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Zags in the Pros Update

Indiana Pacers v Washington Wizards Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The 2022-23 season is upon us, and eight former Zags have hit the floor in an NBA game already. Many more are doing big things overseas, so many in fact that I can’t fit them all in one article.

Andrew Nembhard became the 26th Zag to play in the NBA, putting up 14 points, three assists, and two steals in his debut on Oct. 21. He’s averaged 5.4 points and 2.7 assists in his first seven games for the Pacers. Andy could be joined in Indiana at some point by David Stockton, who signed with the Pacers’ G-League squad in Fort Wayne. Stockton will also be back in action with Team USA when they play in the FIBA World Cup qualifiers on Nov. 11 and 14.

Former Pacer Domantas Sabonis is averaging 13.5 points and 10.3 rebounds through the first six games of his first full season in Sacramento. He posted three straight double-doubles from Oct. 22-27.

Kelly Olynyk has been contributing to the Utah Jazz’s surprising start, scoring 20+ points three times en route to a 12.9/4.0/3.4 line in eight games. He also had this game winner on Oct. 23 vs. New Orleans:

The Zags’ Wizards duo of Rui Hachimura and Corey Kispert has only been at half strength so far, as Kispert has missed the first month of the season with an ankle injury. Rui has done well, with 11.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game so far.

The ankle injury bug has also caught Jalen Suggs, who is close to returning for the Magic after missing the last five games. He had 21 points, three assists, and two steals in Orlando’s season opener.

Brandon Clarke has been solid off the bench for the Grizzlies this year, with 9.3 points and 3.7 boards per game so far. He had a season best 16 with three rebounds and three assists on Oct. 27, and, of course, is still doing this:

Zach Collins has averaged 8.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.9 assists so far for the Spurs, including a 16/6/3 line on Oct. 28, a game where he shot 7-9 from the field and 2-3 from three.

The WNBA season has come and gone, and Courtney Vandersloot had another successful season, leading the Chicago Sky to the Eastern Conference Finals. She finished with 11.8 points and 6.5 assists per game in the regular season, and had 11.5 points and 5.6 assists per game in the playoffs.

Joel Ayayi will join David Stockton at the G-League level this year, signing with the Lakeland Magic after spending last year in Washington’s system. Killian Tillie hasn’t been so fortunate, being waived by Memphis just a few days before the start of the regular season.

Kyle Wiltjer has been the top performing Zag overseas to start the basketball year, averaging 21.3 points, seven boards, and three assists in six games for the Guangsha Lions in China. He had 26 and ten rebounds (6-10 3p) in his last game, one of four with 25+ points so far.

Jeremy Jones and Johnathan Williams III are teaming up this season in Japan, with Williams joining Jones’ Nagoya squad, which was promoted to the B1 League after winning last season’s B2 title. Jones is averaging 11.7 points and 8.1 rebounds so far, while Williams has put up 8.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game.

Both Kevin Pangos and Geno Crandall have found new squads in 2022-23. Pangos joined Italian squad Milano, where he’s averaged ten points and four assists across Serie A and the EuroLeague. Crandall left Leicester to join Goettingen in Germany, where he’s averaged 11.2 points and 3.2 assists in six games.

Three Zag women have put up solid numbers to start their pro careers. Cierra Walker has averaged 13.5 points and 4.3 assists in six games for Finnish squad Honka, including 24 and seven in her third career game. Anamaria Virjoghe has recorded a pair of double-doubles in six games for Esperides in Greece, and is averaging 9.8 points, 10.3 boards, and 1.5 blocks so far. Louise Forstyh has played just two games for Swiss team Pully, but has already made her mark with 28 points and six rebounds in just her second game.