LSU basketball in the NBA: Opening week is underway


A look at what to expect from former LSU basketball players around the NBA as the 2015-2016 season gets underway.

The LSU basketball team may not be as well represented in the pros as their football counterparts, but there are still several former Tigers in the NBA who are looking to make their presence felt during the 2015-2016 season.

LSU has a trio of alums who have established themselves as savvy veterans around the league. There is also a trio of young players that played under current head coach Johnny Jones, who are looking to make a splash this season.

None of these players are expected to crack the starting lineups of their respective teams as they begin play this week, but that does not mean they will not make an impact.

Here is a look at what to expect from the former LSU basketball stars currently playing in the NBA as the 2015-2016 season gets underway.

Next: LSU basketball: Josh Gray 'locked in' this season

Brandon Bass, power forward, Los Angeles Lakers

After averaging 10.6 points and 4.9 rebounds per game for the Boston Celtics last season, Brandon Bass signed a two-year, $6 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers this past offseason.

The 10-year NBA veteran will provide post offense, a reliable jumpshot and respectable rebounding ability off the bench for the Lakers, but his most important asset will be as a mentor to Julius Randle, the No. 7 overall pick in 2014 NBA Draft.

Marcus Thornton, shooting guard, Houston Rockets

Marcus Thornton will be playing for the sixth team of his seven-year NBA career this season, after signing with the Houston Rockets on a one-year veteran’s minimum deal in the offseason.

The sharpshooting guard averaged 7.9 points in just 15 minutes per game last season for the Boston Celtics and Phoenix Suns, shooting 37.8 percent from behind the 3-point line.

While Thornton will likely see limited action again this year, playing behind arguably the best shooting guard in the game in James Harden, he will be a perfect fit on a Rockets team that loves to fire away shots from long-range.

Garrett Temple, shooting guard, Washington Wizards

Faced with uncertainty in the free agent market, Garrett Temple exercised his player option to return to the Washington Wizards this season.

Temple averaged 3.6 points in 14.2 minutes per game last season for the Wizards. The former LSU basketball standout is capable of playing either guard position, but it is unlikely that he will see an increase in playing time in a crowded Washington backcourt that includes John Wall, Ramon Sessions, Bradley Beal and Gary Neal.

Johnny O’Bryant, center, Milwaukee Bucks

Johnny O’Bryant is looking to build off of an impressive preseason and solidify a spot in the Milwaukee Bucks’ playing rotation during his second season in the NBA.

The 6-foot-9 center averaged just over 10 minutes per game during his rookie campaign, but with former No. 2 overall pick Jabari Parker still recovering from a torn ACL, O’Bryant could see a spike in playing time during the early weeks of the season.

Jarell Martin, power forward, Memphis Grizzlies 

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The start of Jarell Martin’s NBA career has been put on hold after undergoing surgery on a foot fracture in early September.

The versatile forward has been battling injuries ever since being selected by the Memphis Grizzlies with the 25th overall pick in June’s NBA Draft.

At his introductory press conference, it was announced that Martin had a stress fracture in his foot and would miss all of summer league. It is uncertain when he will make his NBA debut.

Jordan Mickey, power forward, Boston Celtics

Jordan Mickey, one of the most electrifying players in college basketball last season, will have his NBA debut put on hold as well.

The Boston Celtics placed the athletic big man on the inactive list to start the season, a result of a crowded frontcourt. He will face an uphill battle, competing with veterans such as David Lee, Tyler Zeller, Kelly Olynyk, Amir Johnson and Jared Sullinger for playing time.

Mickey was selected in the second round of this year’s NBA Draft after leading the nation in blocked shots per game last season.