The NBA season tips off Tuesday, and the University of Arizona will be well represented across the league.
Here’s a look at all 10 players and 11 coaches with Arizona Wildcats connections on NBA rosters:
Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns
- 2021-2022 stats: 17.2 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 0.7 BPG, 63.4 FG%
- Year in league: 5th
- Contract: In first year of 4-year, $132.9 million deal
- Season outlook: Ayton played hardball with the Suns organization in the offseason and ultimately got what he wanted, a maximum contract extension. Now the pressure is on for the 24-year-old center to play up to his superstar salary. A sour taste lingers from last season, when Ayton was benched in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals. If Ayton can put his past quarrels with Suns front office and coaching staff behind him, he has the potential to grow into an All-Star big man.
Aaron Gordon, Denver Nuggets
- 2021-2022 stats: 15.0 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 2.5 APG, 52.0 FG%, 33.5 3PT%
- Year in league: 9th
- Contract: In first year of 4-year, $86.6 million deal
- Season outlook: Gordon improved in most key categories last season, including a 6% rise in shooting percentage, but he struggled to perform consistently at times. Defensively, Gordon was often tasked with defending the opposing team’s top scorer, which wore him down. With Michael Porter Jr. healthy and back in the lineup, Gordon will slide over to his more traditional role of power forward. That change should free up Gordon to be more assertive on both sides of the ball.
Lauri Markkanen, Utah Jazz
- 2021-2022 stats: 14.8 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.3 APG, 44.5 FG%, 35.8 3PT%
- Year in league: 6th
- Contract: In 2nd year of a 4-year, $67 million deal
- Season outlook: For the second season in a row, Markkanen begins the year on a new team, having been traded from Cleveland to Utah over the summer. Markkanen should be a top scoring option for a young Jazz team discovering its identity under a new coaching staff and with a different core roster than years past. During preseason, Markkanen averaged 16.5 points and 6.8 rebounds.
Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors
- 2021-2022 stats: 4.0 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 3.7 APG, 0.9 SPG, 38.0 FG%, 23.0 3PT%
- Year in league: 19th
- Contract: In 1st and final year of a 1-year, $2.9 million deal
- Season outlook: Iguodala announced prior to the season that he will retire after this year. Iguodala played in just 31 regular season games last year and isn’t expected to be a significant contributor to the Warriors this season. His greatest value is his experience and leadership, which will be needed to repair the wounds of the Draymond Green/Jordan Poole incident. Iguodala is seeking to become the 7th player in NBA history to win five NBA championships and an NBA Finals MVP.
T.J. McConnell, Indiana Pacers
- 2021-2022 stats: 8.5 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 4.9 APG, 1.1 SPG, 48.1 FG%, 30.3 3PT%
- Year in league: 8th
- Contract: In 2nd year of 4-year, $33.6 million deal
- Season outlook: McConnell is healthy after missing most of last season due to injury. The 30-year old point guard will fill some crucial minutes in Indiana’s backcourt. McConnell should benefit from playing alongside electrifying athletes like Tyrese Haliburton and Benn Mathurin.
Zeke Nnaji, Denver Nuggets
- 2021-2022 stats: 6.6 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 0.3 BPG, 51.6 FG%, 46.3 3PT %
- Year in league: 3rd
- Contract: In 3rd year of 4-year, $11.8 million deal
- Season outlook: Nnaji appeared in 41 regular season games in his second year in the league, posting improvements in all areas. Denver recently picked up Nnaji’s fourth-year team option, a signal that the front office sees potential in the 21-year-old. To no fault of his own, Nnaji is still deep in the Nuggets depth chart. He’ll need to provide consistent scoring and rebounding to earn greater minutes this season.
Josh Green, Dallas Mavericks
- 2021-2022 stats: 4.8 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 1.2 APG, 0.7 SPG, 50.8 FG%, 35.9 3PT%
- Year in league: 3rd
- Contract: In 3rd year of 4-year, $13.6 million deal
- Season outlook: Green played in 67 regular season games for Dallas last year. He enters this season with less pressure knowing Dallas recently picked up the fourth year of his contract. However, Green has an uphill fight for playing time at the wing position. He saw little action during the preseason.
Bennedict Mathurin, Indiana Pacers
- Year in league: 1st
- Contract: In 1st year of 4-year, $29.9 million deal
- Season outlook: Mathurin, the 6th overall pick of the NBA Draft, should provide plenty of energy off the bench for a young Pacers team. The Indiana staff will want to ease Mathurin into the league, but if the season gets off the rails early, he may be asked to play more minutes than originally expected. Mathurin looked comfortable in preseason action, posting 18 points, five rebounds and three assists in Indiana’s last tune-up. Mathurin has +550 odds to win NBA Rookie of the Year, according to DraftKings Sportsbook.
Dalen Terry, Chicago Bulls
- Year in league: 1st
- Contract: In 1st year of 4-year, $15.5 million deal
- Season outlook: Terry will begin the season in a reserve role for the Bulls, who are deep at the wing spot with Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan. Terry’s energy, particularly on defense, will ensure him plenty of minutes as a rookie. The biggest question mark surrounding Terry is his jump shot. If he can shoot at a respectable clip (above 40%), he’ll find his way in the Chicago rotation a lot sooner. DraftKings gives Terry +6000 odds to win Rookie of the Year.
Christian Koloko, Toronto Raptors
- Year in league: 1st
- Contract: In 1st year of 3-year, $5.2 million deal
- Season outlook: Koloko will begin the year in a reserve role for the Raptors, but it might not be long until he cracks the rotation. The big man did everything right in the preseason, including a 12-point, four-rebound, two-block performance in Toronto’s final tune-up. Koloko is Toronto’s tallest player by four inches, which gives him some serious size leverage.
- Steve Kerr — Golden State Warriors head coach
- Luke Walton — Cleveland Cavaliers assistant coach
- Jason Terry — Utah Jazz assistant coach
- Bret Brielmaier — Orlando Magic assistant coach
- Jessie Mermuys — Orlando Magic assistant coach
- Jud Buechler — New York Knicks assistant coach
- Bruce Fraser — Golden State Warriors player development coach
- Joseph Blair — Washington Wizards assistant coach
- Quinton Crawford — Dallas Mavericks assistant coach
- Damon Stoudamire — Boston Celtics assistant coach
- Miles Simon — Los Angeles Lakers’ G-League head coach (South Bay Lakers)
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.