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The history of former Florida State basketball players in the NBA is surprisingly decent.
While FSU has never been the NBA factory on the level of its ACC counterparts, the Seminoles go through stretches where they hear their school name called in successive years. Not surprisingly, these tend to be linked to the stretches where the team has the most success.
That trend continued on Thursday night when forward/center Mfiondu Kabengele and guard Terance Mann both heard their name called on draft night. Each were instrumental in Florida State’s Elite Eight and Sweet 16 runs from 2018 and 2019, and both were rewarded with a draft selection.
It turns out that both will begin their careers in Los Angeles. Thanks to the trading of draft rights, Kabengele was drafted by the Brooklyn Nets for the Los Angeles Clippers, while Mann was drafted by the Clippers outright. That’s good news for any FSU fan who doesn’t currently have an NBA team to root for. If things go right, the Clippers will be back in the postseason next season and will look to make some serious noise.
We went back through the records and looked at which NBA teams have been the highest on Florida State players. Below, we’ve separated them into various tiers, and we’ve added some interesting notes on the various picks.
Note: We assessed draft rights trades by counting the player towards to the team that traded for them. Hence why Kabengele is counted as a Clippers selection, not as a Nets selection.
4 – Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers
If you truly are a basketball fandom renegade, you might want to consider looking in to these three teams. Though admittedly, the Clippers are by far the best selection, since three of the four picks happened in the 2000s: Kabengele, Mann, and Al Thornton. James Collins in 1997 was the other pick.
All of the Celtics selections happened in the 1970s. From 1970 to 1974, the Celtics chose Willie Williams, Dave Cowens, Skip Young, and Ben Clyde. If you remember watching literally any of those guys play ball for FSU, your special coupon for the Early Bird Dinner is at the front desk (we kid!).
But let’s say your wanting to root for a team from the ground up. A team who is struggling currently, but may provide dividends in the future. Consider the Cavaliers, who drafted the likes of Harry Davis, Murray Brown, Mickey Dillard, and Bob Sura. Sure none of those guys are from these past two decades, but surely you can make it work.
3 – Los Angeles Lakers
This would be a nice deflection if anyone accuses you of simply being on the LeBron James bandwagon. Cite your undying love for Von Wafer (2005), Elvis Rolle (1981), or Tony Jackson (1980), and watch your accuser pull out their phones and verify that those are real people. Hopefully, you looked up their basic info before the confrontation.
2 – Milwaukee Bucks, Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, Portland Trailblazers, Washington Wizards
1 – Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Utah Jazz, New Orleans Pelicans, Charlotte Hornets, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Memphis Grizzlies, Toronto Raptors, Oklahoma City Thunder
0 – Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Brooklyn Nets