As the NBA season heads towards the new year, a few former IU players have been in the headlines for different reasons.
Seven former Hoosiers are on NBA rosters this season. Only three are currently in significant roles of any sort right now, though. And Victor Oladipo has yet to suit up for the Houston Rockets this season as he recovers from knee surgery, and his timetable for returning is unknown.
Here’s a look at how the other six players have fared so far this year.
Anunoby came into this season with high expectations coming off the best season of his career, and in a potential contract year if he declined his player option after the season. And though his stats are down compared to last year, he’s still been solid for Toronto. Anunoby is averaging 15.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.0 steals per game. Given his contract status, and the Raptors sub-.500 record, he could be a name to watch at the trade deadline.
TJD was up and down from the G-League for the first couple months of the NBA season. But the Warriors have had playing time open up recently after Draymond Green was indefinitely suspended, and Jackson-Davis has capitalized on the opportunity. He’s played a lot more minutes over that five-game stretch and has averaged 11 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.0 blocks per game while shooting 73.5 percent from the field.
The veteran guard is in his first season with the Phoenix Suns, and his numbers are up nearly across the board. He’s started 18 games this season, while putting up 13.2 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and one steal per game. He’s made 2.5 threes per game, while shooting 38.5 percent from beyond the arc; he’s at 45.7 percent from the field. Gordon recently made public comments clamoring for a larger role, after just two field-goal attempts in a game last week. He saw more opportunities in the Suns’ Christmas Day loss to the Mavericks.
The big man is in a reserve role with Miami this season, playing his fewest minutes per game (12.4) since his rookie year. He played in the Heat’s first eight games, but has not played in more than four straight since then. He’s had some impactful appearances off the bench when he gets in, though, with five double-digit scoring games.
JHS has played in just five regular-season games so far for the Lakers. He saw the court, briefly, during the In-Season Tournament Final as well. He scored 10 points in late November against the Pistons. But on a team like the Lakers doing everything they can to win now, he may not get many opportunities to shine as a rookie.
Zeller is in a very limited role with New Orleans. He’s averaging just 10 minutes per game, the fewest of his career. He’s played in 22 games this season and has yet to crack double-figure scoring or rebounding. He hasn’t seen the court in four of the Pelicans’ last six games, so the role is unlikely to change anytime soon.
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