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Former Michigan standouts Franz Wagner, Zavier Simpson participate in NBA All-Star Weekend

clayton-sayfieby:Clayton Sayfie02/20/23

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Michigan basketball didn’t have any former players named All-Stars, but two Wolverines did take part in the weekend’s festivities. Orlando Magic second-year standout Franz Wagner, for one, is on his way to being an All-Star down the road, and he played in the Jordan Rising Stars Challenge Friday night.

He was on ‘Team Deron,’ led by former NBA guard Deron Williams, which lost its first game to ‘Team Pau.’ Wagner collected 3 rebounds. ‘Team Pau’ went on to win its second game and thus the event as a whole. Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado drilled the game-winning three-pointer and was named MVP.

Wagner was at Michigan’s game against MSU Saturday night in Ann Arbor, attending the program-wide reunion with several of his former teammates.

Also in Salt Lake City, former Michigan guard Zavier Simpson participated in the G League’s Next Up game, representing the Lakeland Magic. He put up 8 points, 5 assists and 3 steals as part of ‘Team Luka,’ led by former Iowa forward Luka Garza, with their squad winning the event.

Simpson also converted on one of his famous hook shots.

Here’s where things stand for every former Michigan basketball player in the NBA at the All-Star break. Play resumes Thursday (Feb. 20).

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Moussa Diabate (played at Michigan from 2021-22), F, Los Angeles Clippers (two-way contract)

Played in 17 games with one start for the 33-28 Clippers, who sit fourth in the Western Conference standings, averaging 3.1 points and 2.6 rebounds in 10.1 minutes per outing, while shooting 52.5 percent from the field … The former Michigan forward has appeared in nine contests with the G League’s Ontario Clippers, where he’s averaging 16.2 points and 12.3 rebounds per night.

Tim Hardaway Jr. (2010-13), G, Dallas Mavericks

Registering 13.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game, while connecting on 37.7 percent of his field goal attempts and 35.3 percent of his triple tries … Appeared in 54 games with 37 starts for the 31-29 Mavericks, who are sixth in the West.

Caleb Houstan, (2021-22), G, Orlando Magic

Opened two of 34 games for the 24-35 Magic … Posting 4.2 points and 2.2 boards per game, while connecting on 41 percent of his field goals and 38.8 percent of his three-point tries … Was recently on assignment with the G League’s Lakeland Magic, where he’s played in seven contests, averaging 16.6 points and 2.7 made threes per outing.

Caris LeVert (2012-16), G, Cleveland Cavaliers

The former Michigan guard is registering 12 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.9 assists per clash, while shooting 41 percent from the field … His 36.4 three-point field goal percentage ties his career best for a season (2019-20 with the Brooklyn Nets) … Opened 26 of 55 tilts for the 38-23 Cavaliers, who are fourth in the Eastern Conference standings.

Isaiah Livers (2017-21), F, Detroit Pistons

Averaging 21.1 minutes per game with nine starts in 37 appearances for the 15-44 Pistons … Putting up 5.5 points and 2.4 rebounds an outing with a 39.9 field goal percentage and 35.7-percent clip on three-pointers.

Jordan Poole (2017-19), G, Golden State Warriors

The former Michigan guard is third on the team in both points (20.9) and assists (4.5) per game, while shooting 44 percent overall and 33.5 percent from three-point range in 58 outings with 35 starts for the 29-29 Warriors, who stand ninth in the West … Scored 20-plus points in five of his nine February games, including a 38-point outburst in a Feb. 8 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

Duncan Robinson (2014-18), F, Miami Heat

Underwent early-January surgery on his finger, returning six weeks later in a Feb. 15 contest versus the Brooklyn Nets … Played in 29 clashes off the bench, averaging 6.9 points, 2 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game … Shooting a career-worst 36.5 percent from the field, with a 32.9 three-point field goal percentage (lowest since his rookie season in 2018-19; 28.6). 

Franz Wagner (2019-21), F, Orlando Magic

The former Michigan wing collected 3 rebounds in the Jordan Rising Stars Challenge Feb. 17 as part of All-Star Weekend … That was his second appearance in the event … Second on the 24-35 Magic with 18.9 points per game, adding 3.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists per clash … Shooting 48.4 percent overall and 36.6 percent from beyond the arc.

Moritz Wagner (2015-18), F/C, Orlando Magic

Started 14 of 38 games and is averaging 21 minutes a night … Recording a career-best 11.2 points per game and contributing 3.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists per tilt … His 61.9 two-point field goal percentage ranks second on the team among those with 4 or more attempts per game, and he’s connecting on 32 percent of his three-point tries.

Michigan players in the NBA G League

·        Eli BrooksFort Wayne Mad Ants

·        Trey BurkeStockton Kings

·        Chaundee Brown Jr.Austin Spurs

·        Moussa DiabateLos Angeles Clippers/Ontario Clippers (Two-Way Contract)

·        Charles MatthewsWindy City Bulls

·        Zavier SimpsonLakeland Magic

·        D.J. WilsonOklahoma City Blue

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