Doesn’t necessarily have to be a Hog, but certainly could be.
In my mind there are only two real candidates: Scottie Pippen and Sidney Moncrief. Both in the Naismith Hall of Fame (Pip’s in there twice as a member of the '92 Dream Team, which he led in assists). Pip has six rings, Sidney none, and only got to the conference finals twice (Larry Bird and Dr. J kept getting in the way). But Pip obviously had a lot better team around him, starting with that bald guy with all the shoe money.
Both defensive demons. Sidney won the first two NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards. Pip was never DPOY but was on the All-NBA defensive first team eight times and led the league in steals once. Pip averaged 16.1 points a game in the regular season, 17.5 in the playoffs. Sid averaged 15.6 regular, 16.0 in the playoffs.
IMO either one is defensible, but it’s something to debate other than cancelled games and jeopardized seasons. Joe Johnson made a lot of money and scored a lot of points, but to me he’s not quite on the Pip/Sid level. One list I saw had Mike Conley Jr. (born in Fayetteville) as #4 on the all-time NBA Arkie list, which is reasonable, and Derek Fisher at #5. Fat Lever, born in Pine Bluff but moved away early, is in the top 10 of that list. So is the Brand. Business Decision didn’t quite make the top 10. (Joe was #2 on this list, which I definitely dispute.)
“Big Country” Bryant Reeves, born in Fort Smith (Sparks Hospital I’d bet) is also on that list. As are four of the Jones brothers from Desha Central.
By the way there have apparently been 52 NBA players all-time born in the state.