The NBA just had a wild week since the NBA Draft took place. Outside of the draft, teams and their front offices were and are still very busy making moves to hopefully improve their rosters. Many of those moves consisted of former Illinois prep athletes. Below I look at their movements which include being drafted, being waived, traded, and signed to new contracts.
- Keita Bates-Diop (University)- Bates-Diop is now a free agent. Last season for the Spurs, he played in 30 games and averaged 2.6 points and 1.6 rebounds in 8.2 minutes of play.
- Sterling Brown (Proviso East)- Brown is staying in Texas as he is going from playing for the Houston Rockets to the Dallas Mavericks. Last season, Brown played 51 games and started in a career-high 14 games. The help of a rebuilding roster and his increased playing time, Brown was able to post several career-high which include points (8.2), rebounds (4.4), three-point percentage (42.3%), and minutes (24.1).
- Jevon Carter (Proviso East)- Carter was involved in a NBA Draft night (more like day) trade that sent him to the Brooklyn Nets. Carter played in a career-high 60 games (1 start) during the 2020-21 season. During his two seasons as a member of the Phoenix Suns, he played in 81.4 percent of the team’s games (118 of 145).
- Ayo Dosunmu (Morgan Park)- The local product is staying in the state of Illinois for another season. Chicago Bulls selected the Morgan Park and University of Illinois standout with the 38th overall pick of the NBA Draft. During his final season at Illinois, Dosunmu averaged 20.1 points on 48.8 percent shooting (including 39 percent from three) with 6.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 1.1 steals in 35.1 minutes per game over 28 games. For a full recap of the selection, read my story here.
- Richaun Holmes (Lockport)- Lockport’s Holmes is staying with the Sacremento Kings for the foreseeable future. Last season, Holmes played and started in 61 games while averaging a career-best 14.2 points and 8.3 rebounds. He also had a career-high 21 double-doubles.
- Talen Horton-Tucker (Simeon)- THT is just 20-years-old and is already an NBA Champion and has bank account larger than 99.999999 percent of people his age. Don’t quote me on that but it has to be true. The Lakers signing him and locking him in for another few season shows the believe in him and see a future with THT as a focal piece. Last season, Horton-Tucker played 65 games while averaging 9 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.0 steals in 20.1 minutes per game
- Andre Iguodala (Lanphier)- After two seasons playing for the Miami Heat, Iguodala is returning to the Golden State Warriors to finish out his career. He is coming off some of his worst seasons of basketball and will turn 38 in January. His leadership and experience could still prove to be valuable especially if he is put in the right situations on the floor.
- Alfonzo McKinnie (Marshall)- The Los Angeles Lakers have been one of those most productive teams this offseason. Unfortunately for McKinnie, that result in the team cutting ties with the 28-year-old. He has four NBA seasons under his belt and has yet to play multiple seasons with a single team.
- Abdel Nader (Niles North)- Abdel Nader is another Illinois guy electing to re-sign with his current team. This past season, he missed 20 games after deciding to get arthroscopy knee procedure but did return for the playoffs. He has yet to miss the playoff since being drafted. Last season, Nader played 24 regular season games averaged a career-high 6.7 points and 2.6 rebounds per game.
- Kendrick Nunn (Simeon)- Nunn is heading from one coast to another this offseason. After two solid seasons playing for the Miami Heat, Nunn is joining the Los Angeles Lakers on a two-year deal worth a reported $10 million. Nunn averaged 14.6 point on shooting splits of .485/.381/.933 with 3.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 0.9 steals in 56 2020-21 regular season games.
- Derrick Rose (Simeon)- Rose was trade to the New York Knicks midseason and not only did he look rejuvenated but the whole Knicks team (and some could argue the whole city) was too. The Knick went 24-11 in Rose’s 35 regular Knicks’ games last season.
- Max Strus (Stagg)- The Hickory Hills native was coming off an ACL injury last season but quickly proved himself on the Miami Heat. Strus played 39 games while averaging 6.1 points and 1.1 rebounds with shooting splits of .455/.338/.667. Scored a season-high 21 points on 6/9 shooting and 5/8 from three in a win over the Rockets on February 11.
- Kiefer Sykes (Marshall)- Sykes signed with the Indiana Pacers. He most recently hit the game-winning shot in the The Basketball Tournament for Boeheim’s army. Prior to the TBT, he averaged 14 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game for the South East Melbourne Phoenix. For more on his big-night, read my full recap here.