San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard and Oklahoma City’s Paul George highlight the list
Golden State’s Patrick McCaw, Phoenix’s Derrick Jones, Los Angeles’ Larry Nance are the notable rising players among the list
The 2017-18 NBA season tips off tonight
The 2017-18 NBA regular season opens Tuesday night. As a tribute to our fellow Mountain West stars, I’ve compiled a list of every ex-Mountain West player that is on an opening day roster.
For the sake of inclusion, Fresno State’s Paul George and Nevada’s Luke Babbitt, Javale McGee and Ramon Sessions are on the list, even though both programs were members of the Western Athletic Conference at the time they went to school.
Ex-San Diego State star Kawhi Leonard highlights the list. He’s an NBA champion, two-time all-star, two-time defensive player of the year, and a four-time member of the all-defensive team.
Oklahoma City’s Paul George is also a big name. After seven successful season with the Indiana Pacers, George will team up with Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City to try to content with Leonard’s Spurs and Steph Curry’s Warriors.
The only rookie to secure an opening day NBA roster spot was former Colorado State guard Gian Clavell. He was picked up in the summer league by Miami Heat, where he was fairly productive and even hit a clutch game-tying three-pointer in one of the summer league games. He’s been offered a two-way contract by the Dallas Mavericks, which means he will likely share time between the G League and NBA roster throughout the season.
The complete list of former Mountain West players on opening day NBA rosters is below.
Jason Smith, Washington Wizards (Colorado State)
Gian Clavell, Dallas Mavericks (Colorado State)
Tyler Johnson, Miami Heat (Fresno State)
Paul George, Oklahoma City (Fresno State)
Luke Babbitt, Atlanta Hawks (Nevada)
Javale McGee, Golden State Warriors (Nevada)
Ramon Sessions, New York Knicks (Nevada)
Tony Snell, Milwaukee Bucks (New Mexico)
Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs (San Diego State)
Rashad Vaughn, Milwaukee Bucks (UNLV)
Khem Birch, Orlando Magic (UNLV)
Patrick McCaw, Golden State Warriors (UNLV)
Derrick Jones, Jr., Phoenix Suns (UNLV)
Larry Nance, Jr., Los Angeles Lakers (Wyoming)