5 former Iowa State Cyclones on 2018-19 NBA rosters

They're all on good Western Conference clubs

Former Iowa State basketball player Georges Niang signed a three-year deal with the Utah Jazz. (USA TODAY Sports)
Former Iowa State basketball player Georges Niang signed a three-year deal with the Utah Jazz. (USA TODAY Sports)

The 2015-16 Iowa State men’s basketball team was pretty good. Five-players-in-the-NBA good.

It won 23 games, including two in the NCAA Tournament. From that team, Georges Niang and Naz Mitrou-Long are with the Utah Jazz. Abdel Nader and Deonte Burton are with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Monte Morris is a Denver Nugget.

Morris played 16 minutes in the Nuggets’ season-opening win at the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday night. He had seven points and four assists.

Niang played briefly for Utah Wednesday in its win at Sacramento. Nader was on the Thunder’s active roster Tuesday, but didn’t play in the team’s loss at Golden State.

Mitrou-Long and Burton are on two-way contracts, meaning they can spend up to 45 days this season with their NBA teams, and the rest of the season with their G-League affiliates.

Niang and Morris had two-way deals last year with their current teams, while Nader spent the season with the Boston Celtics after playing in the G-League the previous year.

Niang was an Indiana Pacers second-round draft pick in 2016 after averaging 20.5 points in his senior season with the Cyclones. He was cut by Indiana last year, and played with Santa Cruz in the G-League before getting signed to a two-way deal in midseason by Utah. He signed a three-year, $5 million contract with the Jazz in July.

Morris was a Denver second-round pick last year. He spent most of the season with Sioux Falls in the G-League. He signed a 3-year, $4.8 million deal with the Nuggets in July.


Nader was a Boston second-round selection in 2016. He played for Maine as a pro rookie and was the G-League’s Rookie of the Year after averaging 21.3 points. After earning a spot with the Celtics and a four-year, $6 million contract last season, he played in 48 games with them. He was traded to Oklahoma City for salary cap reasons last July 23.

Mitrou-Long was undrafted out of college, but went to training camp with Utah last season. He didn’t make the team, but the Jazz assigned him to their Salt Lake City Stars G-League team. He got a couple of 10-day contracts, then was released and rejoined Salt Lake City. He signed a two-way deal with Utah three months ago.

Burton played in the Korean Basketball League last season, his first as a pro. He was the league’s Most Valuable Player. He signed a two-way contract with Oklahoma City this summer, and was quite clutch in one of their preseason games.


Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.