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Pro Blue: Checking in on former Michigan players in the NBA

Franz Wagner is having a great first season in the NBA so far.

Orlando Magic v Golden State Warriors Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

The University of Michigan is well represented in the NBA. There are a lot of former Wolverines chasing their dreams and trying to make a career for themselves.

Let’s check in on how those guys have done this season. (All stats for NBA guys are courtesy of basketball reference and account for all games played before Monday, Dec. 13).

Caris LeVert, Indiana Pacers

2021-22 stats: 15.5 points per game, 2.9 rebounds per game, 3.2 assists per game, 42.8% shooting on field goals, 28.9% from three, 79.1% on free throws

LeVert has gotten off to a slow start by his usual standards, partially due to him trying to recover from a stress fracture in his back at the start of the year.

With Indiana moving toward a rebuild, LeVert has been in trade talks all year long, with the most recent rumors being he could be headed to a Cleveland team that has caught people by surprise.

If LeVert is traded this year, the team he goes to knows they’re getting a solid wing who can relied upon on both sides of the floor and provide a scoring pop as a main ball handler in some lineups.

Franz Wagner, Orlando Magic

2021-22 stats: 14.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.8 apg, 45.3-39.0-79.1 percent shooting splits (FG%, 3PTFG%, FT%)

Around this time last year, Wagner was likely studying for finals and preparing for Big Ten play. Now, he’s sharing pre-game posters with LeBron James.

The rookie has been one of the most players in this class, thanks to his sharpshooting and playmaking abilities. He’s third among rookies in scoring and has had more than a few eye-popping performances this season.

If he keeps playing the way he is, he feels like a lock to make the All-Rookie team.

Jordan Poole, Golden State Warriors

2021-22 stats: 18.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 3.4 apg, 1.1 steals per game, 45.0-34.9-91.7% shooting splits

Poole’s teammates have been very complementary of him this season, as he’s a big reason why the Warriors are currently the No. 2 seed in the West with an impressive 21-5 record.

The third-year guard has come a long way, and now is the third-leading scorer on one of the best teams in the NBA. It should be interesting to see what becomes of his role once Klay Thompson comes back.

Tim Hardaway Jr., Dallas Mavericks

2021-22 stats: 14.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.2. apg, 1.0 steals per game, 38.4-32.4-73.0% shooting splits

After signing a new 4-year, $75 million deal this earlier this year, Hardaway Jr. has struggled a bit for the Mavericks by his standards. One of the best performances of the year came earlier this month, when he dropped 29 points, grabbed seven rebounds and made five threes in a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Duncan Robinson, Miami Heat

2021-22 stats: 11.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.3 apg, 38.3-34.2-77.8% shooting splits

Even though he is renowned as one of the best three-point shooters in the league, Robinson got off to a rough start, making less than 30% of his threes over the first 15 games.

He’s been better in the month of December, going off for 24 points in a win against Indiana on Dec. 3 and scoring 26 against a short-handed Chicago Bulls team on Dec. 11.

Trey Burke, Dallas Mavericks

2021-22 stats: 6.4 ppg, 1.6 apg, 11.3 minutes per game, 44.7-42.3-90.9% shooting splits

While Burke is averaging a career-low in minutes, he’s still providing a scoring pop off the bench for the Mavericks. It’s a little tough to get minutes when you’re behind Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson, but Burke has made the most of the minutes he has gotten this year.

Ignas Brazdeikis and Mo Wagner, Orlando Magic

Brazdeikis 2021-22 splits: 8.2 minutes per game, 1.5 ppg, 1.4 rpg

Wagner 2021-22 splits: 11.4 minutes per game, 5.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg

Both Brazdeikis and Wagner have been coming off the bench together, and have both shared the floor with Franz Wagner on more than a few occasions. Both showed they are capable of scoring 20 points in a game last season, and have been fighting for minutes all year long. Michigan fans should certainly hope to see more from these two.

A G-League check-in

Isaiah Livers, Detroit Pistons: Livers has yet to make his debut for the Pistons while battling a foot injury, averaging three points and two rebounds in 17.5 minutes per game for the Motor City Cruise.

Derrick Walton Jr., Detroit Pistons: Walton Jr. has also been playing for the Cruise, averaging 13.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 6.9 assists per game for the Pistons’ affiliate.

Chaundee Brown Jr., Los Angeles Lakers: After signing a two-way contract last month, Brown Jr. has been showing out for the South Bay Lakers, averaging 17.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game

Mike Smith, Miami Heat: After playing summer league with the Milwaukee Bucks, the point guard is now playing for Miami’s affiliate, averaging 9.4 points, 3.2 boards and 2.6 assists per game.

Jon Teske, Orlando Magic: The Big Man is still working to keep his NBA dreams alive, putting up 6.7 points and 7.2 boards for the Lakeland Magic this year.

Zavier Simpson, Oklahoma City Thunder: Simpson has averaged 5.0 points, 2.6 rebounds and 3.3 for the Thunder affiliate, and has also been playing for USA basketball for World Cup qualifiers.

Nik Stauskas, Denver Nuggets: After playing in Spain, Stauskas is back to chasing his NBA dreams, averaging 18.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 3.3 made threes per game with the Grand Rapids Gold.