Longhorns in the NBA: Durant wins second championship, Bradley re-signs with Clippers

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Photo Credit: Emmanuel Briseño | Daily Texan Staff

On June 21, Texas center Mo Bamba was selected by the Orlando Magic with the 6th overall pick of the 2018 NBA Draft, making him the twelfth Longhorn drafted in the first round since 2006.

From Kevin Durant to Avery Bradley, here’s where some of the most prominent former Longhorns are in their NBA careers:

LaMarcus Aldridge

Typically a soft-spoken character, Aldridge found himself in an uncomfortable spot earlier this year. In January, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich revealed that Aldridge had approached Popovich about his dissatisfaction with his team role and had potentially requested a trade from San Antonio the previous summer.

However, Kawhi Leonard’s lingering quad injury provided Aldridge an opportunity to reclaim the spotlight and lead the team. After posting career-lows in points per game and blocks a season ago, LaMarcus bounced back, averaging 23.1 points per game and 8.5 rebounds this season, en route to his sixth All-Star game selection.

Tristan Thompson

The Kardashian family is famous for their drama. Tristan Thompson is no exception. In a season that should have focused on Thompson’s return to the NBA Finals with LeBron James, he found himself headlining articles after his affair on Khloe Kardashian.

Nevertheless, even in the wake of Thompson’s promiscuity, he managed to help the Cavaliers to their fourth consecutive NBA Finals appearance, where they lost to fellow Longhorn Kevin Durant’s Warriors in a four-game sweep.  With LeBron James announcing his departure from Cleveland, look for Thompson to have an extended role in the Cavaliers’ coming NBA season.

Kevin Durant

Call him what you will: a snake, traitor, ring-chaser, etc., but it’s pretty hard to argue with the results. This summer, Durant won his second championship in as many seasons since signing with the Warriors in 2016. Oh, and he added a second Finals MVP trophy to his collection, too.

Durant finished sixth in the league in scoring during the regular season, averaging 26.4 points per game and appearing in his ninth-consecutive All-Star game. The Golden State juggernaut looks to continue to roll into the 2018–19 NBA season, as Kevin hunts for his third-consecutive championship. Despite a significantly stronger Los Angeles Lakers squad, he should have no problems getting it.

Myles Turner

A reliable starter, Turner has proven to be a competent big man on a young and promising Pacers team. In 2018, Turner proved himself a consistent rebounder, with 6.5 boards per game, while making vast strides in his 3-point shooting, averaging just over two attempts per game and shooting nearly 36 percent from deep.

Continuing to improve and polish his offensive game, Myles has proven his role as a reliable big man and strong interior defender, fitting well into the Indiana’s game plan of speed and defense.

Jarrett Allen

In perhaps the strongest draft class since 2003, it can be easy to overlook players who find themselves as complementary players on struggling teams. Jarrett emerged as a nice pick-and-roll partner with Spencer Dinwiddie and Allen Crabbe, demonstrating himself to be every bit of the explosive dunker he was advertised as in the burnt orange.

The late first-rounder didn’t prove to be the superstar many predicted him to be while at Texas, but Allen appears to be settling into his position as a role player with the young squad in Brooklyn.

Avery Bradley

After beginning the season in Detroit, Bradley was on the move again after being traded midyear in the Piston’s blockbuster deal to acquire Blake Griffin in January. The trade reunited Bradley with coach Doc Rivers in Los Angeles, who coached Bradley in Boston, although Bradley only appeared in six games as a Clipper after undergoing surgery to repair an adductor and rectus abdominis muscles injury.

It was announced Tuesday that Bradley would re-sign with the Clippers on a two-year, $25 million deal, as Bradley will look to lead the Clippers back to the postseason in 2019.