NBA sun devils

As the 2022-23 NBA season begins on Tuesday, October 18, Sun Devil fans will recognize several familiar faces while 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 kicks off.

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 had so many individuals in the NBA to start a season was in 2013, when Carrick Felix and Jeff Ayres joined James Harden on an opening roster. If all five were to make it to the NBA at some point this season, it would be the most represented Arizona state in the league since 1994. Learn more about the impact Sun Devil men’s basketball is having at highest level of professional basketball.

James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers
IN THE NBA

  • 2018 NBA MVP and scoring champion
  • 2019 and 2020 NBA Scorer Champion
  • 2017 NBA Assists Leader
  • 2012 Olympic gold medalist
  • 2012 NBA Sixth Man of the Year
  • 10 times NBA All Star
  • 6 NBA First Team selections
  • NBA 75th Anniversary Team

At ASU

  • 5-0 against Arizona
  • 2008-09 Consensus First Team All-American
  • 2008–09 Pac-10 Player of the Year
  • Jersey No. 13 hanging from the Desert Financial Arena rafters

Oklahoma City Thunder Lu Dort

IN THE NBA

  • Entering his fourth NBA season 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 to score 30+ points in a Game 7 in the 2020 NBA Playoffs

At ASU

  • Freshman Pac-12 2019
  • All-Pac-12 Conference Second Team Selection
  • Member of the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team
  • 2-0 v Arizona (first sweep of the season since 2009)

Josh ChristopherHouston Rockets

IN THE NBA

  • He is entering his second season in the NBA with the Houston Rockets.
  • Selected 24th overall in 2021 NBA draft, 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 just 30 minutes off the bench in a game against the Timberwolves in April

At ASU

  • One of the most touted rookies to ever sign with Arizona State
  • Had one of the most productive freshman seasons in program history, averaging more than 14 points and four rebounds per game
  • Earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors Nov. 30 after a 28-point effort against No. 3 Villanova
  • Started all 15 games in his only season at Tempe
  • Hit double digits 13 times, including the first nine games of his career

Zylan Cheatham, New Orleans Pelicans (Birmingham Squadron)

IN THE NBA

  • Earned his spot on an NBA roster after going undrafted in 2019
  • Appeared in five games in 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 four games with the Pelicans during the 2019-20 season

At ASU

  • In a single season, had an incredible impact on the program both on the field as the Pac-12’s top rebounder and off it with incredible media and community engagement.
  • Shot in one of the most diverse 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 back to the 1973-74 season when assists became official, the only other Pac-12 players to do so were Stanford’s Rich Kelley 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 with All-Defensive Pac-12 Team
  • Notched the second triple-double in school history on December 1, 2018 against Texas Southern
  • The 2019 Male Bill Kajikawa Award Winner

Rob Edwards, Milwaukee Bucks (Wisconsin Herd)

IN THE NBA

  • Seeking to return to the NBA after earning his way to a roster last year
  • Called up to the Oklahoma City Thunder after a spectacular G-League season
  • Made his NBA debut on December 29, 2021 against the Phoenix Suns
  • Recorded his first three NBA points and grabbed three rebounds on January 1, 2022 against the Mavericks

At ASU

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