Priest Lauderdale gallery – PHOTOS

Priest Lauderdale, despite his presence, sadly did not last in the NBA long enough to be remembered as at least a solid player.

Lauderdale was drafted in 1996 by the Seattle Supersonics, that traded Lauderdale (as a 1996 1st round draft pick) to the Atlanta Hawks for a 1996 2nd round draft pick (Joe Vogel) and a 1996 2nd round draft pick (Ron Riley).

The Hawks gave Lauderdale a chance in his first season, as the 7’4 giant appeared in 35 games for Atlanta, shooting an impressive 55 percent from the field, averaging 3.2 ppg and 1.2 rpg in just over 5 minutes of playing time.

Despite his poor freethrow shooting (56 percent), Lauderdale could have improved, given more playing time the next season. Many in fact believed that Lauderdale would be a solid backup for the All-star center, shotblocking specialist Dikembe Mutombo.

However, Lauderdale was traded to the struggling Denver Nuggets team, and his career did not get any better after the trade. That 1997-1998 season, with Lauderdale, the Nuggets lost 71 games of 82, winning only 11, and finishing 7th in the NBA’s Midwest Division.

Lauderdale appeared in 39 games for the Nuggets, playing nearly 9 minutes per game, averaging 3.7 ppg and 2.6 rpg, yet shooting a dismal 41 percent from the field.

His freethrow shooting also did not improve, falling to 55 percent. For someone who could look Georghe Muresan and Shawn Bradley eye-to-eye, it was the end of an NBA career.

In his two seasons in the NBA, Lauderdale played in 74 regular season games for Atlanta Hawks and Denver Nuggers, averaging 3.4 ppg, 1.9 rpg. Below is a collected photo gallery of Lauderdale throughout his career in basketball, both in the NBA, and beyond it.


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