Two former Golden Eagles made big splashes in the NBA summer leagues and earned NBA contracts.
Dwight Buycks will be the backup point guard for the Toronto Raptors this season, while forward Trent Lockett earned a spot on the Sacramento Kings’ roster.
Buycks was one of the Las Vegas summer league’s biggest surprises, leading the league with 23 points and seven assists per game. His standout performance led to a one-year, fully guaranteed contract with the Raptors in July.
Despite going undrafted in 2011, Buycks stayed busy on the court, never wavering in his efforts to reach the pros. Last year he earned MVP honors in the French Pro A League as a member of club BCM Gravelines.
“Once I see my name in the locker room, I think that’s when I’ll feel like yeah, that’s it right there,” Buycks told SBNation.com. “It’ll be an NBA dream come true.”
Lockett’s ticket to the big time came much quicker, as the 22-year old’s contract was inked last week. Last season, in his lone year with the Golden Eagles, Lockett’s hustle and gritty play under the basket quietly contributed to the team’s Elite Eight run.
While Lockett’s summer stats (7.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists) were average, his willingness to fit in and act as a role player led to the signing. Kings assistant coach Chris Jent labeled Lockett a “coach’s player” in an interview with Cowbell Kingdom, a local Kings blog.
“The free agents that are there playing are not going to make our team being a star,” Jent told the blog last month. “You’re (going to) make our team being a role player. So it’s great that he does (know that) and because we know wholeheartedly we’re not looking for a free agent to be a starter.”
While he wasn’t especially active from beyond the arc at Marquette, Lockett expressed his attitude toward a potential niche as a three-point threat in a separate interview with Cowbell Kingdom. He compared his journey to successful specialists such as San Antonio’s Danny Green.
“I definitely enjoy watching Danny Green succeed, especially in the playoffs this year because I’m not coming in here trying to be Carmelo (Anthony) or Kobe (Bryant),” Lockett said. “I know that’s not my role and I know I do have a role in the NBA.”
Buycks and Lockett join a list of five other Marquette stars active in the NBA: Miami’s Dwyane Wade, Portland’s Wesley Matthews, Toronto’s Steve Novak, Chicago’s Jimmy Butler and Dallas’ Jae Crowder.
Guard Junior Cadougan also took part in summer league play with the Milwaukee Bucks, but didn’t make the roster. He is, however, playing for the senior Canadian national team in the FIBA Americas Championship for Men in Caracas, Venezuela. Vander Blue, who declared for the NBA draft one year early, also has yet to be signed after stints with the Memphis Grizzlies and Houston Rockets’ summer squads.