We are roughly three weeks away from the beginning of the NBA season, so it is time to revisit our coverage of Cyclones in the pro basketball ranks.
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It hasn’t been easy in recent months for former Cyclones. First, Diante Garrett was traded from the Utah Jazz to the Toronto Raptors and then dumped as part of a salary-dump strategy. Then, Chris Babb was cut by the Boston Celtics due to a glut of guards with Rajon Rando, Avery Bradley, and former Oklahoma State Cowboys superstar Marcus Smart. And finally, DeAndre Kane was given a spot with the Los Angeles Lakers summer team and Melvin Ejim with the San Antonio Spurs, but neither were able to secure a roster spot for training camp.
Despair not though, good friends, for things are not as bleak as they seem. Garrett was signed to the Portland Trailblazers for their training camp, where I think he has a decent chance to make it on the full roster. Additionally, Ejim, Kane, and Clyburn have signed with European teams in Italy, Russia, and Germany, respectively. Other Cyclones like Royce White and Craig Brackins have also been forced into either the NBA Development League or overseas as well. We will do our best to keep you updated on the former players’ international performances.
As you can all see, it hasn’t been the easiest road to the pros for the former Iowa Staters; for years we suffered with talent befitting lackluster recruiting, which in turn gave the players few opportunities to really grow and demonstrate their talent. Now that Fred Hoiberg is in charge and running an offense very much similar to some professional teams, we are seeing more exposure nationwide. Several pieces have been run on ESPN recently mentioning key Cyclones. Now we can only hope that this leads to more success in players making NBA rosters.
Feel free to weigh in on who you think might be the next Cyclone to get a real shot at the pro ranks.