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Utes in the NBA: A Season recap

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Utah Jazz Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Raptors are the 2019 NBA Champs, and with the NBA season officially in the rearview mirror, it’s time to take a look back on the season and how it faired for some former Utes.

Andrew Bogut

Bogut, the number-one overall pick in the 2005 Draft, began the 2018-19 season playing for the Sydney Kings of the NBL before making a return to the NBA, signing with the Golden State Warriors in March. Bogut played a limited role for the Warriors, appearing in just (11) games, making five starts. Playing behind Kevin Looney and DeMarcus Cousins, Bogut averaged 3.5 points and 5.0 rebounds, while playing 12.2 minutes per game. Unfortunately for the Bogut, however, the Warriors came up short in the NBA Finals.

Kyle Kuzma

Kuzma had what was probably the best season of former Utes in the NBA, despite it being a tumultuous season in Los Angeles playing alongside Lebron James. The forward averaged 18.7 points per game to go along with 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists. Kuzma’s impressive season came at a price, however, as the second-year standout was a key piece of trade discussions between the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans surrounding Anthony Davis, although a trade was never finalized.

Jakob Poeltl

Poeltl spent his third NBA season with a new team, as the center was included in the Toronto Raptors deal for Kawhi Leonard, a deal that sent Poeltl to the San Antonio Spurs. Poeltl appeared in 77 games for the Spurs, making 24 starts and playing 16.5 minutes per game. The Austrian big man averaged 5.5 points per game for the season while also tallying 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game.

Delon Wright

Wright was another former Ute who was involved in trade discussions in the 2018-19 season. Unlike Kuzma, however, Wright found himself being traded midseason by the Toronto Raptors to the Memphis Grizzlies in return for Marc Gasol. While the trade cost Wright an opportunity to win a championship with the Raptors, it did provide Wright an increase in opportunity, as the guard saw his minutes increase from 18.3 a game to 30.8 minutes per game in Memphis. Additionally, Wright’s scoring nearly doubled following the trade, scoring 12.2 points per game in Memphis to go along with 5.3 assists and 5.4 rebounds. The highlight of the season for Wright came in a game against the Dallas Mavericks, when he recorded his second straight triple-double. Wright is entering restricted free agency this summer.

Dakarai Tucker (G League)

While Dakarai Tucker did not appear in an NBA game in 2018-19, the former Ute did have a very successful season in the NBA G League for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers - the G League affiliate of the Houston Rockets. Tucker appeared in 49 games for the Valley Vipers, recording 13.0 points per game to go along with 1.6 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game, helping Rio Grande to a 2019 NBA G League Championship.