Top 5 NBA rookie seasons by an Illinois basketball player

Illinois basketball has a history of putting players in the NBA, and here are the top five NBA rookie seasons by former Illini greats
Denver Nuggets v Utah Jazz, Game 6
Denver Nuggets v Utah Jazz, Game 6 / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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No. 5 Nick Anderson (1989-90)

Checking in at No. 5 is an Illini legend and someone who was the leader of some of the special teams in the history of Illinois basketball. Nick Anderson is one of the greatest to ever come through the program.

Anderson only spent two seasons in Champaign, and he put up big numbers both years. In his final year, he averaged 18.0 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. He also helped Illinois to the Final 4 that season.

NBA was next on the list of things to do for Anderson. He had conquered the college ranks, and now it was time to head to The Association.

With the No. 11 pick in the 1989 NBA Draft, the Orlando Magic selected Anderson. He was sensational in year one with the Magic as well. Anderson averaged 11.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. Despite his great numbers, Anderson was robbed of the All-Rookie team that season.

Anderson was thrown into the toughest situation out of any player on this list. The Magic were a new team to the NBA. They hadn’t played a single game yet. Anderson was the very first pick for the Orlando franchise. It was tough for him, as the Magic only won 18 games in the first season. Anderson still had a great rookie year, though.