Find the basketball players of Syracuse in the NBA

November 6, 2019; Syracuse, NY, USA; Former Syracuse Orange forward Carmelo Anthony cheers from the sidelines as the Orange lost to Virginia, 48-34. Mandatory Credit: Kicia Sears, The Juice Online.

The NBA season is in its first month, which gives us plenty of time to take the temperature of former Syracuse players in the league.

Who started hot? Who came out cold? And who hasn’t seen much of the ground?

carmelo anthony. Carmelo Anthony was expected to provide a punch off the bench for the Los Angeles Lakers. But, with LeBron James sidelined since early November with an abdominal injury, Anthony has been asked to take on even more of the scoring burden. And he answered.

Anthony’s scoring average is 15.5 points per game in 28.5 minutes per game, including five games of 20 or more points, after Wednesday’s action. Comparatively, he averaged 15.4 points per game off the Portland bench last season… in 32.5 minutes per game.

So while the Lakers have been a mess at the start of this season, don’t blame Carmelo Anthony. He got off to a good start with his increased responsibility.

Oshae Brissett. The question entering this season for Brissett was whether or not the role he was playing at the end of last season (10.9 points per game, 24.7 minutes per game in 21 games) after the Pacers changed coach from Nate Bjorkgren to Rick Carlisle.

The answer? No. No. Nein.

Brissett has only played half of Indiana’s 16 games so far. On the season, he averaged just 3.9 points in 12.8 minutes. Every 40 minutes, Brissett is scoring more than five points less than last season.

Although TJ Warren still hasn’t returned to action after a foot stress fracture last season, Caris LeVert is back and rookie Chris Duarte (14.3 points, 4.4 rebounds) is off to a great start careers.

Brissett hasn’t returned to the same success he enjoyed last season. At the moment, he’s buried on the depth chart…and that’s before Warren even gets back into the lineup.

Michael Carter-Williams. We knew Carter-Williams would miss the start of the season after ankle surgery in the offseason. At this point, he hasn’t seen any game action.

Meanwhile, Orlando’s young guards have hit the ground running this season. Sophomore guard Cole Anthony is averaging more than 20 points per game (including two 30-point games in November), just missing out on the league’s Top 25. Rookie Jalen Suggs’ stats aren’t obvious. But, with 11 points, more than three rebounds and more than three assists per game, he’s been providing a bit of everything so far.

After Wednesday’s win over New York, Orlando is still just 4-11 this season, the worst in the East. The Magic are focused on developing their young talent. So even when Carter-Williams regains his health, he won’t see a big role on the court.

Jerami Grant. Although Grant didn’t repeat his 22.3 point average in 2020-21, he still led Detroit with 17.9 points per game. He’s not alone, as the score is down league-wide after offseason rule changes led to fewer shooting errors. He maintained his rebound and assist averages from last season.

More so, Grant said he enjoys his current role as team leader and No. 1 option in a young, rebuilding team. Youngsters Saddie Bey (14.0 ppg) and first overall pick Cade Cunningham (15.1 ppg in eight games) follow suit.

But, at 4-10, the Pistons general manager will have an interesting decision to make: sell high on Grant and add several rebuilding assets or keep Grant and allow him to continue to develop in his role?

Grant’s name will be one of the most popular ahead of this season’s trade deadline. But Weaver and Grant are said to have a good relationship, which may make it harder for a competitor to get Grant out of Motor City.

Related: Syracuse basketball continued to thrive in the transfer market

Elijah Hughes. Hughes is what we thought he was in the offseason. Utah is a Top 6 team in the Western Conference so far this season, with a 9-5 record, and Hughes is one of the guys at the end of the Jazz bench without much of a role.

Last season, he averaged just 3.6 minutes per game in 18 games. This season? He played in just four of 14 games, attempting just two shots from the field (missing both), while grabbing a rebound and committing a foul. His only two points this season have come on his two free throw attempts.

Hughes played a consistent role in his season-long career with the Utah Jazz. Sadly, that role just isn’t the one that led to a lot of floor time.

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