Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats’ quintessential NBA lottery pick may be surprising and it’s not close


Lauri Markkanen is about to make the Arizona Wildcats’ contingent of NBA lottery picks total 14 when the draft takes place tomorrow night.

Markkanen, a 7-foot, 225-pound forward, is forecast to go as the No. 7 pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves by DraftExpress.com. A lottery pick is a player selected among the top 14 (the 14 teams that did not make the NBA playoffs) players in the first round of the draft.

His name will join the likes of Sean Elliott (Arizona’s first lottery selection in 1989), Damon Stoudamire, Mike Bibby, Jason Terry, Richard Jefferson and Andre Iguodala.

ARIZONA’S FIRST ROUND LOTTERY DRAFT PICKS

Salary source: Basketball-Reference.com

Player Selection Years in NBA Salary (million) Avg./Year Titles
Sean Elliott 3 1989-2001 (12) $42.4 $3.5 1
Brian Williams 10 1991-2000 (9) $21.9 $2.4 1
Damon Stoudamire 7 1995-2009 (14) $99.7 $7.1 0
Mike Bibby 2 1998-2012 (14) $107.1 $7.7 0
Jason Terry 10 1999-2017 (18) $106.8 $5.9 1
Richard Jefferson 13 2001-2017 (16) $112.1 $7.0 1
Andre Iguodala 9 2004-2017 (13) $121.3 $9.3 2
Channing Frye 8 2005-2017 (12) $59.1 $4.9 1
Jerryd Bayless 11 2008-2017 (9) $31.3 $3.5 0
Jordan Hill 8 2009-2017 (8) $32.1 $4.0 0
Derrick Williams 2 2011-17 (6) $30.6 $5.1 0
Aaron Gordon 4 2014-2017 (3) $12.5 $4.2 0
Stanley Johnson 8 2015-2017 (2) $6.8 $3.4 0

Markkanen will become the fourth Sean Miller-coached lottery selection following Derrick Williams, Aaron Gordon and Stanley Johnson.

If NBA titles and salary are the barometers for success in the NBA, Andre Iguodala stands above all other Arizona lottery picks.

He recently won his second NBA title (he was the Finals MVP in 2015) with the Golden State Warriors and tops all Wildcat lottery selections with a career salary of about $121.3 million (according to Basketball-Reference.com). That averages to $9.3 million in his 13-year NBA career to this point.

Elliott averaged the most points a game out of the Arizona lottery picks: 14.2 points a game in his 12-year career.

Terry tops them all in games played (1,359) and career points (18,715).

Top rebounding average: The late Brian Williams (who later became Bison Dele) with 6.2 rebounds a game in his nine-year career.

Top assist average: Damon Stoudamire at 6.1 a game in his 14-year career.

Iguodala, the No. 9 selection overall in the 2004 draft by Philadelphia, is the only Arizona lottery pick that ranks among the top seven in points, rebounds and assists per game among the Wildcats’ 14 picks who have gone that high.

He ranks No. 7 in points per game (12.9), No. 4 in rebounds per game (5.3) and No. 5 in assists per game (4.5).

Given all the data, titles, accolades and salary earned, Iguodala is the quintessential NBA lottery pick in Arizona history.


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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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