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Checkin’ in on Pro Dawgs

A look at the Huskies representing UW in the NBA

NBA: Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s a look at how each of the 8 Huskies currently on an NBA roster are doing this season. Additionally, there are several Dawgs playing overseas or in the Developmental League not profiled. A quick shout out as well to two Huskies who began coaching high school teams this year in Brandon Roy and Jon Brockman.

Marquese Chriss

Yrs at UW 2015-2016

NBA Team Phoenix Suns

2016-2017 Stats 7.2 pts, 3.5 rbd, 0.6 ast, 0.5 stl, 0.5 blk, 42.2% FG, 31.9% 3pt, 64.7% FT

Chriss was promoted to the Suns’ starting lineup early in the season and has stayed there, starting 35 of 42 games to this point. While drafted 4 spots behind Dragan Bender, Chriss has played more minutes and generally been more effective while on the floor. Chriss has struggled quite a bit at times this year which is to be expected for a 19-year old rookie playing on a bad team. Right now Chriss is perfect for the Suns because he’s a piece of the future getting experience but is also bad enough that he’s helping the team tank by playing. It certainly hurts to imagine what kind of an impact he might have made had he stayed one more year at UW.

Spencer Hawes

Yrs at UW 2006-2007

NBA Team Charlotte Hornets

2016-2017 Stats 7.2 pts, 3.8 rbd, 1.7 ast, 0.4 stl, 0.7 blk, 48.9% FG, 31.9% 3pt, 84% FT

Some may consider Hawes’ career a disappointment given his draft pedigree but he’s on his 10th season in the NBA although it remains to be seen if he’ll get an 11th. Hawes isn’t playing much for Charlotte as he’s now the 3rd center on the depth chart behind Cody Zeller and Roy Hibbert. It’s amusing to see that Chriss and Hawes have almost identical stats when they’ve played but are on opposite sides of their career. Hawes’ best season came in 2014 splitting time between Philadelphia and Cleveland when he averaged 13 points and 6.6 rebounds per game while shooting nearly 42% from beyond the arc as a stretch 5.

Justin Holiday

Yrs at UW 2007-2011

NBA Team New York Knicks

2016-2017 Stats 7.4 pts, 2.9 rbd, 1.1 ast, 0.8 stl, 0.3 blk, 43.5% FG, 36.6% 3pt, 86% FT

When Justin Holiday didn’t get drafted, I was a little surprised but not completely shocked. Holiday though has used it as fuel and carved out a nice spot as a key reserve for the New York Knicks this season. He played in 9 games his rookie year for the 76ers and then didn’t end up on a roster in 2014 before joining the Golden State Warriors just in time to win an NBA title. That success allowed him to sign with the Atlanta Hawks before being traded to Chicago last year, playing well in his time there. He again was traded this off-season in the Derrick Rose deal and has made the most of the opportunity, experiencing career highs across the board. Justin now has double digit points in his past 4 games and appears to have a strong future as a wing 3 and D player coming off the bench.

Dejounte Murray

Yrs at UW 2015-2016

NBA Team San Antonio Spurs

2016-2017 Stats 3.7 pts, 0.8 rbd, 0.9 ast, 0.2 stl, 0.1 blk, 45.8% FG, 57.1% 3pt, 71.4% FT

As could be expected from a 19-year old rookie point guard playing on a championship contender, Dejounte Murray hasn’t seen a lot of the court this season. However, with Tony Parker out this week Baby Boy got to play 35 minutes against the Nuggets on Thursday night and showed why many thought he was the steal of the draft. Murray scored 24 points and you can find the full highlights here. The regular warnings about small sample sizes apply but on a per 36 basis, Dejounte is averaging 18.6 points, 4.6 assists, and 3.9 rebounds per game which falls about in line with how he performed at UW. The other caveat is that most of his playing time has come in blowouts or against second string players but he appears to be in a better place than a player he was often compared to in Tony Wroten.

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Portland Trail Blazers
Dejounte Murray is in a great situation in San Antonio
Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Wroten won’t appear on this list as he is not currently on an NBA roster but if Murray ends up the Spurs starting point guard of the future, it will demonstrate how cruel fate can be. Wroten went to a 76ers team trying to lose games that never tried to teach him the game of basketball while Murray went to one of the 3 best run organizations in all of sports.

Quincy Pondexter

Yrs at UW 2006-2010

NBA Team New Orleans Pelicans

2014-2015 Stats 7.2 pts, 2.6 rbd, 1.3 ast, 0.3 stl, 0.3 blk, 42.1% FG, 37.3% 3pt, 74% FT

The good news is that it was announced this week that Quincy is being inducted into the Pac-12 Hall of Honor. The bad news is that I had to list his 2015 statistics because it’s been that long since he’s played in an NBA game. Quincy broke out in the 2013 playoffs with the Grizzlies as one of the only wings on that team capable of making an outside shot. He averaged 9 points per game in that playoffs including a 22 point outing in a loss to the Spurs. After being traded to New Orleans the following year, Quincy has fallen victim to the injury plague that besets the Pelicans’ roster. He missed all of last year and then underwent arthroscopic knee surgery again this month with no timetable for his return. Hopefully he’s able to make a full recovery but after 3 surgeries on the same knee within a year it may be a disappointing end of a career for a Husky legend.

Terrence Ross

Yrs at UW 2010-2012

NBA Team Toronto Raptors

2016-2017 Stats 10.7 pts, 2.4 rbd, 0.7 ast, 1.0 stl, 0.4 blk, 45.6% FG, 38.1% 3pt, 88.6% FT

It’s unfortunate that the average NBA fan probably knows Ross best as a slam dunk champion than as a player. In the four seasons prior to 2017, Ross averaged between 13.6-14.8 points per 36 minutes and 3.8-4.2 rebounds per 36 minutes. He’s become a 6th man this season for the Raptors but has seen a slight uptick in those per 36 numbers to 17.4 points. Ross would probably be starting on a lot of teams in the NBA but DeMar DeRozan is on his team at the same position and is starting for the Eastern Conference All-Stars so that’s a problem. In the past, the Raptors have played Ross at small forward but his frame means he’s best suited at the 2. Ross’s name has come in trade rumors for a team that’s still one big man away from seriously challenging Cleveland so we’ll see if he remains in the T-dot.

C.J. Wilcox

Yrs at UW 2010-2014

NBA Team Orlando Magic

2016-2017 Stats 0.9 pts, 0.6 rbd, 0.6 ast, 0.1 stl, 0.1 blk, 29.4% FG, 16.7% 3pt, 100% FT

I’m going out of order on this one but I’m saving the best for last. C.J is pretty much the only current Husky who is in the NBA but without a role on his team. He’s only played in 16 games and has averaged less than 5 minutes in those appearances. Wilcox looked like he could contribute coming off the bench for the Clippers last year so hopefully he’ll find a better situation.

Isaiah Thomas

Yrs at UW 2008-2011

NBA Team Boston Celtics

2016-2017 Stats 28.7 pts, 2.7 rbd, 6.0 ast, 0.8 stl, 0.1 blk, 46% FG, 38.5% 3pt, 91% FT

Pretty much every UW alumni in the NBA is a role player at this point in their careers. And then there’s Isaiah Thomas. Thomas became known in NBA circles after being drafted with the last pick by the Sacramento Kings in the same year that they took Jimmer Fredette to be their point guard of the future in the 1st round. Thomas showed he was better than every other point guard in Sacramento during his time there but the front office never seemed to buy in and let him walk. He went to Phoenix who already had two other point guards and thus traded him to Boston in what now looks like a complete heist. In a league where simply above average players can make $25 million a year, Thomas is making $6.7 million while one of the best point guards in the NBA.

IT narrowly missed starting the all-star game this year, losing out on the tiebreaker to the aforementioned Demar DeRozan. Brandon Roy at his peak is the only other Dawg to have a season anywhere close to Thomas’s this season. He is leading the NBA in 4th quarter points and has been...wait for it...cold blooded in the clutch. While I was certain that IT would have a place in the NBA, even the wildest imaginations of the most optimistic Husky fan couldn’t have foreseen the transformation into one of the best scorers alive. But Isaiah could imagine it and he’s the only one that needed to believe. Congratulations Isaiah, from all of Husky nation!