Former Pitt Panther Jamel Artis made his NBA G League debut Saturday with the Lakeland Magic in a 96-92 road loss to the Iowa Wolves.
In his first meaningful action since departing Pitt, Artis only accounted for eight points in 35 minutes but grabbed 11 rebounds. That rebound total ranked second on the team to one-time Panther Khem Birch, who had 13 rebounds to go with 13 points. But they were both outdone by Iowa’s Amile Jefferson, formerly of Duke, who had 21 rebounds in his own debut.
In addition to a solid night on the boards, Artis added two assists and went a decent 4-for-6 from the charity stripe. But he struggled with his shooting overall, making just two of his 13 shots from the field, including zero in seven attempts from beyond the arc. He also racked up a game-high five personal fouls, which is something he’ll need to get under control moving forward.
Artis has traveled a somewhat bumpy road just to reach the G League, as he went undrafted out of Pitt before a brief stint in the New York Knicks organization that ultimately did not pan out. During his time with the Knicks, Artis took part in the summer league, averaging 8.8 points and 1.6 assists over an average of 18.6 minutes per game.
After his release from the Knicks, he signed to a two-way contract with the Orlando Magic in October. According to the terms of the deal, Artis could spend up to 45 days in the NBA this season, but he’ll have to show the organization something at the development league level before that happens.
Lakeland will wrap up its road trip with a matchup against the Sioux Falls Skyforce, the G League affiliate of the Miami Heat, on Monday night.