Former UF standouts ready for NBA restart

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Philadelphia 76ers forward Al Horford (42) is a regular starter for the team, who has already clinched a playoff berth in the NBA's Eastern Conference. [Matt Slocum/The Associated Press]

With the 2019-20 NBA season set to restart inside “the bubble” at Walt Disney World at the end of July, let’s take a look at the former University of Florida men’s basketball players ready to help their teams down the stretch run ahead of the playoffs: 

Corey Brewer: A free agent during the 2019-20 season, Brewer signed a rest-of-season contract with the Sacramento Kings on June 23. The 6-foot-8 wing spent the 2018-19 season with the Philadelphia 76ers and Kings, and has a career average of 8.7 points per game while being known for his work on the defensive end. The Kings are 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the Western Conference’s final playoff spot.

Chris Chiozza: The 5-foot 11 guard is expected to factor heavily in the Brooklyn Nets’ restart after entering their rotation prior to the shutdown. During the 2019-20 season to date, Chiozza has played in 21 total games split between the Washington Wizards and Nets, and has averaged 4 points per game.

Dorian Finney-Smith: Saying that the 6-foot-8 Finney-Smith is having his best professional season would be an understatement. On a Mavericks squad currently sitting 7th in the Western Conference and in playoff position, Finney-Smith has averaged career-bests in points (9.3), rebounds (5.5) and three-point percentage (.374) while starting 61 of the 64 games he played in.

Udonis Haslem: In his 17th NBA season, all with the Miami Heat, Haslem has appeared in just three games, starting none of those contests. With the NBA restart in Orlando and expanded rosters, Haslem could see a bit more playing time as the Heat – having already clinched a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference – try to improve their current fourth seed. In his long career, the three-time NBA champion Haslem has averages of 7.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. 

Al Horford: Still hunting for his first NBA crown, Horford is a regular starter for the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers have clinched a playoff spot and are currently 6th in the Easterrn Conference. With the expected return of former LSU forward Ben Simmons, the team is considered a dark horse in the conference to reach the NBA finals. Horford is averaging 12 points and 6.9 rebounds per contest, not far off his 13-year career averages of 14 points and 8.3 rebounds.

Joakim Noah: The 6-foot-11 big man was signed to a 10-day contract by the Los Angeles Clippers in March and then re-upped with the team for the rest of the season on June 28. The Clippers are second in the West and are one of the top teams in the entire league with a 44-20 record. Noah has career averages of 8.8 points and 9.1 rebounds in his 13th NBA season.

Bradley Beal: After consecutive NBA All-Star selections in 2018 and 2019, Washington Wizards guard Beal had elevated his game further and was second in the NBA in scoring with 30.5 points per contest. However, Beal announced Tuesday that he would not participate in the NBA’s restart due to a shoulder injury. Beal is the third Wizards player to opt out of the restart, with Washington 5.5 games adrift of a playoff spot.