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Wildcats, led by Bennedict Mathurin, continue NBA Draft tradition

In 2018, Deandre Ayton, right, became the first Arizona Wildcat to be taken with the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft.

If there’s anything the Arizona Wildcats men’s basketball program can hang its hat on, it’s NBA draft picks.

And Thursday’s draft could bring another first. Three Wildcats — Bennedict Mathurin, Dalen Terry and Christian Koloko — could all go in the first round, a feat that’s never been accomplished in UA history.

Lately, most of Arizona’s first-round talent have been forwards and centers. The last time the UA produced a top-10 guard was 1999, when a “JET” landed in Atlanta. Mathurin, a guard, could end the drought on Thursday.

As draft day nears, here’s a look at every first-round pick from Arizona, when and where they went, and how they fared as pros:

Larry Demic

Guard

Year: 1979

Pick: No. 9 overall

Team: New York Knicks

Career stats: Demic averaged 4.7 points and 3.9 rebounds per game in three seasons with the Knicks.

Career earnings: Not available

Anthony Cook

Forward

Year: 1989

Pick: No. 24 overall

Team: Phoenix Suns

Career stats: Cook averaged 3.6 points and 3.7 rebounds per game in five seasons.

Career earnings: Not available

Sean Elliott

Small forward

Year: 1989

Pick: No. 3 overall

Team: San Antonio Spurs

Career stats: Elliott averaged 14.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game over 13 seasons; he was a two-time all-star and helped the Spurs win the 1999 NBA championship.

Career earnings: $40.6 million

Brian Williams

Center

Year: 1991

Pick: No. 10 overall

Team: Orlando Magic

Career stats: Williams — who later changed his name to Bison Dele — averaged 11 points and 6.2 rebounds per game over eight seasons; he helped the Bulls win the 1997 championship.

Career earnings: Not available

Chris Mills

Small forward

Year: 1993

Pick: No. 22 overall

Team: Cleveland Cavaliers

Career stats: Mills averaged 11.2 points and 4.9 rebounds per game over 10 seasons.

Career earnings: $37.7 million

Khalid Reeves

Guard

Year: 1994

Pick: No. 12 overall

Team: Miami Heat

Career stats: Reeves averaged 7.8 points and 3.2 assists per game over eight seasons.

Career earnings: Not available

Damon Stoudamire

Point guard

Year: 1995

Pick: No. 7 overall

Team: Toronto Raptors

Career stats: Stoudamire averaged 13.5 points, 6.1 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game over15 seasons; he was the NBA Rookie of the Year in 1996.

Career earnings: $99.6 million

Mike Bibby

Point guard

Year: 1998

Pick: No. 2 overall

Team: Vancouver Grizzlies

Career stats: Bibby averaged 14.7 points, 5.5 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game over 17 NBA seasons; he earned All-NBA Rookie Team honors in 1999.

Career earnings: $107 million

Michael Dickerson

Guard

Year: 1998

Pick: No. 14 overall

Team: Houston Rockets

Career stats: Dickerson averaged 15.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game over five seasons.

Career earnings: $17.1 million

Jason Terry

Guard

Year: 1999

Pick: No. 10 overall

Team: Atlanta Hawks

Career stats: Terry averaged 13.4 points and 3.8 assists per game over 19 NBA seasons; he was the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2009 and won a championship with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011.

Career earnings: $107 million

Richard Jefferson

Small forward

Year: 2001

Pick: No. 13 overall

Team: Houston Rockets (Traded to New Jersey Nets)

Career stats: Jefferson averaged 12.6 points and four rebounds per game over 18 seasons; he helped the Cleveland Cavaliers win the title in 2016.

Career earnings: $115 million

Andre Iguodala

Small forward

Year: 2004

Pick: No. 9 overall

Team: Philadelphia 76ers

Career stats: Iguodala has averaged 11.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.2 per game over a career that’s lasted 18 seasons and counting; the NBA All-Star has won four championships with the Golden State Warriors and was named Finals MVP in 2015.

Career earnings: $182.3 million

Channing Frye

Power forward/center

Year: 2005

Pick: No. 8 overall

Team: New York Knicks

Career stats: Frye averaged 8.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game over 15 seasons; Frye won a championship with the Cavs in 2016.

Career earnings: $68.6 million

Jerryd Bayless

Guard

Year: 2008

Pick: No. 11 overall

Team: Indiana Pacers (Traded to Portland Trail Blazers)

Career stats: Bayless averaged 8.4 points and 2.9 assists per game over 11 seasons.

Career earnings: $48 million

Jordan Hill

Power forward/center

Year: 2008

Pick: No. 8 overall

Team: New York Knicks

Career stats: Hill averaged 7.9 points and 5.8 rebounds over eight seasons.

Career earnings: $31.4 million

Derrick Williams

Power forward

Year: 2011

Pick: No. 2 overall

Team: Minnesota Timberwolves

Career stats: Williams averaged 8.9 points and four rebounds per game over seven seasons.

Career earnings: $29.4 million

Solomon Hill

Small forward

Year: 2013

Pick: No. 23 overall

Team: Indiana Pacers

Career stats: Hill has averaged 5.5 points and 3.1 rebounds per game over nine seasons.

Career earnings: $56.1 million

Aaron Gordon

Forward

Year: 2014

Pick: No. 4 overall

Team: Orlando Magic

Career stats: Gordon has averaged 13 points and 6.3 rebounds over eight seasons and counting.

Career earnings: $92.7 million

Stanley Johnson

Forward

Year: 2015

Pick: No. 8 overall

Team: Detroit Pistons

Career stats: Johnson has averaged 6.3 points and 3.1 rebounds per game over seven seasons and counting.

Career earnings: $21.4 million



Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, right, was all smiles when he greeted NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being selected 23rd overall by the Portland Trail Blazers during the 2015 draft.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

Forward

Year: 2015

Pick: No. 23 overall

Team: Portland Trail Blazers (Traded to Brooklyn Nets)

Career stats: Hollis-Jefferson averaged nine points and 5.5 rebounds per game over six seasons.

Career earnings: $9.5 million

Lauri Markkanen

Power forward

Year: 2017

Pick: No. 7 overall

Team: Minnesota Timberwolves (Traded to Chicago Bulls)

Career stats: Markkanen has averaged 15.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in five seasons — and counting — in the pros.

Career earnings: $35.7 million

Deandre Ayton

Center/power forward

Year: 2018

Pick: No. 1 overall

Team: Phoenix Suns

Career stats: Ayton has averaged 16.3 points and 10.5 rebounds per game in four seasons — and counting — in the NBA.

Career earnings: $39.8 million

Josh Green

Guard

Year: 2020

Pick: No. 18 overall

Team: Dallas Mavericks

Career stats: Green has averaged 4.8 points and 2.4 rebounds per game in two seasons and counting.

Career earnings: $5.7 million

Zeke Nnaji

Power forward

Year: 2020

Pick: No. 22 overall

Team: Denver Nuggets

Career stats: Nnaji has averaged 4.9 points and 2.6 rebounds per game in two seasons.

Career earnings: $4.9 million

Bennedict Mathurin

Guard

Year: 2022

Pick: No. 6 overall

Team: Indiana Pacers

Dalen Terry

Guard

Year: 2022

Pick: No. 18 overall

Team: Chicago Bulls

Contact sports producer Justin Spears at 573-4312 or jspears@tucson.com. On Twitter: @JustinESports

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Sports producer

Justin writes stories and produces digital content about UA football and basketball and high school football. A Tucson native, Justin graduated from the UA in 2017 and is the host of the Wildcast Podcast and a radio host on ESPN Tucson.

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