Trio of former Cyclones sign new NBA contracts

Freshman guard Talen Horton-Tucker holds up the Big 12 Championship trophy. Iowa State won the Big 12 Championship 78-66 against the University of Kansas on March 16, 2019, at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Tom Turner

Talen Horton-Tucker scored the biggest contract of the three Cyclones for Iowa State during NBA free agency. Horton-Tucker agreed to a three-year, $32 million deal to return to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Chicago native played for the Cyclones during the 2017-18 season and helped the Cyclones win a Big 12 Tournament. He averaged 9.0 points, 2.8 assists and 2.6 rebounds while playing in 65 games for the Lakers this past season.

Horton-Tucker is now the youngest player of the Lakers at age 20. While being in the rotation for one of the NBA Finals favorites in the NBA, he will be playing alongside some NBA stars. Horton-Tucker is part of a roster including LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard. Even though some of the stars within the team are outside of their prime, it will be a great opportunity to learn from some NBA players who were once stars in the league.

Abdel Nader also resigned, as he received a 2-year, $4.2 million contract.

Nader will be entering his fifth season in the NBA at the age of 27. He averaged 6.7 points and 2.6 rebounds per game in the regular season, hitting 49 percent of his overall shots and 42 percent from 3-point range, all while dealing with a knee injury. Nader appeared in 24 regular season games before his arthroscopic knee surgery that kept him out from March 21 through June 26.

Coming off the rehab of knee surgery, Nader returned right in time for the Western Conference Finals and appeared in three games over that series and two more during Phoenix’s NBA Finals loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

To make more noise for former Iowa State basketball players, Georges Niang agreed to a contract with the 76ers. It is projected as a two-year deal worth $6.7 million.

Niang, who is now 28, has spent the last four seasons with the Utah Jazz after beginning his NBA career with the Pacers. He just finished his best season in the league, earning regular minutes (16.0 minutes per game) for a Jazz squad that finished the regular season with the NBA’s best record. Niang appeared in all 72 games, averaging 6.9 points per game and 2.4 rebounds per game. He also had an excellent percentage from 3, which was .425 percent. 

The former Cyclone will help out the 76ers with spacing the floor and with supply shooting. The Sixers wanted more shooters around their All-NBA big man Joel Embiid, and they have started to do so.