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Syracuse Basketball in the NBA – January 2021 Update

Photo Courtesy of Raj Mehta, USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Men’s Basketball team was put on pause for two weeks due to COVID-19 and contact tracing. The current Orange players weren’t able to step on the court, but four former SU ballers have been busy in the NBA. Here’s an update on the current Syracuse players in the NBA:

Carmelo Anthony – Trail Blazers

Melo is doing Melo things yet again this season. The 18-year veteran has been transitioned to a reserve-role this year, but is still getting buckets. Coming off the bench, Anthony is averaging 13 points and four rebounds. His Trail Blazers team isn’t off to the best start at 3-3, but it has plenty of talent to compete in the West. Carmelo made headlines the other day when he passed the legendary Tim Duncan for 14th on the NBA all-time scoring list. He now has 26,509 career points and is in striking range of Dominique Wilkins, Oscar Robertson, and Hakeem Olajuwon who rank 13th, 12th, and 11th respectively. If Anthony continues to play like he has and goes for another season or two, the SU-product will easily make it into the top-10. It’s just Melo doing Melo things.

Michael Carter-Williams – Magic

So far this season, Carter-Williams has been his normal self. He hasn’t been a true starter since his days in Philadelphia, when he was fresh out of SU. The guard is a solid backup that can play 20-minutes off the bench and give you a handful of rebounds and points. This year, Carter-Williams is averaging six points and six boards per game. The worrisome thing for MCW fans is the Magic’s roster. Orlando has Markelle Fultz, who has really picked it up this season, and drafted North Carolina-product Cole Anthony. With both of those guys as young, promising point guards, it leaves Carter-Williams as the odd man out. He did sign a new, two-year contract in the offseason. So MCW will be with the Magic through at least 2022, but after that who knows.

Jerami Grant – Pistons

Grant is living up to his new big paycheck. In the offseason, the forward signed a three year, $60 million contract with the Detroit Pistons. Now, he is having his best season as a pro. He is a consistent starter, something he wasn’t truly in his first couple years in the NBA. Grant is leading the Pistons in points per game with 23 and blocks with over one per game. He’s scored 20+ points in all but one of his contests so far this season. Plus, the former SU-star is averaging six rebounds, two assists, and three three-pointers. While his team isn’t thriving, sitting at just 1-5 at the current moment, Grant is playing at an all-star level. If he is able to sustain this type of production, some accolades may be coming his way.

Elijah Hughes – Jazz

Hughes is still getting used to the NBA and trying to work his way into more playing time. The recent-draftee has only registered nine minutes of action in just two games. Utah’s Head Coach, Quin Snyder, only plays an eight-man rotation, so Hughes really only gets in during trash-time in blowout games. But, hey, he doesn’t look like a deer-in-headlights when he’s on the floor. It has only been six games, Hughes has plenty of time to show what he’s got.

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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