The NBA season is set to resume tonight, and there are three former South Carolina basketball players ready to make their marks.
The 2019-20 NBA season is set to begin Thursday night, and the Gamecocks are well represented as the league kicks back into gear. Three former South Carolina stars, all from the 2017 Final Four team, will make an impact in this shortened season format.
Sindarius Thornwell, PJ Dozier, and Chris Silva are all in the bubble as the season revamps. Thrornwell, a member of the New Orleans Pelicans, will be on the court tonight in the opener. The Pelicans tip off at 6:30pm against the Jazz.
Dozier and Silva will start their seasons on Saturday, as the Nuggets and Heat face off against one another in the NBA’s first August contest.
Brian Bowen, who enrolled at South Carolina following his dismissal from Louisville is also set to play this weekend, but since he never got to play a minute with the Gamecocks, we’ll leave him off this list.
Here’s what each former Gamecock has to look forward to in the abbreviated season.
The former SEC Player of the Year starts his season tonight against Utah, as he makes it back to an NBA roster following a stint in the G League. Originally drafted in the second round of the ’17 draft by the Bucks, his draft rights were traded to the Los Angeles Clippers, where he spent his first two seasons.
Thornwell was with the Cleveland Cavaliers briefly, before being picked up by New Orleans this summer. Now, he gets another opportunity to prove that he belongs on the NBA level.
The Pelicans are currently sitting 3.5 games out of eighth place in the West, tied with the Kings. They’ll be vying for a playoff spot.
Dozier signed a two-year deal with the Nuggets earlier this summer, and looks to be an integral part in the organization’s future. The former Gamecock point guard has spent most of his time in the G League since leaving Columbia, but he looks to take advantage of this new opportunity.
Before the season was cut short in March, Dozier was averaging 21.4 points per game with his G League affiliate. The performance obviously caught the attention of the Nuggets’ front office.
Denver is currently 3rd in the Western Division, and looks to be a lock for the playoffs.
Silva has been with the Heat since the season’s start, after signing a three-year deal with the team following his career as a Gamecock. He is set to take on former teammate PJ Dozier on Saturday.
He also looks to be a lock for the playoffs as Miami currently sits at fourth in the East. Through 41 games, Silva is averaging 2.9 points and 2.7 rebounds per contest. He’s also shooting over 62% from the field.