Checking in on Oklahoma basketball alumni in the NBA

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma has sent over 400 players to the NFL Draft and a number more have made it to the next level as undrafted free agents. That's far more than the number of Oklahoma basketball players who, as the Sooner men's media guide proudly portrays have gone "from the Crimson and Cream to the NBA dream."

Some of the more notable Sooner alumni who have gone on to outstanding professional careers in the NBA are Alvan Adams of the Phoenix Suns; Garfield Heard, the late, great Wayman Tisdale, who played 12 NBA seasons with three different teams, Stacey King, Mookie Blaylock, Eduardo Najera, and most recently Blake Griffin, who was Oklahoma's only No. 1 overall NBA pick in the 2009 draft. Griffen played 12 seasons in the NBA -- eight with the Los Angeles Clippers, four with the Detroit Pistons, two with the Brooklyn Nets and last season with the Boston Celtics.

Terry Stotts played at Oklahoma in the late 1970s and was selected in the 1980 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets but never actually played in the NBA. He found a different NBA career path, coaching. He was an assistant coach in the NBA for 10 seasons and was head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers for nine seasons.

Three former Sooners are playing key roles on three different NBA teams this season. OU All-American and Naismith Player of the Year Buddy Hield is in his eighth pro season. He started out the 2023-24 NBA season as a member of the Indiana Pacers but was traded midseason to the Philadelphia 76ers. "Buddy Buckets," as Sooner fans nicknamed him, averaged 12.0 points in 52 games for Indiana this season, but he's averaging 18.1 in the short time he has been in Philadelphia.

Trae Young, who led NCAA Division I college teams in scoring and assists in the one season (2017-18) he was at Oklahoma, has been the main man for the Atlanta Hawks all six seasons he's been there. He's averaging 26.4 points and 10.8 assists through 51 games this season. Young's best scoring year in Atlanta was his second season with the team (2019-20), when he averaged almost 30.0 points a game.

Young was actually drafted No. 5 overall in the 2018 NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks but was traded to Atlanta in the opening round of that year's draft in exchange for the rights to the No. 3 overall draft pick, Luka Doncic.

Austin Reaves was an undrafted free agent upon graduation from Oklahoma in 2021. His senior season at OU, Reaves averaged 18.4 points. 5.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists. He signed with the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent in 2021 and is in his third season with the Lakers. Reaves has definitely found a home in LA. The former Sooner sharpshooter is averaging 15.7 points and 5.4 assists per game in 59 games, including 34 starts, this season.