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The NBA is back: Duke, Virginia basketball alums all over restart rosters

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Duke boasts a league-leading 17 players, and defending national champion Virginia has seven, on the 22 NBA teams that will return to play following the suspension for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Five of the Duke alums are on the roster of the New Orleans Pelicans: Brandon Ingram, Frank Jackson, Jahlil Okafor, J.J. Redick and Zion Williamson.

The Pelicans, whose general manger is former Blue Devil Trajan Langdon, are in a fight for the eighth seed in the Western Conference with Memphis, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio and Phoenix.

Blue Devils occupy 12 roster spots on those six Western Conference foes, with Grayson Allen, Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow on Memphis, Gary Trent Jr. on Portland, and Marvin Bagley III, Harry Giles and Jabari Parker on Sacramento.

Also for Duke, Quinn Cook is on the roster for the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers, with Mason Plumlee on the third-place Denver Nuggets, Austin Rivers on the sixth-place Houston Rockets and Seth Curry on the seventh-place Dallas Mavericks.

There are three UVA alums on Western Conference rosters: Ty Jerome in Phoenix, Kyle Guy in Sacramento, and Devon Hall in Oklahoma City.

Four ‘Hoos are in the East: Justin Anderson and Joe Harris in Brooklyn, Malcolm Brogdon in Indiana, and Mike Scott in Philadelphia.

The lone Eastern Conference representative from Duke is 2020 NBA All-Star Jayson Tatum from the Boston Celtics.

The restart is officially underway Thursday night with a doubleheader on TNT as the Jazz battle the Pelicans at 6:30 p.m. ET, followed by the Clippers versus the Lakers at 9 p.m. ET. A full slate of games is on tap for Friday, beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET. Friday’s national TV games include Memphis versus Portland at 4 p.m. ET on NBA TV, followed by Boston versus Milwaukee at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN and Houston versus Dallas at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.