Cyclones playing in the NBA restart and WNBA season

Abdel Nader and Nazareth Mitrou-Long speak during open practice on March 24, 2016, at the United Center in Chicago. Iowa State played Virginia in the Sweet 16 on March 25, 2016.

Sam Stuve

With the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) returning to play, many former Iowa State players are set to be in action.

Nine Cyclones — eight in the NBA and one in the WNBA — are playing in the restarts this summer.

The NBA regular season restart begins July 30 at the ESPN World Wide of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida. The WNBA regular season started Sunday at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

Former Cyclone guard Bridget Carleton (2015-19), who was the Big 12’s Player of the Year in 2019 and was on many different All-American teams, is playing for the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx.

The Lynx began the WNBA season Sunday.

Carleton played one minute in the Lynx’s 77-69 victory over the Connecticut Sun on Sunday. Her and the Lynx will play 22 regular season games and the WNBA playoffs will begin in mid-September.

Carleton has played in eight games since joining the league in 2019.

In the NBA, two former Cyclones are playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder, guard Deonte Burton (2015-17) and forward Abdel Nader (2014-16).

Burton was an All-Big 12 player for Iowa State in his two-year career for Iowa State.

In the 2019-20 season, Burton has averaged 2.8 points per game on 37 percent shooting from the floor and averaging 8.4 minutes per game in 34 games.

Nader, who was an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention in the 2016-17 season, has had a little more success for the Thunder in the 2019-20 season.

He has averaged six points per game and 1.9 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per game in 48 games this season.

Oklahoma City is fifth in the Western Conference with a 40-24 record.

The Thunder begins their restart against the Utah Jazz, who former Cyclone Georges Niang plays for, at 2:30 p.m. Saturday on ESPN.

Niang (2012-16), a three-time All-Big 12 player for Iowa State, was on multiple All-American teams and was the Karl Malone Award winner in 2016. He has averaged 5.8 points per game on 45.6 percent shooting in 12 minutes per game in 58 games this season.

The Jazz are currently fourth in the Western Conference with a 41-23 record.

Niang and the Jazz play the New Orleans Pelicans at 5:30 p.m. Thursday on TNT.

The former Cyclone who has had the most success in the NBA in recent years is Denver Nuggets guard Monte Morris.

Morris (2013-17), who was a two-time All-Big 12 First Team member and an All-American on multiple All-American teams, has averaged 9.4 points per game on 48 percent shooting from the floor, 39.8 percent shooting from the 3-point line and 81.9 percent shooting from the free-throw line while dishing out 3.6 assists per game.

In the 2019-20 season, Morris has averaged 8.4 points per game and 3.5 assists per game in 21.6 minutes per game in 65 games played.

Morris and the Nuggets take on the Miami Heat at noon Saturday.

Former Cyclone guard Matt Thomas (2013-17) plays for the defending NBA Champion Toronto Raptors, who are second in the Eastern Conference with a 46-18 record.

Thomas, who was an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention in 2016 and 2017, has averaged 4.5 points per game on 48.6 percent shooting from the floor and 46.7 percent from beyond the 3-point line in 9.7 minutes per game in 33 games.

The Raptors take on the Los Angeles Lakers, who former Iowa State forward Talen Horton-Tucker plays for, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday on ESPN.

In his rookie season for the Lakers, Horton-Tucker, an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention in his lone season for Iowa State (2016-17), played in two games for the Lakers, playing a total of five minutes.

The Lakers are the best team in the Western Conference record-wise, as they have a 49-14 record.

Horton-Tucker and the Lakers take on the Los Angeles Clippers at 8 p.m. Thursday on TNT.

Former Iowa State forward Marial Shayok (2018-19) is playing for the Philadelphia 76ers, who are 39-26, which is tied for fifth in the Eastern Conference.

Shayok has played in two games for the 76ers and scored three points total.

The 76ers take on the Indiana Pacers, who former guard Naz Mitrou-Long plays for, at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Mitrou-Long (2012-17) was an All-Big 12 Second Team player in the 2016-17 season.

He has played in three games for the Pacers, averaging 4.7 points per game.

Each NBA team will play eight games before the playoffs begin. The NBA playoffs are set to begin Aug. 17.