Five Former LSU Players On NBA Opening Night Rosters

by Kent Lowe | Sr. Assoc. Communications Director
Five Former LSU Players On NBA Opening Night Rosters

BATON ROUGE – Five former LSU players will open the 2019-20 National Basketball Association season on rosters of teams as play begins Tuesday night with two games.

Garrett Temple and Ben Simmons are the veteran members of the LSU class of NBA players with Temple entering his tenth season in the league, this year with the Brooklyn Nets.

Temple becomes the sixth former LSU player to play at least a 10th season in the league, joining Brandon Bass (12), Randy Livingston (10), Pete Maravich (11), Shaquille O’Neal (19) and Bob Pettit (11).

Simmons will begin his third season playing for the Philadelphia 76ers after sitting out the entire 2016-17 season with an injury after he was the number one player in the 2016 NBA Draft.

Temple has played in 514 NBA games and is averaging 5.9 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 20.3 minutes per game in his career. The Nets open up the 2019-20 season at home on Wednesday night against Minnesota. 

Simmons in two seasons has averaged 16.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 7.9 assists and the 76ers will open at home on ESPN Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. against Boston. 

Temple and Simmons will see familiar faces possibly on the opposite side on Tuesday as undrafted free agent Naz Reid has earned a spot with the Timberwolves and Tremont Waters, who was drafted in the second round, has a two-way deal with the Celtics. 

Reid averaged 6.3 points and 6.3 rebounds in the preseason, while Waters, sparked by a nice 24 point effort against Cleveland, averaging 10.5 points and 4.0 assists in the preseason. 

Josh Gray is also on a two-way contract, but is on the New Orleans Pelicans roster, which opens the season on Tuesday night at Toronto. He played five games in the 2018 season with Phoenix and then played overseas during 2018-19. 

NBA teams may have up to two players under NBA Two-Way Contracts who will spend the bulk of the season in the NBA G League and not more than 45 days with their NBA team. Two-Way players are paid a corresponding daily amount based on the number of days they play in each league. Only players in their fourth NBA season or earlier are able to sign Two-Way Contracts, which can be for either one or two seasons.

The NBA G League tips off on Friday, Nov. 8 and a record 28 teams will compete in the NBA G League’s 19th season. The Eric Bayhawks is the NOLA G League franchise while the Maine Red Claws are owned by the Boston Celtics.