From NMSU Athletics
LAS CRUCES, NM – In less than a week, the number of former NM State basketball players on current NBA ranks has tripled.
Various NBA team changes over the past four days have allowed Trevelin Queen (Houston Rockets) and Jemerrio Jones (Los Angeles Lakers) to join Pascal Siakam (Toronto Raptors) in the NBA ranks.
With Jones, Queen and Siakam securing all spots on the NBA roster for the time being, it will be the first NBA season that three former Aggies have played in the league for the same season since 1977-78. That year, Charlie Criss (Atlanta), Sam Lacey (Kansas City) and John Williamson (Indiana) each wrote minutes for teams across the association.
On Monday afternoon, the Los Angeles Lakers committed Jones to a 10-day hardship release and brought him on board from the Wisconsin herd of the NBA G League. Jones’ second appearance with the Lakers begins Tuesday evening (December 21) when the Lakers face reigning NBA Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns at 8:00 p.m. MT.
Currently, Jones is fourth on the Lakers depth chart, behind players like LeBron James (daily), Carmelo Anthony and Trevor Ariza (daily). 17-time world champion in the 2018/19 season. The Memphis, Tennessee product averaged 4.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.2 steals in 23.8 minutes per game during its six-game stint with the Lakers at the end of their 2018- 19 campaign.
Jones’ last game in a Laker jersey was his best as former Aggie with 11 points, 15 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a pair of steals in 46 minutes in his team’s tight 104-101 setback against the Portland Trailblazers on Tuesday ended April 9, 2019. Jones’ motor and elite rebound ability has been featured every night in the NBA G League since then. As the All-NBA G League Third Team Pick in 2020, Jones averaged 10.8 points, 12.0 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.3 steals per game.
After serving a year with the Delaware Blue Coats (the Philadelphia 76ers G League subsidiary) in 2021, Jones returned to the Milwaukee Bucks G League club for the 2021-22 season.
For Queen, his NBA dream came true late Friday night when the Houston Rockets signed the soaring guard in a two-way deal. Queen, who was in the Los Angeles Lakers summer league and NBA training camps ahead of the 2021-22 campaign, had played for the Rockets’ G League daughter, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, prior to Friday night’s news.
Queen made his NBA regular-season debut in the Rockets’ 116-107 win over the Detroit Pistons at Motor City on Saturday, December 18. Glen Burnie, Md., Product recorded its opening minutes in a regular-season NBA game that day and went 0v2 in three minutes in the fourth quarter.
Monday night Queen finished with two points, a rebound and an assist in four minutes in the Rockets’ 133-118 loss to the Chicago Bulls. His driving layup with 3:10 to go in the fourth quarter represented his first points in a regular season NBA showdown. Before signing up with the Rockets’ Queen, the Vipers averaged 22.0 points in the G League, 6, 6 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.8 steals in 32.6 minutes per game.
Siakam, the NM State’s most recently recognized NBA product, is currently listed on the NBA’s health and safety protocols as one of a multitude of players in the association affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Despite an early season injury keeping him out of the Toronto Raptors lineup, the striker made his return to the ranks of the team against the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, November 7th. In 17 games this season, Siakam has averaged 19.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists for Toronto in 34.5 minutes per game.
Jones (2016-18) and Queen (2018-20) were both prepared by current NM State head coach Chris Jans, while Siakam (2014-16) also appeared for two seasons for the Aggies.
The full schedule for the respective Jones, Queen and Siakam teams for the remainder of the 2021 calendar year can be found at the end of this press release.
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Toronto Raptors (Pascal Siakam)
22.12. vs. Chicago Bulls | 6:00 p.m. CET
26.12. at Cleveland Cavaliers | 16:00 CET
28.12. vs. Philadelphia 76ers | 5:30 p.m. CET
December 31 vs. Los Angeles Clippers | 5:30 p.m. CET
Houston Rockets (Trevelin Queen)
22.12. in Milwaukee Bucks | 6:00 p.m. CET
23.12. at Indiana Pacers | 5:00 p.m. CET
December 27 at Charlotte Hornets | 5:00 p.m. CET
28.12. vs. Los Angeles Lakers | 6:00 p.m. CET
December 31 vs. Miami Heat | 5:00 p.m. CET
Los Angeles Lakers (Jemerrio Jones)
December 21 against Phoenix Suns (TNT) | 8 p.m. CET
23.12. vs. San Antonio Spurs | 8:30 p.m. CET
25.12. against Brooklyn Nets (ABC / ESPN) | 6:00 p.m. CET
28.12. at Houston Rockets | 6:00 p.m. CET
12/29 at Memphis Grizzlies (NBA TV) | 6:00 p.m. CET
12/31 vs. Portland Trailblazers (NBA TV) | 8:30 p.m. CET