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Mountain West in the NBA: Midseason update

How are Mountain West alumni performing in the NBA midway through the 2022-23 season?

Charlotte Hornets v Miami Heat Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

We are over halfway through the 2022-23 NBA season, so let’s update you with how each Mountain West alumni has played throughout the season so far!

(Minimum 10 games played.)

Colorado State:

David Roddy, Memphis Grizzlies:

Roddy, the reigning Mountain West player of the year, has arguably been the Grizzlies’ top rookie so far, averaging 6.4 points and 2.8 rebounds in 18.6 minutes per game. The shot has come and gone, as he’s currently shooting just 40.5 percent from the floor and 28.6 percent from 3-point range, but has made six of his last 10 triples and had a 20-game stretch from Oct. 29 to Dec. 7 when he shot 37.1 percent from distance. He and rookie Jake LaRavia have proven to be capable rotation players for league’s top defense and the second-best team in the Western Conference.

Fresno State:

Orlando Robinson, Miami Heat:

Robinson, a rookie, signed with Miami on a two-way contract in December and has been their best backup big behind star center Bam Adebayo. Robinson filled in for Dewayne Dedmon, who was a disaster and threw a Theragun, and has been a quality rotation piece for 10-15 off the bench when Miami’s star 25-year-old isn’t on the floor.


Caleb Martin, Heat:

After Martin showcased his dynamic two-way ability as a much-needed spark plug, Miami re-signed him a three-year, $21 million deal. He was tasked with replacing starting power forward P.J. Tucker, who signed a three-year deal with the Philadelphia 76ers. Martin’s had a good season, but has slowly broken down over time. He’s averaging 9.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.1 steals, shooting 44.5 percent from the floor and 38.0 percent from 3-point range on the season.

Cody Martin, Charlotte Hornets:

Similarly to Caleb, Cody signed an extension with his respective ballclub this offseason — his being a four-year, $31.4 million deal with the Hornets. Though he’s been limited to seven games after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery after the regular-season opener. He returned Jan. 4, but doesn’t look like he fully recovered yet and has posted 5.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 22.1 minutes on 38.9/21.4/57.1 shooting splits.

San Diego State:

Malachi Flynn, Toronto Raptors:

Flynn has been the primary point guard behind Fred VanVleet, who’s shouldered a heavy creation burden for a middling Raptors squad once again this season. Regardless, Flynn is averaging 5.2 points on 37.1 percent shooting, but is knocking down 35.5 percent of his 2.3 triple tries per game. Flynn’s jump-shooting from distance has improved over his three-year career — especially on spot-up attempts, shooting 41.3 percent on such attempts. Overall, he doesn’t carry the playmaking responsibility that VanVleet or most other backup point guards do — thanks to Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes — but Flynn has been passable in his minutes, which is all Toronto needs.

Kawhi Leonard, Clippers:

Leonard missed the entire 2021-22 season after suffering a torn ACL in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals in 2020-21 against the Mavericks. He came off the bench in two of the team’s first three games this year before sitting out the following 12 games to manage the injury. He’s only played 23 games since and hasn’t played quite up to his standards, averaging 21.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.2 steals on 50.8/35.1/84.5 shooting splits over that span. The .500 Clippers (23-23) are 16-9 when the five-time All-NBA honoree plays and 10-14 when he doesn’t; the Clippers are a team-high 12.7 points better when Leonard’s on the floor versus when he’s not (97th percentile), per Cleaning the Glass, a better indication of his on-court impact. Above all other turmoil, all the Clippers need is for Leonard (and George) to be fully healthy come mid-April.

Jalen McDaniels, Hornets:

McDaniels, who’s set to be an unrestricted free agent this upcoming summer, is having a career year with Charlotte. He’s averaging career highs in points (11.1), rebounds (4.9), assists (2.1) and steals (1.1), sporting a 57.5 true-shooting percentage while having also tied his career mark in PER (12.7). The lengthy 6-foot-9 soon-to-be 25-year-old wing could be a trade target, having garnered interest from around the league, including the Raptors.


Khem Birch, Toronto Raptors:

Birch has been an afterthought in the Raptors rotation, averaging just 2.2 points and 1.3 rebounds in 8.1 minutes across 20 games. He’s not rebounding or scoring atune to his career per-minute totals, and he’s not likely going to crawl up the depth chart with rookie Christian Koloko and third-year big man Precious Achiuwa getting run ahead of him off the bench.

Derrick Jones Jr., Chicago Bulls:

Jones Jr. has been in-and-out of Billy Donovan’s rotation this season. But Javonte Green’s knee surgery — which will hold him out for at least two weeks — opened the door Jones Jr., who’s averaged 18.7 minutes over the last 11 games after recording five DNP-CD’s. The high-flying 25-year-old has been featured as a small-ball center behind Nikola Vucevic of late, averaging 6.0 points on 53.0 percent shooting, including 34.1 percent from 3-point range in 36 games this season.

Christian Wood, Mavericks:

Wood, who was acquired via trade from the Houston Rockets in the offseason, began the season on the bench, which wasn’t churning out promising results. His recent move to the starting lineup has sparked the Mavericks offense, as he’s averaging 20.3 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks on 51.6 percent shooting with a 36.7 3-point percentage since moving to the Mavericks starting lineup full-time on Dec. 17.


Larry Nance Jr., New Orleans Pelicans:

It’s been an injury-plagued last few seasons for Nance Jr. Fortunately enough for him, he’s played in 39 games, averaging 7.7 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, shooting a career-high 61.5 percent from the floor and 39.3 percent from 3-point range. Nance continues to do the dirty work for the Pelicans, who are the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference at 26-23. He does his role as well as anyone for 20-25 minutes per night, and the Pelicans need it when Herbert Jones, Brandon Ingram (he returned Wednesday) and Zion Williamson all having dealt with the injury bug this season.