Huskies in NBA: Rudy Gay and Andre Drummond sign with new teams

With the opening of the NBA free agency period, a number of former Huskies have already found themselves on new teams.

Center Andre Drummond has signed a minimum one-year contract with the Philadelphia 76ers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Drummond was most recently a member of the Los Angeles Lakers after agreeing to a buyout with the Cleveland Cavaliers on last year’s trade deadline. Many thought he was going to be the missing piece that guided the Lakers to their second straight NBA Championship, but he never really gelled with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Now, he will provide key save minutes to center Joel Embiid, someone he has run into in the head on many occasions in the past.

The sixers won first place in the Eastern Conference last year but had another disappointing playoff outing, this time against the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The addition of a great veteran like Drummond, who has led the NBA to rebound four times, could potentially take them to the next level. However, with All-Star forward Ben Simmons still on the trading block, they’ll likely look very different overall next year, so at this point it’s unclear whether Drummond will fit in with the. team that the Sixers trot on opening day.

A native of Middletown, CT, Drummond was drafted ninth in the 2012 NBA Draft after playing a season at UConn. He spent nearly eight seasons with the Detroit Pistons, where he was twice named All-Star (2016 and 2018). He was then shipped to Cleveland in exchange for Brandon Knight, John Henson and a second-round pick in 2023.

Plus, little striker Rudy Gay is now a member of the new Utah Jazz. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Gay’s contract is worth $ 12.1 million over two years.

Gay was a highly touted rookie from Baltimore, Md., And won the Big East All-Freshman team honors in his first season in a Husky uniform. He then continued with a second campaign in which he was one of four finalists for Naismith’s Player of the Year, with JJ Reddick of Duke, Adam Morrison of Gonzaga and Allan Ray of Villanova. Gay declared himself for the draft after that season and was ranked No.8 overall by the Houston Rockets, but was then immediately packed with Stromile Swift and traded to the Memphis Grizzlies for Shane Battier.

He then spent the next seven years at Memphis, establishing himself as one of the best small forwards in the league. After a short stint in Toronto, Gay spent four seasons each with the Sacramento Kings and, most recently, the San Antonio Spurs.

During his incredible 17-year career, Gay has never been on an All-Star team, but has been a model of consistency and class for every team he has adapted to. With career averages of 16.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, Gay could give a balanced jazz team that extra boost and versatility on the bench that they didn’t have last season when they came on. lost in the Western Conference semifinals to the Clippers, after a hot 2-0 start to the series.

While it remains to be seen what impact these talented veterans will have on their new franchises, the two join the top-ranked teams at their respective conferences last season and are in a great position on paper to help their teams get past this. extra step. in contention for the NBA Finals.

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