An update on Michigan basketball players in the NBA

We take a look at what’s going on with former Michigan basketball players in the NBA with a look at every former Wolverine in the association.

Although football has been in the headlines for months in Michigan, basketball season is in full swing, with the college and NBA all in mid-season form.

Today we check in with some former Michigan basketball players to see how they’re doing in the NBA. As of this writing, there are nine former Wolverines on NBA rosters.

Some are getting more playing time than others as some have been sent to the G-league, recalled due to COVID roster shortages, and sent back again.

Others have been tenured since the first game of the season. Others have benefited from injuries to players ahead of them on the depth chart. And a few others get spot minutes here or there but are still active members of their rosters.

Ignas Brazdeikis

So far this year, former Michigan basketball player Ignas Brazdeikis hasn’t really played in a ton of games. He’s averaging 1.8 ppg, 1.4 rebs and 0.5 assists per game.

Ignas has played 18 games this year, with his most minutes recently coming on Dec. 30, where he played 21 minutes and scored 9 points.

Iggie is on the Michigan 2.0 Orlando Magic roster, which already has former Michigan basketball players and the Moe brothers and Franz Wagner, and had Jon Teske for a few games, but he’s in the G-league.

It’s not really surprising that Ignas didn’t come strong to the Magic because although the Magic is rebuilding and has some young unproven talent, they still have a lot of guys vouching for playing time, because they’re bad, so since Ignas couldn’t hold on, he went on the depth chart and/or was sent back to the G-league.

In order to be a consistent NBA-caliber player, Ignas needs to really hit his outside shots and play better defense. It’s that simple. He’s a streaky shooter (as every Michigan fan knows from wearing a Michigan jersey) and his defense hasn’t always been the best. He will have to make major improvements to see a big increase in minutes.

One way that can happen (a bit of a cheat) is COVID. If the Magic need bodies and Ignas is in the G league, or if he’s on the active roster but is a healthy DNP, he’ll likely play. Hopefully, however, Ignas can earn more minutes in the future as he is still a talented player.

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