LOCALS IN THE NBA

Keeping Up With The Utes In The NBA

Mar 16, 2022, 11:17 AM | Updated: 11:20 am
Kyle Kuzma, Jakob Poeltl, Delon Wright - Utes in the NBA...
(Photos courtesy of Getty Images)
(Photos courtesy of Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The University of Utah Runnin’ Utes have three players currently in the NBA that are having great seasons at the highest level.

Utes alums Jakob Poeltl and Kyle Kuzma are having career seasons in the NBA with their teams, while Delon Wright is playing a key role with the Atlanta Hawks.

With the college basketball season concluding last week for Utah hoops, let’s get you caught up on what the Utes in the NBA are doing this season.

Kyle Kuzma, Washington Wizards

Kuz is having his best season as an NBA player. He was traded this past off-season to the Wizards in the Russell Westbrook deal after winning a title with the Lakers two years ago. Since the trade, Kuzma has thrived with the Wizards.

Bradley Beal (23.2) and Kristaps Porzingis (20.8) currently lead the Wizards in scoring this season. But Beal is out for the rest of the season with an injury and Porzingis has played just four games with the Wizards after being traded from the Dallas Mavericks. Kuzma is third on the Wizards in points per game with 17.3 and leads the team with 8.5 rebounds per contest. The former Ute is shooting 45.5% from the field and 34.2% from the three-point line. He is shooting an average of 5.7 attempts from beyond the arc with 1.9 makes per game.

Kuzma has scored in double figures in all but 13 games this season. He has put up 20 points or more in 26 games, 30 points or more in four games, with 23 double-doubles and one triple-double.

The Wizards are currently 29-38 on the season, sitting in 11th place in the Eastern Conference, four games behind the Charlotte Hornets for the 10th spot, which would put them in the NBA Play-In Tournament. They have lost four straight.

Jakob Poeltl, San Antonio Spurs

Poeltl is having his best season in the NBA and is thriving in Gregg Popovich’s system in San Antonio. He is third in scoring at 13.6 points per game, while leading the team in rebounding at 9.1 per game and 1.8 blocks per contest. Poeltl is shooting 62% from the field and 49% at the free throw line.

This season, Poeltl has scored in double figures in 43 games, pulled down double digit rebounds in 28 games, along with 23 double-doubles. He has scored 20 points or more in nine games.

The Spurs are currently 26-43 on the season, sitting in 12th place in the Western Conference, two games behind the New Orleans Pelicans for the 10th spot, which would put them in the NBA Play-In Tournament. They have lost two straight.

Delon Wright, Atlanta Hawks

After spending three and a half seasons in Toronto, followed by one season each in Memphis, Dallas, Detroit and Sacramento, Wright is in his first season with the Atlanta Hawks. Wright joined the team after he was involved in a three-team, four-player trade from the Kings to the Hawks.

He has played in 63 games with six starts, averaging 4.2 points and 2.3 assists per game. Wright is second on the team with one steal per game. He has scored in double figures in three games, including one game with 20 points, playing behind All-Star guard Trae Young.

The Hawks are 34-34 on the season, sitting in ninth place in the Eastern Conference. They have won three straight.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASports.

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