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10 former Michigan basketball players begin season on NBA rosters

NBA gets fully underway with 11 games Wednesday night

Ignas Brazdeikis, Jordan Poole, Moe Wagner, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Caris LeVert are among the former Michigan basketball players on NBA rosters to begin the 2019-20 season. (Getty Images)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Michigan basketball season is still a couple weeks away, but fans won't have to wait any longer to watch some of their favorites on the court.

The NBA tipped off Tuesday with a two-game teaser ahead of an 11-game slate Wednesday night. As the season begins, there are 10 former Michigan basketball players on active 15-man rosters.

Here's a look at all 10 players:

Ignas Brazdeikis

Team: New York Knicks Michigan career: 2018-2019 (one season)

Ignas Brazdeikis #17 of the New York Knicks brings the ball up the court against the Phoenix Suns during the 2019 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 7, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The only one-and-done player in the John Beilein era at Michigan, Ignas Brazdeikis is ready to begin his rookie season with the Knicks.

He played well in the summer league after being selected in the second round, but only appeared in one preseason game.

Brazdeikis averaged 14.8 points and 5.4 rebounds per game as a true freshman at Michigan, so it might not take him long to carve out a role in the Knicks rotation.

Trey Burke

Team: Philadelphia 76ers Michigan career: 2011-2013 (two seasons)

Trey Burke #23 of the Philadelphia 76ers poses for a portrait during Media Day at 76ers Training Complex on September 30, 2019 in Camden, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Trey Burke was the best Wolverine of the Beilein era, but the NBA has been more of a struggle for him.

The former Wooden Award winner landed in Philadelphia after averaging 10.9 points and 2.7 assists per game with the Knights and Dallas Mavericks last season.

This will be the fifth team of Burke's young NBA career.

Tim Hardaway Jr.

Team: Dallas Mavericks Michigan career: 2010-2013 (three seasons)

Tim Hardaway Jr. #11 of the Dallas Mavericks takes a first half shot in front of Thon Maker #7 of the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena on October 09, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Tim Hardaway Jr. has been one of the most successful recent Michigan players in the NBA, averaging 13.1 points per game in his career, but doing little else.

He averaged a career-high 18.1 points per game last season, splitting time between the Knicks and Mavericks.

Hardaway signed a four-year, $71 million deal with the Knicks in 2017 before being traded to the Mavericks with Burke and others in the Kristaps Porzingis trade.

Caris LeVert

Team: Brooklyn Nets Michigan career: 2012-2016 (four seasons)

Caris LeVert #22 of the Brooklyn Nets in action during the match against Rajon Rondo #9 and Dwight Howard #39 of the Los Angeles Lakers during a preseason game as part of 2019 NBA Global Games China at Shenzhen Universiade Center on October 12, 2019 in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. (Photo by Zhong Zhi/Getty Images)

The best former Michigan player in the NBA right now is Caris LeVert, who was enjoying a career season with the Nets last year before being derailed by injury.

LeVert will be one of the centerpieces of a revamped Nets team that added Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant -- who will miss at least most of the season with an injury.

When healthy, LeVert has been an efficient scorer and a solid rebounder and passer. It wouldn't be a surprise to see him break out in his fourth NBA season.

Jordan Poole

Team: Golden State Warriors Michigan career: 2017-2019 (two seasons)

Jordan Poole #3 of the Golden State Warriors in action against the Los Angeles Lakers at Chase Center on October 05, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Jordan Poole was one of the most entertaining players in college basketball the last two years, from his heroic shot against Houston in the 2018 NCAA Tournament to his facial expressions to his signature offensive outbursts.

Poole couldn't have landed in a better situation, especially for his playing style. Golden State loves to run up and down the court and shoot from beyond the arc, and that will be Poole's specialty in the NBA.

Defense will be an issue for the rookie, but Warriors fans will fall in love with the way he plays the game. In fact, they probably already have.

Duncan Robinson

Team: Miami Heat Michigan career: 2015-2018 (three seasons)

Duncan Robinson #55 of the Miami Heat looks to pass around Nicolas Batum #5 of the Charlotte Hornets during their game at Spectrum Center on October 09, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Beilein's best coaching job at Michigan was turning Duncan Robinson into a one-dimension player who could only shoot threes to an all-around player good enough to make an NBA roster.

Robinson was a complete liability on defense his first two seasons in Ann Arbor, and his offense was mostly dependent on others getting him the ball for open shots.

As a senior, he transformed into an able defender with a more versatile offensive game, and that eventually led to this opportunity: making an NBA roster at the start of the season.

In 15 games last year, Robinson averaged 3.3 points on 39.1% shooting in 10.7 minutes per game.

Glenn Robinson III

Team: Golden State Warriors Michigan career: 2012-2014 (two seasons)

Glenn Robinson III #22 of the Golden State Warriors handles the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers during a pre-season game on October 18, 2019 at Chase Center in San Francisco, California. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

The NBA has been a struggle for Glenn Robinson III, but he always seems to find his way onto a roster by the time a new season rolls around.

This year, he joined Poole on the new-look Warriors roster. Robinson isn't a great shooter, but he's long and athletic, so teams usually find a role for him.

He might not get the ball much when he takes the court, but the Warriors will ask Robinson to affect the game in other ways.

Moe Wagner

Team: Washington Wizards Michigan career: 2015-2018 (three seasons)

Bobby Portis #1 of the New York Knicks guards Moritz Wagner #21 of the Washington Wizards as he makes a shot during the first quarter of their game at Madison Square Garden on October 11, 2019 in New York City. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers used a first-round pick to select Moe Wagner two years ago, but shipped him to Washington over the summer as part of a three-team, seven-player, four-draft-pick trade that involved Anthony Davis, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and De'Andre Hunter.

Yeah, it was a blockbuster.

Wagner only averaged 10.4 minutes per game in 43 contests as a rookie, scoring 4.8 points per game on 41.5% shooting. He's a versatile offensive player and should have more of an opportunity to thrive in Washington.

Derrick Walton

Team: Los Angeles Clippers Michigan career: 2014-2017 (four seasons)

Derrick Walton Jr. #10 of the LA Clippers warms up prior to the game against Melbourne United at Staples Center on October 13, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)

The odds were against Derrick Walton when he went undrafted as an undersized senior point guard in 2017. But after two seasons with very little opportunity, he's made his way back onto a roster.

Walton is the last man on the Clippers' bench, but there's always a place for a smart point guard who can shoot threes and play defense. Walton won't have a big role on a championship contending team, but he's set to earn $1.4 million if he sticks around.

D.J. Wilson

Team: Milwaukee Bucks Michigan career: 2014-2017 (three seasons)

D.J. Wilson #5 of the Milwaukee Bucks rebounds against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on February 25, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bucks defeated the Bulls 117-106. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

It's a surprise that D.J. Wilson, who has good length and athleticism and can shoot the ball, hasn't been more of a difference-maker for the Bucks.

Milwaukee surprised many when they selected Wilson with the No. 17 overall pick in 2017. Since then, he's averaged only 13.6 minutes per game in 70 contests.

Wilson was productive when he got an opportunity last season, averaging 5.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game.

Other notables

Head coach John Beilein of the Cleveland Cavaliers during Cleveland Cavaliers Media Day at Cleveland Clinic Courts on September 30, 2019 in Independence, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

John Beilein: He's not a player, but it will be interesting to see how Beilein does in the NBA after decades of coaching the college game. The Cleveland Cavaliers aren't exactly loaded with talent, either.

Jamal Crawford: If nothing changes, this will be the first season of the millennium that Jamal Crawford isn't in the NBA. He has averaged 14.6 points per game on 41% shooting in 19 seasons.

Charles Matthews: An injury during NBA workouts proved costly for Charles Matthews, who likely would have joined Poole and Brazdeikis in being drafted this summer. Instead, he'll likely miss the entire 2019-20 season and try to work his way onto a roster when healthy.

Nik Stauskas: Remember when Nik Stauskas was traded from Portland to Cleveland to Houston to Indiana in the span of three days earlier this year, only to be released and resigned by the Cavs? Well, this year, he’s playing for Kirolbet Baskonia in the Spanish EuroLeague.


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