The NBA trade deadline has already affected one former Wolverine and may affect a few more. Our group of former Michigan basketball players in the NBA struggled a bit this week as the hot shooting appears to have ended. Here’s how each of them performed this week:
Note: All stats are as of Feb. 7.
Tim Hardaway Jr., Dallas Mavericks
Hardaway’s Dallas Mavericks were the talk of the NBA this week following their trade for Kyrie Irving. It’s highly unlikely THJ’s minutes will be affected by the trade since he rarely ever plays the point, but it wouldn’t shock me if his stats decline as Dallas now has two ball-dominant guards.
In Dallas’ games this week, Hardaway Jr. was up-and-down. He had a brutal shooting performance against the Pelicans on Thursday — 3-for-18 from the field. He then bounced back nicely on Saturday and Monday as he scored 22 and 17, respectively.
Jordan Poole, Golden State Warriors
With Steph Curry out due to a leg injury, Poole is back in the starting lineup. Throughout this season when Poole’s started, he’s scored at a high clip but has been inefficient and has taken a ton of shots. This week, he changed things up and played the role of a distributor. On Monday night, he dished out a career-high 12 assists while also chipping in 21 points in a 141-114 win over Oklahoma City.
Moritz Wagner, Orlando Magic
Moe cooled down a bit this week, following back-to-back 20-point performances last week. This week he posted six points at Philadelphia, 19 at Minnesota on just 10 shots, eight at Charlotte and 13 against New York. His regression back to the mean wasn’t overly surprising, but his lack of minutes this week was. In the Magic’s four games this week, Wagner only averaged 18 minutes per game.
Franz Wagner, Orlando Magic
You might have heard this before, but Franz was yet again his efficient, thorough self this past week. Orlando split its four games while Wagner stuffed the stat sheet. On Wednesday, he scored 13 despite an ugly shooting night from three (1-for-7). He followed that up with just nine points on Friday, but he also chipped in six rebounds and four assists. Wagner’s performances on Sunday and Tuesday consisted of mediocre shooting by his standards.
Through half a season, it’s fair to say he started the season hot but has cooled off into a reliable, double-digit scorer who will rarely take control of the game. He’s the perfect type of role player to complement an emerging star in Paolo Banchero.
Caris LeVert, Cleveland Cavaliers
LeVert missed two games this week due to hamstring soreness. Luckily, it didn’t last long as he was back Monday night. Against the Wizards, he nearly had a double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds. In addition, he tallied four assists and two steals. Cleveland is very much in the playoff mix this year, so I expect him to be relied on more and more as the season progresses.
Isaiah Livers, Detroit Pistons
Livers’ minutes were drastically cut this week. Last week he was in the mid-to-high 20s in minutes every game. This week, he only played 14 minutes on Friday, seven on Saturday and 23 on Monday. Understandably, his stats declined as well. He canned just one three-pointer against the Hornets, was scoreless against Phoenix, and only scored five against Boston.
The Pistons are officially tanking at this point so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Livers get more and more minutes after the trade deadline.
Caleb Houstan, Orlando Magic
Houstan finally returned to NBA action this week when he checked in Sunday in Charlotte. In 12 minutes, he went 3-for-4 from the field (2-for-2 from deep) to score eight points. He also chipped in two rebounds. While certainly not a breakout performance by any means, it was great to see Houstan getting NBA minutes again.
Moussa Diabate, Los Angeles Clippers
Diabate remained in the NBA this week but did not see the floor in any of the Clippers’ contests due to several coach’s decisions. There are rumors circulating he may be hurt but nothing has been confirmed.
Duncan Robinson, Miami Heat
Robinson remained out this week due to finger surgery.