Seven Former Buffs Begin NBA Seasons This Week
BOULDER – Seven former University of Colorado men's basketball standouts – five players and two head coaches - are set for the 2022-23 NBA regular season which begins Tuesday night.
Derrick White (2016-17) and the defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics tip off the former Buffaloes in the NBA on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at home against Philadelphia (5:30 p.m. MT, TNT). White averaged 11.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists and played a key role in the Celtics run to the NBA Finals last season after a mid-season trade from San Antonio.
White enters his sixth overall season, averaging 11.5 points, 3.8 assists and 3.3 rebounds in 263 career games. He averaged 14.5 points and shot 62 percent from the field in four preseason games for the Celtics.
Alec Burks (2009-11), Colorado's elder statesman among current NBA Buffs, debuts with the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday, Oct. 19, at home vs. Orlando (5 p.m.). Burks played the last two seasons with the New York Knicks, playing a career-best 81 games in 2021-22.
Burks enters his 12th NBA season with his seventh team. Originally the 12th overall pick by Utah in 2011, Burks has averaged 10.6 points and 3.5 rebounds over 625 career games. He has played the fourth-most NBA games of any former Buffalo, trailing only Chauncey Billups (1,043 in 17 seasons), Scott Wedman (906 in 13 seasons) and Jay Humphries (788 in 11 seasons).
On the opposite bench of Burks' Detroit debut will be Jamahl Mosley (1997-2001) who enters his second season as Orlando's head coach.
The newest NBA Buff, Jabari Walker (2020-22), tips off action with the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday at Sacramento at 8 p.m. MT. Walker, selected by Portland with the 57th pick in the NBA Draft, played in five preseason games, averaging 5.2 points and 2.4 rebounds while shooting 60 percent.
Billups (1995-97), begins his second season as Portland's head coach.
Spencer Dinwiddie (2011-14) and McKinley Wright IV (2017-21) are with Dallas as the Mavericks begin their season at Phoenix on Wednesday (8 p.m. MT, ESPN).
Dinwiddie joined Dallas via a mid-season trade with Washington last season and averaged 15.8 points and 3.9 assists over 23 games helping the Mavericks to a Western Conference Finals appearance. Originally a second-round pick by Detroit in 2014, Dinwiddie enters his ninth NBA season averaging 13.0 points, 5.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds over 387 career games.
Wright is on a two-way contract with the Mavericks after joining the squad as a training camp invitee last month. He played in three preseason games for Dallas, highlighted by an 8-point, 10-assist performance against Oklahoma City on Oct. 5.
Wright played in five games with Minnesota last season as a rookie on a two-way deal. He averaged 19.1 points and 7.7 assists per game for the G-League Iowa Wolves in 2021-22.