The Florida Gators haven’t always been a basketball powerhouse and Gainesville wouldn’t exactly be considered an NBA factory, but Billy Donovan built up the program into a back-to-back champion in 2006 and 2007. Then eventually, Donovan followed the rest of his players right into the NBA.
Those great teams certainly left their mark on the NBA for well over a decade and Florida even has some very solid pros from the past. In all, there have been 35 former Gators who have played in the NBA, 12 first-round picks, and five who have made the NBA All-Star game.
Eight of the top 10 players on this list played for Coach Donovan at Florida, including No. 10 who was the 2010-11 SEC Player of the Year, but just missed the back-to-back championship teams.
No. 10 best Florida basketball NBA career: Chandler Parsons
- Drafted: 2011 No. 38 overall (second round)
- NBA career games: 440
- NBA PPG: 12.7
- 2011-12 All-Rookie
Chandler Parsons spent four years in Gainesville and though the Gators only made the tournament in two of those seasons, he had a decorated career. Parsons was an SEC All-Freshman in 2008 and the SEC Player of the Year as a senior in 2011.
It was clear he was NBA-ready and he hit the ground running with the Houston Rockets who took him in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft. Parsons averaged 9.5 points per game and was a member of the All-Rookie team.
Parsons became an effective wing-scorer with the Rockets, averaging over 15 points in his next two years. He signed with Dallas as a restricted free agent and had two strong seasons with the Mavericks.
His big payday came in the summer of 2016 when he signed a four-year $94-million contract with Memphis. He never lived up the the deal and only played three seasons with the Grizzlies before being moved to Atlanta in a salary dump.