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

Michigan is well represented in the NBA this season.

NBA: Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

John Beilein and Juwan Howard have certainly sent their fair share of prospects to the NBA in recent years. Now more than ever, former Wolverines are making their mark in the professional ranks. Throughout the NBA season, we will be highlighting the weekly performances of all the former Michigan basketball players in the league.

This week, we’ll set the table by showing how all nine active players have done through the first two months of the season.

Note: All stats are as of Dec. 4.

Jordan Poole, Golden State Warriors

Through 24 games, Poole is average 16.7 PPG, 4.5 APG and 1.9 RPG. He has turned into a bona fide star for the Warriors despite coming off the bench. He is fourth on the team in scoring and third on the team in assists. Averaging 27 minutes per game, Poole gets starter minutes and his massive contract has paid off to date.

Tim Hardaway Jr, Dallas Mavericks

Similar to Poole, Hardaway Jr. has been coming off the bench more this year than he has in the past, starting in just six of the Mavericks’ 21 games. Also similar to Poole, he has been getting starter minutes, as he’s averaging 25 minutes a game. At 12.4 PPG, 2.5 RPG and 2.0 APG, he is more than just a reliable bench piece. He’s the fourth-leading scorer on a likely playoff bound Dallas team.

Franz Wagner, Orlando Magic

Wagner has continued to build on his stellar rookie campaign, averaging 19.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG and 3.8 APG. In addition, he’s developed into an excellent NBA defender. While Orlando is still struggling mightily, they have certainly found a centerpiece in Wagner. He is second on the team in scoring and fourth in assists while playing more than 33 minutes per game. He has started every game this season for the Magic.

Caris LeVert, Cleveland Cavaliers

LeVert has started about two-thirds of Cleveland games this year in a backcourt with Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland. He is averaging 11.2 PPG, 4.5 RPG and 4.5 APG in about 30 minutes per game. When healthy, he is a solid starter at the NBA level. So far in 2022, he has been healthy for the most part.

Moritz Wagner, Orlando Magic

Next up for the Orlando Wolverines is Franz’s brother, Moe. He has only appeared in five games this year (all of them since Thanksgiving) but is averaging 8.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG and 2.3 APG. He has struggled from three, shooting 3-for-19, but has rebounded well and finished well inside the paint. It will be interesting to see how Wagner’s role develops given Orlando’s struggles and what he provides.

Caleb Houstan, Orlando Magic

Houstan has appeared in 19 games this year and was given a spot start in one game on Nov. 28 against Brooklyn. He’s played primarily in mop-up duty, averaging 4.3 PPG, 2.5 RPG and 0.8 APG. On a roster full of young talent, Houstan is being given 19 minutes per game to show what he’s capable of with minimal results so far.

Moussa Diabate, Los Angeles Clippers

Diabate has appeared in five games this season and is averaging 4.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG and 0.2 APG. Eleven of his points came in one outing. He has split time so far between the Clippers and their G-League affiliate. This is not much of a surprise, as he is quite raw but has immense potential. I would not be surprised to see him spend a majority of his time in the G-League this year.

Duncan Robinson, Miami Heat

Robinson has struggled to stay healthy this season for the disappointing Heat, battling a nagging ankle injury. Appearing off the bench in 16 games, he’s averaging 6.1 PPG, 2.1 RPG and 1.2 APG. Since averaging 13.5 PPG his second year in the NBA, his scoring has decreased for three consecutive years, mostly due to his three-point percentage doing the same. He still has the good will of the Heat coaching staff but will have to start shooting better in order to stay in the rotation in Miami.

Isaiah Livers, Detroit Pistons

Following Marvin Bagley’s injury in the preseason, there was talk around Detroit that Livers could slide into a starting role. While he did start in seven games, Livers is only getting 19 minutes per game, so he has started in the nominal sense only. Averaging 5.8 PPG, 2.3 RPG and 0.6 APG, the former second round pick is a part of the rotation but has struggled to produce on the floor so far. Last Thursday, he hurt his shoulder and has not played since.