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Ranking Every Big Ten Alum in the NBA & NBADL: The Role Players

With the draft just taking place, let’s take a look at the former Big Ten stars who are already in the promised land or are aspiring to get there.

Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

With the draft just taking place, let’s take a look at the former Big Ten stars who are already in the promised land or are aspiring to get there. Here are the 55 Big Ten players currently in the NBA and/or NBADL, ranked.

The ranking will be released in three parts: starters, role players and "the other guys". After "the other guys" ranking I will stop listing a player’s D-League stats for the 2015-16 season because any D-League games role players or starters played were usually to recover from injury.

For this ranking, I am focusing on each player’s skill level today. Even if a player has had a great career, if they have fallen off recently then that will be reflected in this ranking. On the opposite side of things, if a player has a lot of promise and potential, that isn’t reflected either. We are strictly looking at these guys and their abilities through the microscopic lens of "today".

Pop Quiz: The Big Ten had at least one player representing them on 25 of the 30 NBA rosters in 2015-16. While reading, see if you can figure out which five franchises don’t have Big Ten alums! The answer will be posted at the end of the starters ranking.

The Role Players

31. Adreian Payne-Minnesota Timberwolves

-Michigan State (2010-2014)

GP


GS


MPG


PPG


RPG


APG


BPG


SPG


TOPG


FG%


3P%

2015-2016

52

2

9.3

2.5

2.1

0.6

0.2

0.3

0.7

.366

.281

Payne played in a lot of games on the youthful T-Wolves’ roster. He did not see a ton of minutes, but with Tom Thibodeau coming in as coach it will be interesting to see if he cracks the rotation next year.

30. Glenn Robinson III-Indiana Pacers

-Michigan (2012-2014)

GP


GS


MPG


PPG


RPG


APG


BPG


SPG


TOPG


FG%


3P%

2015-2016

45

4

11.3

3.8

1.5

0.6

0.2

0.4

0.4

.430

.378

GRIII factored into the rotation a few times for the Pacers, but for the most part was on the outside looking in. It was still probably a relief for Robinson to see some consistency as far as which jersey he was wearing night in and night out. Last year, he played for two different teams and he was dealt again over the offseason, so the Pacers were his third team in just two years.


29. Alan Anderson-Washington Wizards

-Michigan State (2001-2005)

GP


GS


MPG


PPG


RPG


APG


BPG


SPG


TOPG


FG%


3P%

2015-2016

13

0

14.8

5.0

2.1

1.1

0.1

0.3

0.2

.356

.324

A left ankle injury shut down Anderson for the season, but even when he was able to play he did not see much time on the floor. He is a free agent this offseason, but has made it clear that he would like to continue playing in Washington.

28. Tim Hardaway Jr.-Atlanta Hawks

-Michigan (2010-2013)

GP


GS


MPG


PPG


RPG


APG


BPG


SPG


TOPG


FG%


3P%

2015-2016

51

1

16.9

6.4

1.7

1.0

0.1

0.4

0.5

.430

.338

Hardaway Jr. is a guy who is a good player in a tough situation. He gets slightly buried on a talented Hawks backcourt. If the Teague vs. Schroeder franchise point guard debate finally comes to a head this offseason and one of them is traded, Hardaway could reap the rewards of more minutes available. Until then, he looks to continue playing a smaller role on a better team compared to the larger role he used to play on the Knicks.

27. Steve Blake-Detroit Pistons

-Maryland (1999-2003)



GP


GS


MPG


PPG


RPG


APG


BPG


SPG


TOPG


FG%


3P%

2015-2016

58

2

17.0

4.4

1.5

3.4

0.1

0.4

1.4

.388

.344

Blake was used less as an actual player this past season and much more as a veteran leader for the young Pistons backcourt. That said, he continued to defy age and produce at a reasonably high level when he was on the floor.

26. Tim Frazier-New Orleans Pelicans (Portland Trail Blazers earlier in the year)

-Penn State (2009-2014)

GP


GS


MPG


PPG


RPG


APG


BPG


SPG


TOPG


FG%


3P%

2015-2016

51

2

14.5

5.1

2.2

3.2

0.0

0.6

1.3

.419

.333

After being traded from the Trail Blazers to the Pelicans, Frazier saw his role increase quite a bit from a reserve to a sixth or seventh man. Having seemingly found his fit in New Orleans, keep an eye out on Frazier who seems like he is primed for a great year next season.

25. Greivis Vasquez-Milwaukee Bucks

-Maryland (2006-2010)

GP


GS


MPG


PPG


RPG


APG


BPG


SPG


TOPG


FG%


3P%

2015-2016

23

0

20.0

5.7

2.0

4.0

0.0

0.4

1.7

.326

.247

Injury hindered Vasquez’s season this year, and even when he did play he was unable to perform as well as he has in past seasons. He has seemed aloof in his time in Milwaukee which could be why he is looking to go elsewhere in free agency this offseason.

24. Noah Vonleh-Portland Trail Blazers

-Indiana (2013-2014)

GP


GS


MPG


PPG


RPG


APG


BPG


SPG


TOPG


FG%


3P%

2015-2016

78

56

15.1

3.6

3.9

0.4

0.3

0.3

0.6

.421

.239

As a Trail Blazer, Vonleh saw exponentially more opportunities in one season than he did in his one year in Charlotte. He really came into his own and made a case for becoming a future starter/sixth man in Portland. Being only 20 years old, it would appear Vonleh has only just started to tap into his potential.

23. Kris Humphries-Atlanta Hawks (Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards earlier in the year)

-Minnesota (2003-2004)

GP


GS


MPG


PPG


RPG


APG


BPG


SPG


TOPG


FG%


3P%

2015-2016

53

17

15.8

6.5

4.1

0.7

0.4

0.3

0.7

.410

.315

Another season, another team for Kris Humphries. This time, he actually appeared in three different uniforms during 2015-16. He will be a free agent this offseason, but has stated his interest in returning to the Hawks. Who knows if he will finally find some consistency and stay in on franchise for an extended period of time? No matter which team he ends up on, it will likely be more of the same role and production levels for Humphries.

22. E’Twaun Moore-Chicago Bulls

-Purdue (2007-2011)

GP


GS


MPG


PPG


RPG


APG


BPG


SPG


TOPG


FG%


3P%

2015-2016

59

22

21.4

7.5

2.3

1.7

0.3

0.6

0.9

.481

.452

An injury ended Moore’s season earlier than he would have liked, but he was able to start some games for the first time in a Bulls’ uniform this year. The Bulls roster could be in a lot of flux including the team potentially losing Jimmy Butler, which could lead to Moore getting some more minutes next year.

21. Nik Stauskas-Philadelphia 76ers

-Michigan (2012-2014)

GP


GS


MPG


PPG


RPG


APG


BPG


SPG


TOPG


FG%


3P%

2015-2016

73

35

24.8

8.5

2.5

1.9

0.3

0.6

1.3

.385

.326

Stauskas got to play a lot this season, but that was largely because of the team he played on, the 76ers. This season was a marked improvement on Stauskas’ rookie year, and it will be interesting to see if he can make a similar jump in his third year.

20. Devin Harris-Dallas Mavericks

-Wisconsin (2001-2004)

GP


GS


MPG


PPG


RPG


APG


BPG


SPG


TOPG


FG%


3P%

2015-2016

64

0

20.0

7.6

2.2

1.8

0.2

0.9

1.0

.447

.329

Harris didn’t start a single game for this season, but he played an important role in all 64 games he played in for the Mavs. He had to undergo surgery in the offseason, but will be back on what will likely be the same or at least very similar Dallas roster next year. He has definitely fallen off a bit as the years have gone on, but he still continues to make an impact on his teams.

19. Kosta Koufos-Sacramento Kings

-Ohio State (2007-2008)

GP


GS


MPG


PPG


RPG


APG


BPG


SPG


TOPG


FG%


3P%

2015-2016

78

14

19.0

6.8

5.4

0.4

0.9

0.5

0.6

.532

.000

In his first season with the Kings, Koufos had a bigger role than he had on the Grizzlies the past few years. Koufos seems locked in as Demarcus Cousin’s backup for some time to come now, but that may be a good spot for him to be playing in. He continues to be an effective player in the post whenever he is on the floor.

18. Frank Kaminsky-Charlotte Hornets

-Wisconsin (2011-2015)

GP


GS


MPG


PPG


RPG


APG


BPG


SPG


TOPG


FG%


3P%

2015-2016

81

3

21.1

7.5

4.1

1.2

0.5

0.5

0.7

.410

.337

As a rookie, Kaminsky overall had a successful year. He managed to play an important role on a pretty good Charlotte team and he only seemed to improve as the season progressed. He played 27.1 minutes per game in the postseason which could be foreshadowing for an increased role next year.

17. Trey Burke-Utah Jazz

-Michigan (2011-2013)

GP


GS


MPG


PPG


RPG


APG


BPG


SPG


TOPG


FG%


3P%

2015-2016

64

0

21.3

10.6

1.8

2.3

0.1

0.5

1.3

.413

.344

Even though Burke didn’t start a single game this year, he contributed valuable minutes for the Jazz off the bench. The Jazz are a team on the rise and even though Burke will likely not be a starter of the future for them, he seems to have carved out a nice role for himself in years to come as a scoring option when Hayward and Hood aren’t on the floor.

16. Carl Landry-76ers

-Purdue (2004-2007)

GP


GS


MPG


PPG


RPG


APG


BPG


SPG


TOPG


FG%


3P%

2015-2016

36

12

15.8

9.8

4.1

0.9

0.3

0.3

0.6

.556

.462

As Landry gets older his minutes become more and more limited and monitored, but he seemingly remains just as productive as ever in his time on the floor. He also provided much needed veteran leadership on a Philly team that is built for the very, very distant future.

15. Meyers Leonard-Portland Trail Blazers

-Illinois (2010-2012)

GP


GS


MPG


PPG


RPG


APG


BPG


SPG


TOPG


FG%


3P%

2015-2016

61

10

21.9

8.4

5.1

1.5

0.3

0.1

1.3

.448

.377

Before an injury ended his season, Leonard saw a much larger role than he has had in his past few seasons. He quickly demonstrated his value, earning himself consistent role player minutes for the remainder of the season. The Trail Blazers are definitely optimistic for the future, one that should probably include Leonard after the season he had.

14. Jon Leuer-Phoenix Suns

-Wisconsin (2007-2011)

GP


GS


MPG


PPG


RPG


APG


BPG


SPG


TOPG


FG%


3P%

2015-2016

67

27

18.7

8.5

5.6

1.1

0.4

0.6

1.1

.481

.382

There weren’t many bright spots for the Suns last year, but Leuer was one of them. He saw an increased role, starting more games and rewarded the coaching staff for their decision to play him more. As a guy who can stretch the floor with the occasional three pointer, his ability to also rebound makes him an asset in the direction the NBA is trending.