Welcome, everyone, to this week’s edition of “Where Are They Now?” We’re back again with another crop of the stars you used to love, bringing their current whereabouts to light.
In this week’s edition, we will turn our eyes to a series of players in different locations, most notably those involved in the Chinese Basketball Association Playoffs.
Xavier University has a long history of producing quality NBA prospects. The list includes, but is not limited to, David West, James Posey and Jordan Crawford.
Many believed that Derrick Brown would be the next in line, as an athletic wing with big play capability.
Brown rarely dominated, but he became one of the most efficiently well-rounded players in the nation. He scored well in transition, consistently improved his three-ball, crashed the boards and facilitated at a quality level.
Junior season averages of 13.7 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists on a slash line of .504/.433/.741 proved as much. They also led to to Brown being named to the Wooden Award and Naismith Award watch list.
Rather than play his senior season, Brown went 40th overall in the 2009 NBA draft.
Brown would play three seasons in the league, spending time with the Charlotte Bobcats and New York Knicks. Most recently, Brown played 65 games and started 17 for the Charlotte Bobcats. He averaged 8.1 points and 3.6 rebounds in 22.2 minutes on 51.8 percent shooting.
So where is he now?
Brown is currently in Russia, playing for Lokomotiv Kuban. He’s seen action in both the PBL, VTB United League and EuroCup. In that time, he’s averaging roughly 11 points and five rebounds.
At 25, the NBA is half a world away from this high-flyer.
From 2002 to 2012, Rasual Butler was a consistent rotational option for five separate NBA franchises. That includes the Miami Heat, New Orleans Hornets, Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors.
It all started with current NCAA Tournament team, La Salle.
While playing for the Explorers, Butler was a two-time All-Atlantic 10 first team selection. He also topped 2,000 career points, thus leading to his induction into the La Salle team Hall of Fame in 2008.
After averaging 21.0 points and 8.8 rebounds per game in 2002, Butler went to the NBA. The Miami Heat took him 54th overall and thus began a 10-year career.
Butler spent three years with the Heat, shooting 46.3 percent from beyond the arc in 2004. After that season, Butler began seeing spot starts throughout the duration of his career.
That includes 2009, when he played all 164 games and started 138 over a two-year span for the New Orleans Hornet and Los Angeles Clippers. For the Hornets, he averaged 10.6 points and shot 52.6 percent from beyond the arc during the postseason.
In the following two seasons, however, Butler had his minutes cut down significantly. Never one to give up hope, Butler signed on with the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA D-League for 2013.
Thus far, Butler is averaging 16.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. Chances are, an NBA return is not out of the picture, even this season, for the veteran who might make a nice emergency sub for a playoff team.
Eddy Curry is a name well-known to virtually every NBA fan that has followed the sport since 2001. As the fourth overall draft choice in the 2001 NBA Draft, that is to be expected.
After playing 81 games and leading the league in field goal percentage in 2002-03, Curry took a major leap in 2003-04. The big man averaged 14.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 29.5 minutes and continued the trend of his continued statistical improvement.
In 2004-05, Curry was the leading scorer on a Bulls team that made a 28-win improvement and made the playoffs. Unfortunately, his season was cut short due to an irregular heartbeat. He missed the entire postseason.
That offseason, Curry refused to submit a DNA test in order to determine if he has a congenital heart condition and was traded to the New York Knicks.
Curry was solid, but not what the Knicks expected, during his first year with the team. He averaged 13.6 points and 6.0 rebounds in 25.9 minutes on 56.3 percent shooting—numbers that would be smiled upon for anyone else.
In 2006-07, Curry played a career-high 81 games and averaged career-bests of 19.5 points and 7.0 rebounds. It appeared as if his rise to stardom had arrived, as the then 25-year-old was entering his prime while coming off of his best season yet.
Unfortunately, he followed that up with a lackluster campaign alongside Zach Randolph. For what it’s worth, Randolph had one of his worse seasons, as well.
The next year, Curry showed up out-of-shape to training camp and felt the wrath of head coach Mike D’Antoni. He rarely played.
This all but ended his NBA career—just two years removed from a high-quality season.
Curry would go on to win an NBA championship last season as a towel waver for the Miami Heat, playing in just 14 regular season games. After spending two games early this season with the Dallas Mavericks, Curry left the NBA.
So where is he now?
Curry is currently playing for the Zhejiang Golden Bulls of the Chinese Basketball Association. That’s the same team that J.R. Smith spent time with during the 2011 NBA Lockout.
Curry was a dominant force in China, averaging 23.7 points and 10.5 rebounds per game while shooting 61.0 percent from the field. Playing alongside the CBA’s leading scorer, Quincy Douby, the Gold Lions were recently swept in the CBA quarterfinals.
An NBA return is questionable, but not out of the question.