Five former Tigers opened their NBA seasons Wednesday

Former LSU guard Ben Simmons had 16 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists in the 76ers 113-107 season opening win over Washington on Wednesday night.

Former LSU basketball players Garrett Temple, Ben Simmons, Naz Reid, Tremont Waters and rookie Skylar Mays made their 2020-21 NBA debuts with their respective clubs Wednesday night.

Temple, who played on two SEC Championship teams at LSU (2006, 2009) and was a starter as a freshman on the 2006 NBA Final Four team, started his 11th year in the NBA after having played 576 games. He signed with the Chicago Bulls after averaging 10.3 points, 3.5 rebounds per game and 2.5 assists per game last season with Brooklyn.

He did not play in the Bulls’ 124-104 season opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Mays, a member of LSU’s SEC championship team and NCAA Sweet 16 team in 2019, was drafted in the second round by the Hawks in November and signed a two-way contract that allows him to participate in NBA games but also get playing time in the NBA G-League once or if that season begins. Modified rules allow two-way players to appear in up to 50 games this season.

In Wednesday’s opener, Mays played five minutes, attempted one shot and did not score.

Simmons, who played for LSU in 2015-16 when he averaged 19.2 points and 11.8 rebounds as the national Freshman of the Year and the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft, enters his fourth season with the Philadelphia 76ers. Returning after a knee injury sustained in the 2019-20 season, he has played in 217 NBA games and is averaging 16.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 8.0 assists for his career.

He had 16 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists in the 76ers 113-107 season opening win over Washington.

Reid was another one-and-done freshman, but went undrafted after the 2019 LSU season when the Tigers won the SEC regular season championship and advanced to the Sweet 16. He was one of the stars of the 2019 NBA summer league and signed a four-year deal with Minnesota. He played in 30 games last season as a rookie, averaging 16.5 minutes per game, 9.0 points and 4.1 rebounds.

In the Timberwolves’ 111-101 season opening victory over Detroit on Wednesday, he had 8 points and 5 rebounds coming off the bench.

Also signing a new two-way deal this year is Boston’s Tremont Waters, who was a first-team All-SEC guard on LSU’s 2019 NCAA Sweet 16 team as well.

Waters was the G-League Rookie of the Year in 2019-20 and spent time in the bubble with the Celtics in the NBA resumption. He played in 11 games for the Celtics and averaged 3.6 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists.

He did not play in a 122-121 season opening win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

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