This is the first of five weekly posts that rank the NBA careers of former Jayhawks. All former Jayhawks were considered, but for the sake of brevity, only the best 25 (kind of) will be ranked. These players come from all eras of the NBA and the rankings are meant to encourage discussion in the forum below.
25. Jacque Vaughn
Jacque Vaughn played in the NBA for twelve years with the Utah Jazz, Atlanta Hawks, Orlando Magic, New Jersey Nets, and San Antonio Spurs. Vaughn was drafted number 27 overall in 1997 by the Jazz but never really got started with Utah because of a certain point guard named John Stockton who got the majority of minutes at the position. Vaughn’s best individual season came in 2001-02, his first and only with the Atlanta Hawks. He averaged 6.6 points and 4.3 assists per game while playing a career high 22 minutes per game. Over his career, he averaged 4.5 points and 2.5 assists. Vaughn won an NBA title in San Antonio in 2007 where he was later an assistant coach. He became the head coach of the Orlando magic in 2012 and lasted two and a half years before being fired in February of 2015.
24. Bud Stallworth
There is no doubt that Bud Stallworth would rank higher on this list had a back injury not ended his career. Stallworth was the seventh overall pick of the Seattle Supersonics in the 1972 NBA draft. He played two seasons in Seattle and three in New Orleans for the Jazz before calling it quits. His best season was his maiden season in New Orleans where he averaged 9.9 points and 3.4 boards in 73 games. In his brief career, he averaged 7.7 points and 2.8 rebounds per contest.
23. Scot Pollard
The eccentric Scot Pollard was drafted by the Detroit Pistons with the 19th overall pick in the 1997 draft. Pollard spent 11 years in the NBA with the Pistons, Sacramento Kings, Indiana Pacers, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Boston Celtics. He won an NBA title in his final season with the Celtics. Like Vaughn, Pollard’s most productive season came in 2001-02 where he started 29 of 80 games and averaged 6.4 points and 7.1 rebounds for the Kings. His career averages stand at 4.4 points and 4.6 rebounds. A long time crowd favorite at Allen Fieldhouse and his various NBA stops, Pollard has a chance to showcase his wit to a national audience when he stars on Survivor this fall.
22. Greg Ostertag
Greg Ostertag was one of those rare guys that didn’t have much production from a statistical standpoint yet stayed with one club for (almost) his entire career. Ostertag was drafted by the Utah Jazz with the 28th overall pick in the 1995 draft and played 10 of his 11 years in Salt Lake-the lone exception being his once year stint in Sacramento. "The Big O" fluctuated between starter and reserve throughout his career with his most productive season coming in his second season, 1996-97. That year he started 70 games for the Jazz and averaged 7.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. He had a few renaissance years between 2002 and 2004 when he again started the majority of games for Utah. Over his career, he averaged 4.6 points and 5.5 rebounds in 756 games.
21 (Tie). Brandon Rush and Darrell Arthur
Brandon Rush was the 13th pick in the 2008 NBA draft. He was selected by the Portland Trailblazers but never played for that franchise. Instead, he was traded to the Indiana Pacers where he has his most proficient seasons of his NBA career. In his three seasons in Indianapolis, he averaged 8.9 points per game while grabbing 3.1 rebounds. In his first stint with the Golden State Warriors, he had his best scoring season in the 2011-12 season where he scored at a 9.8 PPG clip. After a brief and unsuccessful stay with the Utah Jazz, Rush is back with the Warriors and plays about eight minutes per game.
Darrell Arthur was the 27th overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft, but through a series of trades, never played for the New Orleans Hornets or Portland Trailblazers, the teams who has the first rights to him. Instead, he wound up on the Memphis Grizzlies where he spent the first five years of his career. Arthur lost an entire season (2011-12) due to injury but has had a pretty steady NBA career so far. His most productive season came in the year directly before the injury so it is hard to tell what Arthur might have become if he continued his ascent. In 2010-11, he scored 9.1 points and grabbed 4.3 boards per game. In six complete seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies and Denver Nuggets, Arthur has averaged 6.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.
Players who just missed the cut:
Paul Mokeski, 12 years with the Houston Rockets, Detroit Pistons, Cleveland Cavaliers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Golden State Warriors. 4.0 PPG, 3.4 RPG.
Rex Walters, 7 years with the New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, and Miami Heat. 4.6 PPG, 1.7 APG.
Charlie Black, 9 years with the Fort Wayne Pistons, Indianapolis Jets, Anderson Packers, and Milwaukee Hawks. 9.2 PPG, 2.4 RPG.
Greg Dreiling, 11 years with the Indiana Pacer, Dallas Mavericks, and Cleveland Cavaliers. 2.2 PPG, 2.1 RPG.
Kevin Pritchard, 6 years with the Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, and Washington Bullets. 3.6 PPG, 1.6 APG.
Mark Randall, 4 years with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, and Chicago Bulls. 2.6 PPG, 1.3 RPG.
Players who missed the cut but could climb into the rankings in the future:
Thomas Robinson, 4 seasons with the Portland Trailblazers, Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers, and Houston Rockets. 5.1 PPG, 4.8 RPG.
Jeff Withey, 2 years with the New Orleans Pelicans. 3.0 PPG, 2.3 RPG.
Cole Aldrich, 5 years with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings, and New York Knicks. 3.1 PPG, 3.4 RPG.
Tarik Black, 1 year with the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers. 6.0 PPG, 5.8 RPG.