Four UCLA Bruin Rookies On NBA Opening Day Rosters

Three UCLA Bruins were chosen in the 2014 NBA Draft, all in the first round, but four rookie Bruins appear to have made the opening day rosters of NBA teams.

The Bruin who seems to have made the biggest impression has been Kyle Anderson, the third of the three draft picks at number 30, who was taken by the Champion San Antonio Spurs. Anderson got significant playing time throughout the exhibition season due to the injury suffered by Kawhi Leonard, and Anderson made the most of it, showing the Spurs and coach Gregg Popovich that he definitely had a current role with the team, not to mention a bright future. He averaged 11 points, 4.8 boards, and 2.2 assists, while shooting

48% including 43% on three-point attempts, while playing 23.8 minutes per game. More importantly, he has shown that he fits well into the NBA small forward slot, and if he can gain some bulk, might eventually wind up as a power forward. He's shown he has all the offensive skills necessary, but that he needs considerable improvement on the defensive end. He'll start the season playing behind both Leonard and Austin Daye, but could move up in the rotation.
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In Memphis, where Jordan Adams was the team’s pick at 22, they have penciled in journeyman Courtney Lee as the starter at shooting guard, but Adams will, for now, be the backup, but his playing time also figures to increase as the season goes on, after also having a fine pre-season. He scored in double figures in three of the team’s seven exhibition games, in about 18 minutes per game. He also contributed 10 steals in the equivalent of three full games, with 13 assists and 21 boards. Lee’s career has been spent primarily as a backup and he has never produced significant numbers. In fact last season, he averaged only 11 points per game, with 2.6 boards, 1.5 assists, and 1 steal per game. On a team that considers itself a legitimate contender with size and talent on the front line and a quality point guard, if Adams does well early, he should have every opportunity to contribute.

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The Timberwolves made Zach LaVine the 13th pick in the draft, also as a shooting guard. Kevin Martin is the starter at that spot, and after the draft, they made that major deal, sending Kevin Love to Cleveland, and getting the overall number one pick, shooting guard Andrew Wiggins, in return. So, as talented as LaVine is, and despite how much Minnesota must have liked him to draft him that high despite his puny experience level, he does not figure to see much action
behind both Martin and Wiggins. LaVine could also play point guard, but that spot is just about as crowded, with Ricky Rubio, Mo Williams and J.J. Barea on the roster, but rumors are that a Barea trade may be in the works, so LaVine could get some limited time at both guard spots. He did have some good moments in the preseason, rebounding very well from his back court spots, and having a 15-point high game, while shooting 44% through the exhibition games.

Then, there is New York, and the surprise that the Knicks have pulled out of their hat: Undrafted Travis Wear has made their opening day roster. In fact, they pulled off a late deal, trading away Travis Outlaw to Philadelphia in order to open up a spot for him. As the season is to begin, Wear is listed as occupying the number four slot in the team’s power forward rotation, and no one knows if and when he will actually see any regular season minutes. But, he is on the roster as the season begins.

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