Basketball player

Every former UCLA male basketball player under contract in the NBA


Twelve players will represent the Bruins in the NBA this season, with everyone from rookies and sixth men to future Hall of Famers ready to appear in league arenas.

With the season starting Oct. 17, the NBA rosters have been set and former UCLA men’s basketball players will prepare to represent the Blues and Golds at the national level once again. Players coached by Ben Howland up to current coach Mick Cronin will be on the pitch during the 2020-2021 season.

Not all of the Bruins had a chance to form a team, however, with guards Bryce Alford and Jaylen Hands coming very close before they were forced to look elsewhere at the end of the offseason. A dozen UCLA alumni will have the chance to appear, and here are all of those under contract for the current campaign.

Players are listed in the order they joined an NBA team, starting with 2021 players.

Before Chris Smith, Detroit Pistons
UCLA, 2017-2021
Written: Not written

After rehabilitating for most of the 2020-2021 season with UCLA, Smith was not drafted in August. The former Bruin student signed a two-way contract with the Pistons, but barring further development, Smith will likely spend most of the season with the G-League Motor City Cruise once he’s fully recovered.

Moses Brown Center, Dallas Mavericks
UCLA, 2019
Written: Not written

After signing with the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2020-2021 season, Brown averaged 8.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. The Boston Celtics traded for Brown after the season, but then traded him to Dallas where he will likely play a small role on the Mavericks bench. At 7ft 2in and just 22, the big man could still make an impact before his third year of professional basketball.

Guard Aaron Holiday, Washington Wizards
UCLA, 2016-2018
Drafted: 1st round, n ° 23 overall

Entering his fourth year in the NBA, Holiday will be entering his first season with a new team. Traded to the Wizards after playing a sixth-man role for the Indiana Pacers the past two seasons, Holiday should have a shot at starting with the Wizards. The Wizards are in a year of rebuilding with a new team that includes former Pac-12 rival Kyle Kuzma. It could be a landmark year for former Bruin.

Guard Lonzo Ball, Chicago Bulls
UCLA, 2017
Drafted: 1st round, n ° 2 in the general classification

Already with his third team in his NBA career, Ball will lead point in Chicago with Zach LaVine by his side as another goalie in the starting rotation. The two Bruins up front will likely force a quick attack with the Bulls, with the two guards loving going to the hoop often. After hitting a career-high 14.6 points per game for the New Orleans Pelicans last season, Ball could lead his new team to the playoffs.

Guard Norman Powell, Portland Trail Blazers
UCLA, 2012-2015
Drafted: 2nd round, # 46 overall

Powell was traded to Portland midway through the last campaign after spending his entire career with the Toronto Raptors, and he’s re-signed to continue playing with the Trail Blazers this offseason. Improving his game over the past few years, Powell has developed a reliable three-point shot. Powell will play tandem with All-Star goaltender Damian Lillard, with goaltender CJ McCollum joining him on the wing, in hopes of qualifying for one of the Western Conference seeds.

Forward Kevon Looney, Golden State Warriors
UCLA, 2015
Drafted: 1st round, n ° 30 overall

Drafted by the Warriors in 2015, Looney is still with the team heading into the 2021-22 season. The big man hasn’t set the world on fire statistically, but plays an important role with the Bay Area team. Like last season, Looney will likely split the time between forward and center, just below James Wiseman and Draymond Green on the depth chart. Don’t be surprised if Looney starts a game every now and then.

Forward Kyle Anderson, Memphis Grizzlies
UCLA, 2013-2014
Drafted: 1st round, n ° 30 overall

The 2020-2021 season provided Anderson with his first season as a full-fledged NBA starter. From the 69 games he’s played, the forward has averaged a career-high 12.4 points per game. Probably playing the same role this season for the Grizzlies, Anderson will play second fiddle behind Ja Morant as a second option to throw shots on the field.

Guard Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls
UCLA, 2014
Drafted: 1st round, n ° 13 in the general classification

Winning a gold medal with the United States this summer at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, LaVine returns to Chicago with a new core built around him. With the additions of Alex Caruso and his former colleague Bruin Lonzo Ball, LaVine has an offensive-minded team to work with in 2021-2022. Starting the season Oct. 19 against the Detroit Pistons, the Bulls will look to get off to a good start and reach the playoffs this season to end a four-year playoff drought.

Guard Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee Bucks
UCLA, 2009
Drafted: 1st round, n ° 17 overall

Like LaVine, Holiday played for the US team, winning a gold medal. Now in the NBA, Holiday won an NBA Championship with the Bucks last season. The holidays begin and facilitate Giannis Antetokounmpo offensively. With a 50% field goal percentage last season, Holiday continues to improve his efficiency while remaining a highly regarded defender. This coming season, Holiday will try to repeat with the Bucks.

Forward Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers
UCLA, 2008
Drafted: 1st round, n ° 5 in the general classification

Love played the fewest games in a season in his career last year, but that was in part because of injuries and fitness issues. Under contract until the 2022-23 season, Love will likely play a smaller role with the Cavaliers this campaign. Business rumors have circulated around the former All-American first team, NBA champion and All-Star, but nothing has yet been formulated for Love to move to a new city.

Guard Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers
UCLA, 2007-2008
Drafted: 1st round, n ° 4 in the general classification

Westbrook is back in Los Angeles. 13 years after being drafted to UCLA, Westbrook returns, dispatched from the Washington Wizards to the Lakers in a successful trade in August. In the midst of a “Big Three” alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Westbrook will play the playmaker for the veteran Lakers team. The former NBA MVP could end up in awards conversations again in 2021-2022, but the pursuit of a title is apparently the top priority.

Forward Trevor Ariza, Los Angeles Lakers
UCLA, 2004
Drafted: 2nd round, n ° 43 overall

NBA’s oldest ex-Bruin will fill the bench for an older Los Angeles Lakers team. Ariza underwent ankle surgery on October 6, putting him out of the conversation for the opening night rotation. When Ariza returns, perhaps over the New Years, he’ll be one of the few shooters on the bench in Los Angeles.

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