With the 2018-19 season off to an exciting start, the Blue Zone checks in on former Blue Devils in the NBA.

Quinn Cook, Golden State Warriors 

After earning himself a multi-year contract towards the end of the 2017-2018 season, the third-year veteran has solidified a meaningful backup role on a loaded Warriors team. Cook is averaging an efficient 8.7 points in 14.6 minutes per game off the bench, spending much of his time playing with the second unit. He has started the last two games at point guard as star Stephen Curry has been out with a groin injury. In a win over the Brooklyn Nets, Cook scored 27 points while shooting 68.8 percent from the field to go with five assists. However, he struggled in an overtime loss to the Clippers, adding just seven points. With Curry likely sidelined for the rest of the week, Cook will get a few more opportunities to shine in a starting role. After that, look for Cook to contribute as an offensive spark off the bench. 

Jabari Parker, Chicago Bulls 

The Bulls have started the year 4-10, just two wins from the bottom spot in the Eastern Conference. However, many of the team’s players have enjoyed productive seasons, including Parker. The forward spent a tumultuous stint on the Milwaukee Bucks in a four-year spell which was marred by injury and inconsistency before arriving in Chicago for a fresh start. Since then, he has scored at least 10 points in all but just one game this season, securing a starting role in the Bulls’ past seven games. In the team’s last win against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Parker scored five points in the closing five minutes of the game while blocking Colin Sexton at the buzzer to secure a Chicago victory. As the season continues, the Bulls will continue to be driven by individual performances from players like Parker, who will seek to re-establish himself as an offensive weapon. 

Rodney Hood, Cleveland Cavaliers 

Coming off four straight NBA Finals appearances, the Cavs lost LeBron James in free agency, fired head coach Tyronn Lue and saw Kevin Love miss extended time due to injury. The team has the worst record in the NBA with just two wins and has been primarily led by two players who saw much criticism during the playoffs last year, Jordan Clarkson and Rodney Hood. The latter is averaging 12.9 points per game, the third-highest total on the team. The four-year veteran’s season has been fairly mediocre. He has scored in double figures in 11 of the team’s 13 games but has only surpassed 15 points four times all season. Hood has shown flashes of offensive brilliance before, averaging 16.8 points per game last year on the Jazz before arriving in Cleveland. In order for the Cavaliers to make anything of their season after such a slow start, Hood will need to rediscover the offensive spark that made him one of the most promising players in the league just three years ago. 

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics 

After an impressive postseason in his rookie year, expectations were high for the 2017 No. 3 pick. Tatum got off to a scorching start on the year before cooling down but has still been impressive, averaging 16.1 points and seven rebounds per game. However, Tatum’s field goal and three-point percentages have dropped by nearly six percent from his rookie season, resulting in far lower efficiency. He has performed well in his last two games, scoring 21 and 27 points in losses against the Jazz and the Portland Trailblazers, respectively. The Celtics are underperforming, only fifth in the east despite having one of the most complete rosters in the league. With fellow stars Gordon Hayward and Al Horford struggling offensively, Tatum will need to improve in order to guide Boston out of an extremely competitive eastern conference.  

Jahlil Okafor, New Orleans Pelicans 

The 2015 No. 3 pick suffered a fall from grace in his last season on the Philadelphia 76ers. He received minimal playing time behind established starters like Joel Embiid and participated in only two games for the 76ers all season before being traded to the Nets. There, he only played 26 games and averaged just 6.4 points per contest. In the offseason, he signed with the New Orleans Pelicans. Behind a stacked frontcourt rotation that includes Anthony Davis, Julius Randle and Nikola Mirotic, Okafor has struggled to solidify a role for himself. He has played just 58 minutes over seven games, averaging career lows in points and rebounds. Okafor’s rookie year saw him earn All-Rookie First Team honors, but his scoring and rebounding totals have decreased every year since then. Due to the Pelicans’ frontcourt depth, Okafor will likely struggle to carve out a greater role on the team this season, potentially resulting in his worst statistical year in his career.