The NBA playoffs are well underway, but five Syracuse alums aren’t involved this year. With their season’s completed, let’s see how they fared…
Carmelo Anthony. Now in the twilight of his career (19th season), Anthony finished the season averaging 13.3 ppg, and 4.2 rpg in 26.0 mpg. He proved he can still provide a nice offensive spark off the bench, but it likely won’t be for the Lakers next year. As we all saw, the Lakers were perhaps the most disappointing team in the NBA last year, finishing 33-49 and outside of the playoff picture. Anthony figures to be on the move again in the offseason as he chases that ever elusive NBA ring.
Oshae Brissett. Brissett started the season as a fringe rotational player for the Pacers, but with Indiana entering full rebuild mode, he was inserted into the starting lineup, and took full advantage. Brissett surged at the end of the season, averaging 17.6 ppg and 7.6 rpg through the month of April. He played in 67 games, starting 25 of them, and appears to be a firm NBA rotational player for years to come.
Michael Carter-Williams. Carter-Williams had surgery on his left ankle in August, and has not stepped foot on a court since then. The Magic, his home since 2019, waived him in February, and one has to wonder how much mileage he has left given he’s only played 104 games in the previous four seasons.
Jerami Grant. Grant missed the first part of the season because of an injury, but played 47 games the rest of the year, averaging 19.2 ppg and 4.1 rpg. He’s the most talked about trade asset on the Pistons roster because of his expiring contract following the 2023 season and Detroit’s struggles (23-59). But the Pistons have some intriguing roster pieces, including overall 2021 No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey, and Marvin Bagley III. Plus, GM Troy Weaver, the ex-Syracuse assistant coach, will once again be drafting from the lottery this year. They may want Grant to stick around to form a promising nucleus that can compete sooner rather than later.
Elijah Hughes. Hughes was traded from the Jazz to the rebuilding Trail Blazers, and got an opportunity to play a little more toward the end of the season. In the last nine games, Hughes played double digit minutes in seven of them. Still, he couldn’t take advantage of the increased playing time, shooting just 29.2 percent from the field in April. He finished with averages of 3.5 ppg and 1.6 rpg, and will be fighting for a rotational spot heading into next season.