There have been a lot of banner days for the Michigan Wolverines men’s basketball program over the last decade or so, but even more so when players find success at the NBA level. Tuesday was the beginning of free agency in the NBA and two prominent Michigan alums — Duncan Robinson and Tim Hardaway Jr. — received massive contracts.
Robinson agreed to a five-year deal worth $90 million to remain with the Miami Heat, while Hardaway will remain with the Dallas Mavericks on a four-year contract worth $72 million. The quick math gives us $162 million in contracts signed by former Wolverines on the first day of free agency.
Between Duncan Robinson and Tim Hardaway Jr., former Michigan Wolverines have signed $162 million in free agent deals today. https://t.co/jbqBFx3ZVm— Anthony Broome (@anthonytbroome) August 2, 2021
Robinson’s story goes down as one of the most remarkable in the history of basketball. He started his career at a Division III school before transferring to Michigan, then ended his time in college as a sixth-man. After going undrafted in 2018, he became a starter over the last two seasons in Miami and is the fastest in the history of the NBA to hit 500 three-pointers in his career. He averaged 13.1 points per game last season for the Heat.
Hardaway has developed into a solid starter since being the No. 24 overall pick in 2013. He began his career with the New York Knicks before spending the last three seasons with the Dallas Mavericks. He averaged 16.6 points per game in 2020-21 and has scored at least 15 points per game in each of the last six seasons.
Robinson and Hardaway have different stories and paths to the NBA, but their careers have squashed a lot of bad takes about their futures coming out of college. Nobody thought Robinson would crack an NBA roster and thought he was Europe-bound, while Hardaway was never as highly thought of as some of his peers on the 2013 national runner-up team.
Aside from sharing the link of the school they played for, both were key pieces on the last two Michigan teams to play for a national championship. Cheers to both of them for cashing in and giving the program some more recruiting ammo, as if it needed another pitch for why playing at Crisler is good for your basketball-playing stock.