Rejoice! The NBA is finally back and we’re due for one of the most entertaining seasons in memory. For you Buffs fans out there that don’t care about the NBA as much as you do former Colorado players, there’s reason to celebrate as there are four active NBA players representing Boulder.
Spencer Dinwiddie, Brooklyn Nets
The legendary Colorado point guard is hooping in his spiritual home in the hipster capital known as Brooklyn. Dinwiddie was signed by the Nets last season after playing two seasons with the Detroit Pistons and the 2016 summer with the Chicago Bulls. He played 59 games in 2016-17 in those gorgeous Nets jerseys and with efficient play he earned 18 starts after Jeremy Lin went down with an injury. Now that Lin is back and the Nets traded for D’Angelo Russell, Dinwiddie won’t be starting any longer, but he’s proved that he can a consistent backup point guard for many years to come.
André Roberson, Oklahoma City Thunder
Roberson will be a significant factor in the NBA Championship hunt and he’s part of one of the best starting lineups in the NBA. Known for his lockdown defense that earned him a nod on the 2nd Team All-NBA Defense team last season, Roberson will be an elite defender alongside OKC’s big three of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. Dré will also benefit from George’s versatility, because PG is a good enough defender for the Thunder to sit Roberson in moments when the opposing team might be intentionally putting him on the free throw line. Hopefully in 2017-18 we’ll see the best of Roberson and he’ll be instrumental in helping knock off the Death Star Warriors.
Alec Burks, Utah Jazz
Hopefully this is the year Alec Burks is finally healthy for a full season. Thanks to shoulder and leg injuries, Burks has only played 100 total games in the past three seasons. When he’s healthy, he’s been electric in both a starting role and as a sixth man. Now that the Jazz are without do-everything wing Gordon Hayward (get well soon), they will need all the offensive versatility Burks can provide. With as little shooting as Utah has, they desperately need both his superb driving ability to create openings in packed defenses and his playmaking skill to capitalize on that. But as is always the case, Burks is good enough to be a key player, he just needs to stay on the court.
Derrick White, San Antonio Spurs
Colorado’s own Derrick White did the impossible and worked his ass off to go from unrecruited to D-II to All-Pac-12 to first round NBA pick. He’s now with the San Antonio Spurs, which considering their reputation for developing NBA talent and how they play the game of basketball, White is in the best place for him to carve out a long-term role in the NBA. He probably won’t play much for the Spurs in his first season — he’s behind Patty Mills, Dejounte Murray and Bryn Forbes on the point guard depth chart — but everyone knows White will work as hard as ever to become the best player he can be.