The University of Texas in Austin has one of the most successful basketball programs in the history of the NCAA.
The Longhorns rank only second to Kansas in all-time wins and all-time win percentage. They have also won a total of 27 Conference Championships and are ranked 11th with a total of 34 NCAA Tournament appearances. Texas has also won the Regional Finals a total of seven times.
With such a successful basketball program, it is also expected that they are among the school factories of future NBA stars. Texas has produced a handful of stars in the history of the NBA and it currently has several stars playing in the league right now.
The Longhorns were tied for 5th in the NBA during the 2019-20 season with a total of 11 alumni playing on NBA teams’ opening-day rosters. Kentucky led all U.S. schools with a total of 28 players in the NBA while Duke came in second with 24. North Carolina was third with 14 while UCLA had 13 players on NBA opening right rosters.
Here are the NBA players who played for the Texas Longhorns in the NCAA:
Kevin Durant is Texas’ most prominent alumnus who is currently playing in the NBA. Durant played one season for the Longhorns in 2006-07. He averaged 25.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game while leading the team to a 25-10 overall record. They were awarded the 4th seed in the tournament but lost in the second round. KD was a unanimous National Player of the Year award winner, and the first freshman to win any of the National Player of the Year awards.
KD was picked 2nd overall in the 2007 NBA Draft, selected behind Greg Oden. He would become the star player of the Oklahoma City Thunder where he helped the team reach the NBA Finals in 2012. The 2014 NBA MVP transferred to the Golden State Warriors in 2016 and he helped the team win back to back titles in 2017 and 2018. Durant was Finals MVP in both championships won by the Dubs. He moved to Brooklyn last summer but missed the entire season with an Achilles injury.
LaMarcus Aldridge wanted to go to the NBA in 2004 but after receiving personal advice from Shaquille O’Neal he decided to go to college and enroll at the University of Texas. Aldridge played two seasons for the Longhorns and he was named to the Big 12 Team and the All-American Third Team in 2006.
Aldridge was drafted 2nd overall in 2006 by the Chicago Bulls but he was traded to Tyrus Thomas, Victor Khryapa, and their pick in the draft. Aldridge would play a total of nine seasons with the Blazers and made four All-Star game appearances with Portland. He left for the San Antonio Spurs in 2015 and has been playing there ever since. He is a five-time member of the All-NBA team and a seven-time NBA All-Star.
Tristan Thompson played for Texas in 2010-11 and he was voted by his teammates as he MVP of their team. He helped the Longhorns to a 28-8 overall record and a #8 ranking in the final AP poll. Texas went to the NCAA Tournament but were eliminated in the Round of 32. Thompson was named as Big 12 Freshman of the Year and he was a finalist for the Wayman Tisdale Award.
He was picked fourth overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2011 Draft. At that time, Thompson was the highest-drafted Canadian basketball player in the NBA. Along with Jordan Hamilton and Corey Joseph, they made history as the 2011 NBA Draft was the first time where three Longhorns were drafted in the first round. He was the starting center of the 2016 Cavs team which won the NBA title.
Myles Turner was a five-star recruit who was considered as the best center in the nation after Jahlil Okafor. He joined the University of Texas and played one season there. Turner averaged 10.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks per game to earn Big 12 Freshman of the Year and All-Big 12 Third team honors.
Turner was drafted 11th overall in the 2015 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers. He made the All-Rookie Second team in 2016 and was named as the Pacers captain during the 2017-18 season. On October 15, 2018, he signed a four-year extension worth $72M with the Pacers. Turner led the NBA in blocked shots in 2019 and is in the league’s All-time Top 10 shot blockers list.
Jarrett Allen was a one-and-done player at Texas. He played for the Longhorns during the 2017 NCAA Season and averaged 13.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. Allen posted career-highs with 22 points and 19 rebounds in a loss to Duke. Texas would finish the season with a disappointing 11-22 record. Allen would forego his three years of eligibility to enter the NBA Draft.
He was picked 22nd overall in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Brooklyn Nets. He was only 19 years old and 182 days when he made his Nets debut, making him the second-youngest Nets player ever. Allen averaged a career-high 9.4 rebounds per game during the 2019-20 season. He also shot a personal-best 64.6% from the field for the Nets. He is one of the best shot blockers in the league with a career average of 1.4 blocks per game.
D.J. Augustin was Kevin Durant’s teammate at Texas and he could have joined KD in the NBA draft but Augustin decided to return to college to develop his game. During his sophomore year, he became the second Texas player to be named to the first-team Academic All-America. In his junior year, he was the recipient of the Bob Cousy award as the top point guard in College Basketball.
Augustin was personally picked by Michael Jordan to be drafted to the Charlotte Bobcats. He played with Charlotte until 2012 and then he moved to Indiana, Toronto, Chicago, Detroit, Oklahoma City, and Denver. Augustin finally found a home with the Orlando Magic in 2016. Last season, he played big in Orlando’s first-round playoff loss against the eventual champions Toronto Raptors.
Avery Bradley was a fan of T.J. Ford and he grew up in Arlington so he chose to play for the Texas Longhorns in college. Bradley established himself as one of the best defensive guards in the nation during his only season at Texas. He averaged 11.6 points to earn All-Big 12 Rookie team and All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors.
Bradley was drafted 19th overall by the Boston Celtics and he stayed with the Celtics until 2017. He was traded to the Detroit Pistons in 2018 to clear cap space for Gordon Hayward. He was traded to the Clippers, then to the Grizzlies who waived him in 2019. After a long and injury-riddled career, Bradley found his niche with the Los Angeles Lakers whom he played for during the 2019-20 season.
Jaxson Hayes played only one season with the Longhorns in 2019. He averaged 10.0 points and 5.0 rebounds while shooting 72.8% from the floor. Despite injuring his knee during the Big 12 Tournament, Hayes was named as the Big 12 Rookie of the Year and he decided to forego his remaining years to join the NBA Draft.
Hayes was picked 8th overall in the 2019 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks who traded him to the Pelicans in the deal that brought De’Andre Hunter to Atlanta. On December 5, 2019, he became the third-youngest player in NBA history to record at least 17 points and 5 blocks in an NBA game. Hayes and Anthony Davis are the only Pelicans player to score 14 points, grab 12 rebounds, block four shots in 24 minutes of action.
PJ Tucker played three seasons for the Texas Longhorns and during his three seasons in Austin, he amassed 1,169 total points, 714 rebounds, 170 assists, and 116 steals. He was named to the All-American 2nd team and the Big 12 Player of the Year during his junior year.
Tucker was the 35th overall pick by the Toronto Raptors in the 2006 NBA Draft. After playing for a season, he left to play in Europe. He was Israeli Super League MVP in 2008 and Import Player of the Year plus Finals MVP in Germany in 2012. He made it back to the NBA with the Phoenix Suns and he currently plays for the Houston Rockets.
Corey Joseph started all 36 games as a Freshman at Texas in 2011. He led the Longhorns to the 4th seed in the West Regional Division and helped the team reach the third round of March Madness. After he was named to the All-Big 12 Freshman team, he declared for the NBA draft.
Joseph was the San Antonio Spurs’ 29th overall pick in 2011. He became a steady back-up to Tony Parker under Gregg Popovich. In 2014, he was part of the Spurs team which won the NBA title. He signed with his hometown Toronto Raptors in 2015 but was traded to the Indiana Pacers in 2017. During the 2019-20 season, Joseph played for the Sacramento Kings.