Myles Turner. After a solid sophomore season last year, averaging 14.5 points and 7.3 rebounds, the keys belong to Turner and newly acquired guard Victor Oladipo, who now look to be the building blocks in Indiana. The Pacers won’t contend for a title this year, but Turner’s development could spell future playoff success.
Tristan Thompson, Center, Cleveland Cavaliers
Be on the lookout for where Tristan Thompson winds up before the trade deadline this season. After losing their second NBA Finals in three seasons, the Cavaliers have restocked with the additions of Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade. Cleveland also acquired the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round draft pick, a valuable asset that projected to be in the top five of the 2018 draft.
Thompson briefly found himself in trade rumors this summer, and some believe the Cavaliers may try to package the pick and Thompson for a star-caliber player around the trading deadline. But if Thompson remains in Cleveland, he will continue to hold down the paint for LeBron James’ squad in the NBA playoffs.