Local flavor in the NBA all-time team: Have the Utes or Cougars produced the best players?

The Utah Utes, BYU Cougars, Utah State Aggies and Weber State Wildcats have all produced their fair share of talented NBA players. Even Utah Valley University, Snow College, Dixie State, Salt Lake Community College, College of Eastern Utah and Westminster College have had players make it to the association.

While every college programs in the state have had players make it to the NBA, not all have them have had a significant impact. In fact, most didn’t stay in the league for very long before finishing their careers or heading to play basketball overseas.

Even though there are no hall of famers in the bunch, there is still enough talent to form an impressive all-time team from the players who played their college ball locally.

Here is my all-time NBA team of players from Utah schools.

Bench

Lionel Hollins, guard, Dixie (1975-1985)

While many only know Hollins as a coach, he was a fantastic lead-guard for some of the best teams in Portland Trail Blazers history. He played 11 seasons in the NBA with the Trail Blazers, Philadelphia 76ers, San Diego Clippers, Detroit Pistons and Houston Rockets. One of his best seasons came in Portland in 1977-78 when he made his only all-star game appearance after he averaged 15.9 points on 44.2 percent shooting from the floor. He added 4.7 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.9 steals.

For his career, he averaged 11.6 points on 44.4 percent shooting with 4.5 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 673 games.

Mervin Jackson, guard, Utah (1968-1973)

While his career in the ABA was short-lived, Jackson was productive player while he was on the court. He played five seasons for the Los Angeles/Utah Star and the Memphis Tams. His best year came in Los Angeles as a rookie when he made the all-star game with after averaging 15.7 points on 42.3 percent shooting from the floor. He added 4.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 32.6 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 11.6 points on 41.1 percent shooting with 3.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 26.3 minutes.

Andre Miller, guard, Utah (1999-current)

Miller has been the most durable player to ever come out of Utah. He has played for 17 seasons for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings, Minnesota Timberwolves and the San Antonio Spurs. One of his best seasons came in Cleveland in 2001-02 when he averaged 16.5 points on 45.4 percent shooting from the floor. He added a league-leading 10.9 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 37.3 minutes.

So far in his career, he is averaging 12.5 points on 46.1 percent shooting with 6.5 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 1,304 games. His 8,524 assists are ninth most in NBA history.

Mike Newlin, guard, Utah, (1971-1982)

Newlin was an impressive scorer during his NBA career. He played 11 seasons for the Houston Rockets, New Jersey Nets and New York Knicks. His most productive seasons came in New Jersey where he was the team’s leading scorer in back-to-back years, including 21.4 points per game on 49.7 percent shooting in  1980-81.

For his career, he averaged 14.9 points on 46.6 percent shooting with 4.0 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 837 games.

Nate Williams, guard/forward, Utah State (1971-79)

Williams had a very productive career in the NBA even though he never played big minutes. He played eight seasons for the Cincinnati Royals/Kansas City Kings, New Orleans Jazz and the Golden State Warriors. One of his best years came with the Kings in 1973-74 when he averaged 15.5 points on 46.2 percent shooting from the floor and 81.8 percent from the foul line. He added 4.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.8 steals in 30.6 minutes a contest.

For his career, he averaged 12 points on 45.8 percent shooting with 3.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.1 steals in 642 games.

Keith Van Horn, forward, Utah (1997-2006)

One of the best to ever put on a Utah Utes jersey, also had a very successful pro career. He played nine seasons for the New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks, Milwaukee Bucks and the Dallas Mavericks. One of his best seasons came with the Nets in 1998-99 when he averaged 21.8 points on 42.8 percent shooting from the floor and 85.9 percent from the free-throw line. He added 8.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.3 blocks and 1.0 steals in 37.5 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 16 points on 44.3 percent shooting with 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 575 games.

Fred Roberts forward/center, BYU (1983-1997)

Even though he bounced around the league, playing for seven different teams, Roberts had a solid NBA career. He played 13 seasons for the San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz, Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks. He was at the top of his game in Milwaukee where he put up his best numbers during his three years as a starter. One of his finest showings came in the 1990-91 seasons when he averaged 10.8 points on 53.3 percent shooting from the floor. He added 3.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 25.8 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 7.3 points on 50.2 percent shooting with 2.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 818 games.

Jim Eakins, forward/center, BYU (1968-1978)

Eakins was a strong inside presence with nice shooting touch. He played 10 seasons in the ABA and NBA for the Oakland Oaks/Washington Capitols/Virginia Squires, Utah Stars, New York Nets, Kansas City Kings, San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks. One of his best seasons came with the Squires in 1973-74 when he made the ABA all-star game after he averaged 14.6 points on 52 percent shooting from the floor. He added 9.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.2 blocks in 31.5 minutes.

For his career, he averaged 10.8 points on 50.4 percent shooting with 7.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.0 blocks in 767 games.

Shawn Bradley, center, BYU (1993-2005)

While he is remembered very prominently for all the times he got dunked on, Bradley was an impressive rim protector who finished in the top five in blocked shots during his first eight years in the league. He played 12 seasons for the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets and the Dallas Mavericks. One of his best seasons came in 1996-97 when he averaged 13.2 points on 44.9 percent shooting from the floor. He added 8.4 rebounds and a league-leading 3.4 blocks in 31.3 minutes a contest.

For his career, he averaged 8.1 points on 45.7 percent shooting with 6.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in 832 games. His 2.5 blocks per game are ninth best in NBA history.

Bill McGill, center, Utah (1962-65, 68-1970)

Though his career never played out the way many had thought after he was the No.1 overall pick by the Chicago Zephyers in the 1962, McGill was still a solid post presence in the NBA and ABA. He played five seasons for nine different teams with his best time coming with the New York Knicks in 1963-64. That season, he played 68 games in New York and averaged 16 points on 48.7 percent shooting from the floor. He added 5.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 25.5 minutes a night.

For his career, he averaged 10.5 points on 51.4 percent shooting with 4.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 295 games.

Starters

Damian Lillard, guard, Weber State (2012-current)

It didn’t take long for Lillard to prove that he is the best lead guard to ever come out of Utah and one of the elite guards in the game today. He has played four seasons for the Portland Trail Blazers where he has been a two-time all-star. One of his best seasons so far came in 2015-16 when he averaged 25.1 points on 41.9 percent shooting from the floor to lead a new-look squad into the playoffs. He added 6.8 assists and 4.0 rebounds in 75 games.

To this point in his career, he is averaging 21.4 points on 42.6 percent shooting with 6.3 assists and 3.8 rebounds in 321 games.

Danny Ainge,  guard, BYU (1981-1995)

After spending a few years trying his hand at baseball, Ainge made the right decision to join the Boston Celtics where he became a huge contributor on one of the best teams of the era. He played 14 seasons for the Celtics, Sacramento Kings, Portland Trail Blazers and the Phoenix Suns. One of his best seasons came in Boston in 1987-88 when he made his only all-star game after he averaged 15.7 points on 49.1 percent shooting from the floor. He added a 6.2 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 37.3 minutes a night.

For his career, he averaged 11.5 points on 46.9 percent shooting with 4.0 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 1,042 games.

Tom Chambers, forward, Utah (1981-1998)

Chambers starting scoring the ball from the moment he stepped on a NBA floor and didn’t stop until he had amassed more than 20,000 points. He played He played for 16 years with the San Diego Clippers, Seattle SuperSonics, Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz, Charlotte Hornets and the Philadelphia 76ers. He was at his best with the Suns where he made three all-star games and was All-NBA Second-Team in back-to-back years. one of his most impressive campaigns came in 1989-90 when he averaged 27.2 points on 50.1 shooting from the floor and 86.1 percent from the free-throw line. He added 7.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.1 steals in 37.6 minutes a night.

For his career, he averaged 18.1 points on 46.8 percent shooting with 6.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 1,107 games.

Mel Hutchins, forward/center, BYU (1951-58)

While his career was cut short, Hutchins was a terrific player during the early days of the NBA. He played seven seasons for the Milwaukee Hawks, Fort Wayne Pistons and the New York Knicks, and was a four-time all-star. One of his best statistical seasons came with the Hawks in 1952-53 when he averaged a double-double with 11.7 points and 11.2 rebounds to go along with 3.2 assists in 40.7 minutes a game.

For his career, he averaged 11.1 points on 38.9 percent shooting with 9.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 437 games.

Andrew Bogut, center, Utah (2005-current)

After staring for the Utes for two seasons, Bogut landed with the Milwaukee Bucks with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 draft. He has played 11 years for the Bucks and Golden State Warriors. One of his best seasons came in Milwaukee in 2009-10 when he was All-NBA Third-Team after he averaged 15.9 points on 52 percent shooting from the floor. He added 10.2 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 1.8 assists in 32.3 minutes.

To this point in his career, he is averaging 10.3 points on 53.5 percent shooting with 8.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.6 blocks in 644 games.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s