FAYETTEVILLE – Three former University of Arkansas Razorback men’s basketball players opened the 2010-11 season on National Basketball Association (NBA) rosters this week. Joe Johnson of the Atlanta Hawks begins his 10th season in the league while Ronnie Brewer of the Chicago Bulls is in his fifth and Sonny Weems with the Toronto Raptors begins his third.
Johnson signed a new contract with the Hawks after testing the free agent market this offseason and came out with a stellar opening night with 22 points, four rebounds and seven assists in 31 minutes against the Memphis Grizzlies. During the preseason he started seven games and averaged 14.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists. This is Johnson’s sixth season with the Atlanta Hawks.
Brewer was also a free agent this summer and after a season with the Utah Jazz and Memphis Grizzlies, he opted to play with the Chicago Bulls for 2010-11. In his first contest against the highly regarded Oklahoma City Thunder, Brewer scored three points and grabbed three rebounds with one assist in 13 minutes of play. Brewer is also coming off knee surgery which ended his 2009-10 season and in the preseason played in five games and averaged 4.6 points and 2.4 rebounds.
Weems’ first day of the new season saw him play 20 minutes against the New York Knicks and score six points and get credit for two assists. This is Weems’ second season with the Raptors after playing his first season in the league with the Denver Nuggets. During the preseason, Weems made one start in eight games and averaged 11.4 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists.
A fourth former Razorback, Patrick Beverley was one of the final roster cuts of the Miami Heat. His status for the 2010-11 season is currently up in the air although some teams have expressed interest in the shooting guard.