Skip to main content

Sun Devils in the NBA

Oct 18, 2022

As the 2022-23 NBA season begins on Tuesday, October 18, Sun Devil fans will recognize several familiar faces when watching the games. Arizona State Men's Basketball's presence at the professional level continues to grow, with five Sun Devils playing at the NBA level as the 2022-23 season gets underway.

James Harden (76ers), Lu Dort (Thunder), Josh Christopher (Rockets), Zylan Cheatham (Pelicans), and Rob Edwards (Bucks) are all on a roster within the NBA system. The last time the program has had this many individuals in the NBA to start a season was 2013, when Carrick Felix and Jeff Ayres joined James Harden on an opening day roster. If all five were to make it to the NBA at one point this season, it would be the most Arizona State has been represented in the league since back in 1994. Learn more about the impact Sun Devil Men's Basketball is having at the highest level of professional basketball. 

James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers

  • 2018 NBA MVP and scoring champion
  • 2019 & 2020 NBA scoring champion
  • 2017 NBA assists leader
  • 2012 Olympic Gold medalist
  • 2012 NBA Sixth Man of the Year
  • 10-time NBA All-Star
  • 6-time NBA First-Team selection
  • NBA 75th Anniversary Team


  • 5-0 vs. Arizona
  • 2008-09 Consensus First Team All-American
  • 2008-09 Pac-10 Player of the Year
  • #13 jersey hung in rafters Desert Financial Arena

Lu Dort, Oklahoma City Thunder

  • Enters his fourth season in the NBA as a member of the OKC Thunder
  • Went from undrafted in 2019 to signing a five-year, $87.5 million contract four years later
  • Averaged 17.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 0.9 steals per game in 2022
  • Became the youngest player ever to score 30+ points in a Game 7 during 2020 NBA Playoffs


  • 2019 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year
  • Second-Team All-Pac-12 Conference selection
  • Pac-12 All-Defensive Team member
  • 2-0 vs. Arizona (first season sweep since '09)

Josh Christopher, Houston Rockets

  • Enters his second season in the NBA with the Houston Rockets
  • Selected 24th overall in the 2021 NBA Draft, the highest Sun Devil selected since James Harden
  • Appeared in 74 games as a rookie for the Rockets, wasting no time proving why he was a first round pick
  • Averaged 7.9 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in 18 minutes per game
  • Scored 30 points in only 30 minutes off the bench in a matchup with the Timberwolves in April


  • One of the most highly-touted recruits to ever sign with Arizona State
  • Enjoyed one of the most productive freshman seasons in program history, averaging over 14 points and four rebounds per game
  • Earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors on Nov. 30 after a 28-point effort against No. 3 Villanova
  • Started all 15 games in his only season in Tempe
  • Reached double-digit scoring on 13 occasions, including the first nine games of his career

Zylan Cheatham, New Orleans Pelicans (Birmingham Squadron)

  • Earned his way onto a NBA roster after being undrafted in 2019
  • Appeared in five games over two seasons with the New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz
  • Last played for the Utah Jazz in the 2021-22 season
  • Averaged 3.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 12.0 minutes in a four-game stint with the Pelicans during the 2019-20 season


  • In just one season made an incredible impact on the program both on the court as the Pac-12 leading rebounder and off it with incredible media and community engagement
  • Turned in one most diversified seasons in league history in 2018-19. Cheatham (12.1 ppg/10.3 rpg/3.2 apg) and Wisconsin's Ethan Happ (17.3/7.8/4.5) were the only players in the nation to average a double-double and three assists per game. Dating to the 1973-74 season, when assists became official, the only other Pac-12 players to do it were Rich Kelley of Stanford in 1974-75 (20/11.5/3.0) and UCLA's Bill Walton (19.3/14.7/5.5)
  • Earned Pac-12 First-Team honors along with Pac-12 All-Defensive Team
  • Notched the second triple-double in school history on Dec. 1, 2018, vs. Texas Southern
  • The 2019 Male Bill Kajikawa Award Winner

Rob Edwards, Milwaukee Bucks (Wisconsin Herd)

  • Looking to make it back to the NBA after earning his way onto a roster last year
  • Called up to the Oklahoma City Thunder after a spectacular G-League season
  • Made his NBA debut on Dec. 29, 2021 against the Phoenix Suns
  • Recorded his first three NBA points and grabbed three rebounds on Jan. 1, 2022 against the Mavericks


  • Started 48 games over two seasons after transferring.
  • Pac-12 Player of the Week in Dec. of 2019 after hitting a clutch three-point shot to help seal the victory over No. 1 Kansas
  • Made 122 three-point field goals in 58 games as a Sun Devil
  • 80% career free-throw shooter, including two makes under pressure to seal a victory over Oregon State in 2019.
  • Averaged over 11 points and three rebounds a game in his ASU career