The NBA made some rule changes last offseason, expanding team rosters from 13 to 15 players. This has created 60 more roster spots for players hoping to either continue or begin their professional careers.
There are nine former UConn Huskies on NBA training camp rosters, seven of which were in Storrs for national championship wins. Five of them have been playing in the league for the past few years. The others will be fighting for a spot.
Amida Brimah, who graduated in May, went undrafted in the NBA Draft but played for the Chicago Bulls as part of their summer league team before signing onto the training camp roster for the San Antonio Spurs.
Rudy Gay is also on the Spurs after signing with them this offseason. Previously on the Sacramento Kings, Gay missed 52 games last season with a torn Achilles. He averaged 19.3 points and 6.0 rebounds in 223 games over 4 seasons with Sacramento.
The Detroit Pistons enjoyed another strong season from Andre Drummond last year. The Middletown, CT native averaged 13.6 points and 13.8 rebounds per game the year after he earned his first All-Star Game nod and made 3rd team All-NBA. He has been first in the league in Total Rebounding % for three of the past four seasons, finishing second in the one year he didn’t.
At only 24 years old, Drummond still has room to grow as he begins his sixth year in the NBA. He has been with Detroit since the Pistons picked him with the 9th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
Jeremy Lamb made a handful of starts for the Charlotte Hornets last year along with collegiate teammate Kemba Walker. They both are back in training camp for Charlotte. Walker made his first All-Star appearance last year after notching a career-high 23.2 points per game to go along with 5.5 assists and 3.9 rebounds per contest.
Though he put up more modest totals, Lamb also reached career highs in points (9.7) and rebounds (4.3) per game last year in his second season with the Hornets after being traded by the Oklahoma City Thunder. He has been drawing rave reviews from coaches and teammates for turning a coming into camp looking even better.
Shabazz Napier will begin his second season with Portland in 2017-18 after they picked up his $2.4 million team option. He will be a free agent after the year. Napier averaged 9.7 minutes per game for the Trailblazers last season.
Emeka Okafor last played in the NBA in 2012-13, but the former No. 2 overall pick is attempting to make a comeback with the Philadelphia 76ers, who signed him to their training camp roster on Monday. Okafor was last seen on the Washington Wizards, where he posted pretty solid numbers but had to dip out before the 2013-2014 season due to injury problems.
Marcus Williams has been away from the NBA for even longer, last appearing in 2009-10 before he began a career internationally, but the Kings signed Williams to their training camp roster Tuesday.