Wisconsin Badgers in the NBA

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The first round of the NBA playoffs marked the end of the season for two former Wisconsin Badgers.

Wisconsin's current presence in the NBA isn't great. However, two of the three Badgers in the league made the playoffs, both losing in the first round. Devin Harris helped the Dallas Mavericks to a 49-33 record and an 8 seed in the Western Conference. The Mavs fought the San Antonio Spurs to a game 7, in which they were crushed 119-96. Jon Leuer also contributed to a near upset in the first round of the playoffs. It took seven games for the Oklahoma City Thunder to knock off Leuer and the Memphis Grizzlies.

Harris averaged 7.9 points and 4.5 assists per game in 2013-14, his tenth season. It was his first time season with the Mavericks since 2007-08. He had some big games in the first round against the Spurs, dropping 19, 18 and 17 points in games 1, 2 and 7 respectively. With the expiration of his one-year deal, Harris will be on the free agent market again. The veteran should command moderate interest around the league after proving he still has some game. Although Harris never started this year, he played 20.5 minutes per game and split time with Jose Calderon at the point.

Jon Leuer made big strides in his third NBA season. He played in 49 games, up from 28 in 2012-13, and raised his points per game from 1.8 to 6.2. Leuer never started or the Grizz, but he's carved out his own role position off the bench. The power forward was a very efficient shooter this year, shooting 49.2 percent from the field, 46.9 percent from three and 78.7 percent from the free throw line. Leuer only played significant minutes in one playoff game, scoring 9 points and grabbing 7 boards in game 7 while Zach Randolph sat out his suspension. Leuer signed a three-year deal last July, so he should be in Memphis for a couple more seasons.

The third Badger in the NBA, center Greg Stiemsma, also just wrapped up his third year in the league. Stiemsma has moved around every year, going from Boston to Minnesota and then to New Orleans for 2013-14. His production in the NBA is still very minimal. Stiemsma averaged 2.9 points per game and 4.1 rebounds per game, a career high, this season. Stiemsma's contract expired at the end of the season. NBA squads are always looking for depth at center, so it's likely Stiemsma moves on and finds another home for a year or two.

Harris, Leuer and Stiemsma embody Wisconsin's ability to produce role players in the NBA. The trend isn't stopping anytime soon. Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky are both projected as late first round picks in the 2015 NBA draft. They should both become important pieces for NBA squads in the future.

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