Here at Anonymous Eagle, we're incredibly proud of the current team's accomplishments on the court. But we are lucky enough to have had four players who have had enough success at Marquette to currently be contracted to play for an NBA team and one who picked up an invite to training camp. So we're going to keep tabs on our five guys and their paths through the NBA season in a regular feature that I've initially named Professional Warriors. If you've got a better name for this feature, please post it in the comments. If we get a bunch of good ones, we'll open it up to a poll next week!
We'll start things off with the former Golden Eagle to make news most recently, Lazar Hayward. Ever since Lazar ended up with the Minnesota Timberwolves coming out of the 2010 NBA Draft, I've been a big proponent of using the #FREELAZAR hashtag on Twitter any time I saw their general manager David Kahn making some kind of ridiculous move. So when news came rumbling across Twitter last night that the TWolves had traded Lazar to the Oklahoma City Thunder, I was THRILLED. The Thunder and their GM, Sam Presti, have a reputation as one of the smartest and best run organizations in basketball, and they want MY GUY! on their team. AWESOME.
Here's a quote from Presti on the trade:
"We are excited to be able to add Lazar to our organization. Lazar is someone who we followed closely through the draft process and identified as a potential fit for the culture and identity that we are continuing to build in Oklahoma City. His toughness, length and shooting are attributes that will add depth to our roster, while his professionalism and competitiveness embody the intangibles that we value as an organization."
Standard GM speak stuff there, of course, but when a professionally run outfit talks about how a guy fits your culture, you have to feel pretty good about the whole deal. Hayward's under his rookie contract for the next two seasons and has a team option for 2013-14. You can follow the Lazar and the Thunder through our SBN partner blog, Welcome to Loud City.
In other recent NBA news, former Marquette guard Dwight Buycks was invited to join the Phoenix Suns for training camp, along with VOLUME SHOOTER Jeremy Hazell. Buycks had started all 6 of the Tulsa 66ers' games in the NBA D-League before getting the call to join the Suns. The Suns will be streaming an intra-team scrimmage tonight at 7:30pm Central time on Suns.com. You can keep an eye on Buycks' progress with the Suns through their SB Nation blog, Bright Side Of The Sun.
Let's hit the jump and check in with Jimmy Butler, Wesley Matthews, and Dwyane Wade!
First up, the most recent Golden Eagle to reach the NBA, new Chicago Bulls forward Jimmy Butler. JFB followed up getting his contract officially signed by jumping right in to helping the Bulls with their various charity work. The Bulls veterans also have plans in mind for their only rookie this season. Blog A Bull is the place to go for all your Jimmy Butler and Bulls coverage.
Wesley Matthews begins his 2nd season in Portland and third in the NBA this year. If we're to believe ESPN.com and their NBA depth charts, Matthews is expected to be the Blazers starter at shooting guard right off the bat this year, stepping into the spot he picked up last year when Brandon Roy went down with a knee injury that has ultimately led to Roy's retirement. Wesley's the 2nd leading returning scorer for Portland, and you can keep tabs on all things Trail Blazers through Blazer's Edge.
Last but not least is Dwyane Wade. DWade and the Miami Heat look to rebound from falling to the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals. Look, I really don't have to get into how great Dwyane Wade is here, do I? Go read Peninsula Is Mightier for more Heat news.
We'll keep tabs on all of our Marquette players in the NBA all season long, and based on the rapid-fire NBA schedule this year, we'll probably have lots to talk about every week. If you find news about Marquette alums playing overseas, be sure to pass it along! You can send that news along to firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to let us know how you'd like to be credited for the news and your Twitter username if you have one!