Among former Michigan Wolverines in the NBA, a handful of tiers are starting to develop. There is one clear star (Jordan Poole), an emerging All-Star caliber tier (Franz Wagner), a few starter caliber players (Tim Hardaway, Caris LeVert, Duncan Robinson and Moe Wagner), and those just fighting for playing time (Caleb Houstan, Moussa Diabate, Isaiah Livers). However, these groups are fluid and lots can change.
Let’s see how each of the nine former Wolverines on NBA rosters did this week.
Note: All stats are as of Dec. 27.
Jordan Poole, Golden State Warriors
The Warriors turned it around this week, winning both of their games including a 123-109 victory over Memphis on Christmas. Poole played a major part in both victories. On Sunday he poured in 32 points in just 29 minutes. He followed that up on Tuesday with a 24-point performance, despite shooting just 1-of-7 from three.
He is now second on the team in scoring (behind only Steph Curry) despite being fifth on the team in minutes.
Tim Hardaway Jr., Dallas Mavericks
Dallas went 3-0 this week but Hardaway was pretty hit or miss. In Houston on Friday night, he scored just seven points on a dreadful 2-of-13 shooting night from the floor (0-of-7 from three). However, on Christmas he bounced back with a 26-point performance in a win against the Lakers. During Luka Doncic’s historic performance on Tuesday night, Hardaway started but was merely a role player, scoring 11 points on 15 shots with five rebounds and an assist.
Franz Wagner, Orlando Magic
The Magic split a pair of games this week with Franz continuing to be his stable, solid self. On Friday against San Antonio, he scored 21 points on just 15 shots with four assists and a steal. On Tuesday, he scored 15 points with four assists, two rebounds and a steal. Through 35 games, he is shooting 48% from the field, 35% from three and 88% from the charity stripe. The increase in shooting percentage is impressive given he’s also shooting 2.4 more shots per game this season than he did the last.
Caris LeVert, Cleveland Cavaliers
Unsurprisingly, LeVert had his minutes cut back quite a bit this week. Coming off a few rough games in which he’d been given 30+ minutes per game, he only averaged 20.5 minutes per game this week. Unfortunately, his presence wasn’t felt very much on the floor as he scored just eight points in each of Cleveland’s two matchups. He was efficient from the floor but didn’t put up many shots. In addition, he had more fouls than he did rebounds or assists in both games. Hopefully he can turn it around after the holidays.
Moritz Wagner, Orlando Magic
Wagner’s momentum continued this week in Orlando’s split of two games. Despite his minutes being cut back a bit (down to 26 and 22 respectively), Wagner still stuffed the stat sheet to the tune of 17 points, eight rebounds and an assist against the Spurs, and 12 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals versus the Lakers. Moe appears to be firmly entrenched as a starter at this point.
Caleb Houstan, Orlando Magic
Houstan was finally able to see some game action this week. He played six minutes on Friday and nine minutes on Tuesday, canning one three-pointer in each. As I mentioned last week, it’s interesting to me Houstan has languished on Orlando’s bench and hasn’t been sent down to the G-League. I would think they would want him to get as many minutes as possible in order to develop him.
Moussa Diabate, Los Angeles Clippers
Following his two appearances last week, Diabate went back down to the G-League.
Duncan Robinson, Miami Heat
Robinson and the Heat only played one game this week, a 113-110 win over the Timberwolves. Duncan played just 14 minutes and scored nine points, all of which being three-balls. The first of those threes marked the 800th of his career, the fastest in NBA history.
Duncan Robinson is the fastest player in NBA history to reach 800 career 3PM pic.twitter.com/KtW4LijyGh— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) December 27, 2022
Robinson has seen his fair share of struggles this season, so it’s good to see him reach a milestone and attain a record.
Isaiah Livers, Detroit Pistons
Livers remained out this week due to a shoulder injury. He has not played since Dec. 1.