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Boilermakers In the NBA

Purdue has sent several players to the NBA over the years, though none have had as interesting of a career as forward Brian Cardinal.

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Boilermakers under Matt Painter have produced a handful of NBA products over the years and currently have three players active in the league. Out of the three current players former Purdue power forward Carl Landry has had the most success while guard E'Twaun Moore has had a solid two year tenure in Orlando coming off of the bench. While Purdue only has three NBA players currently, as well as Lewis Jackson playing in the D-League, Purdue has sent plenty of players overseas as well:

D.J. Byrd, Chris Kramer, Keaton Grant - Germany
JaJuan Johnson - Italy
Chris Booker - Slovenia
Nemanja Calasan - France
Willie Deane - Russia
Scott Martin - England
Brandon McKnight - Finland
David Teague - Uruguay
Chris Lutz - Philippines
Gary Ware - Austria

Also, while no longer in the league...this post simply would not be complete without mentioning Brian Cardinal, who somehow spent 11 seasons in the league for six different teams. That, however, is nowhere near the most interesting aspects of "the Custodian's" career in the NBA. A second round pick by the Pistons, he played in 23 games his first two seasons. After a quick five game stint in Washington and a reserve role overseas in Spain, Cardinal ended up out in Golden State where he started in 11 games, averaged 21.5 minutes per game and almost ten points per game. The power forward had size and a productive season in his first opportunity so it was little surprise his next contract would be worth more than the third year league minimum he just earned. Well...

His season in Oakland was apparently worth $39 million over six years. Well, to Memphis it was.

Cardinal of course wasn't done, as his size and experience was enough for him to apparently warrant a two year $13 million contract from Minnesota before he eventually ended up in Dallas and saw himself apart of the NBA Champions in 2011. Not too shabby of a career for the one referred to as the Custodian.

Carl Landry

Landry came to Purdue after taking the JUCO route and ended up putting together a wildly successful career here. He was drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics with the first pick of the second round, but ended up being traded over to the Rockets. After riding the bench for awhile Landry eventually turned into a productive role player for the Rockets and was scoring 16.1 points per game in 2009-10 before he was included in a trade that sent him over to Sacramento. He spent the rest of the season starting for the Kings, averaging a career high 18 points per game.

Since then Landry's career has been a bit all over the place, with the power forward being traded to New Orleans. He would eventually head west to join the Golden State Warriors where he played in 81 games as a key backup that helped the Warriors return to the playoffs. Golden State unfortunately couldn't afford to retain him (disclaimer, I'm a Purdue and Golden State fan) and he returned to Sacramento.

Unfortunately for Landry, though, his impressive return to form in Oakland went to the wayside in 2013-14 as he missed the beginning of the season due to a hip injury. He would eventually return but he only played in 18 games and didn't see much playing time (12.9 MPG). To make things worse, Landry tore his meniscus and missed the last month plus of the season. Luckily for Landry, though, he already signed into a solid payday with a four year $26 million contract and still has three years remaining. If he can get healthy he could provide some depth for the Kings, though his body seems to be suffering from some wear and tear as he enters his 30s.

E'Twaun Moore

One of the Baby Boilers, Moore ended up getting drafted late in the second round by the Celtics. He ended up originally in Italy due to the lockout, but was able to back out of his contract when the lockout ended. In his rookie season he played in 38 games towards the back of the rotation and actually was making considerable progress during the offseason when he was part of a large trade that sent him to the Rockets. Houston had no intention to keep Moore around so he was waived soon after and he ended up in Orlando. While not a starter for the Magic, Moore has started in 24 games over the last two seasons and comes off the bench for solid minutes (22.4 MPG in 2012-13, 19.1 MPG in 2013-14).

It'll be interesting to see how Moore continues to develop. He can definitely score and create offense but he's never been able to maintain consistency. During the offseason while at Boston he started to develop the ability to run the point but the skillset wasn't needed in Orlando and his assists halved in 2013-14. As is, he'll likely see more looks at the two spot but could run a little point off the bench and does provide a solid offensive weapon. His contract with Orlando has expired but Moore has publicly commented that he would like to re-sign with the Magic. Ideally he could fit better with a team that needs a backup combo guard and Orlando's utilization of him as a two does limit his potential a tad, but they've treated him well and it seems like he'll likely return.

Robbie Hummel

Purdue was looking like a surefire Final Four team (barring an upset) when Hummel went down with his first ACL tear. Two ACL injuries and plenty of age/knee jokes later, Hummel eventually finished out his career at Purdue and was selected by the Timberwolves with one of the last picks of the 2012 Draft. The life of a second rounder is never guaranteed and that proved true here as Hummel spent the season overseas playing in Spain before another knee injury brought him stateside.

He once again participated in the summer league for the Timberwolves in 2013 and surprised some people when he stuck on the roster. He wasn't always a constant member of the rotation, but he still played in 53 games in his rookie season. It should probably be noted that 16 of his DNPs happened in about a month span midseason, but he found his way back into the rotation following an injury to forward Kevin Martin. All in all it wasn't a bad season for Hummel, as he averaged 12.4 minutes per game and 3.4 points per game. His strength was his ability to shoot from outside, hitting on 36% of his threes and 93.8% from the free throw line. He's not as good as he once was and he'll likely never truly regain his original form, but it was an impressive enough debut that he'll likely warrant some time towards the back end of the rotation and if he develops he could blossom into a role player for Minnesota or elsewhere in the league.

(sort of) Lewis Jackson

Lewis Jackson was the starting point guard for the Boilermakers throughout his tenure at Purdue and was a reliable, if not spectacular, guard that didn't make many mistakes and knew what was expected of him. He wasn't drafted in 2012 and spent his first year post-Purdue playing ball over in Lithuania. In 2013 he was drafted by the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA D-League but was waived later in the month. He eventually ended up on the roster of the Erie Bayhawks where he led the D-League in assists with just shy of 9 assists per game. He likely won't crack a NBA roster, especially due to his size and inability to shoot from outside, but he could resurface overseas once again in the near future.