Dan Feldman

Khris Middleton
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Bucks expect Khris Middleton to miss about 70 games, reportedly looking to trade for wing


Khris Middleton‘s injury sounded bad.

It’s bad.

Bucks release:

Milwaukee Bucks guard Khris Middleton suffered a left hamstring injury in preseason workouts that will require surgery, General Manager John Hammond announced today. Middleton is expected to be sidelined for approximately six months, with surgery planned in the next week.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:


A sixth-month injury would keep Middleton out 70 games – nearly all of an 82-game season.

I can see why the Bucks want wing help. As their roster stands, this likely pushes Rashad Vaughn and Malcolm Brogdon into roles over their heads.

But Milwaukee must ask itself some hard questions before trading.

Should Giannis Antetokounmpo continue his development at point guard?

That might be best for his long-term growth, but he’s definitely more needed now at forward. Matthew Dellavedova, Michael Carter-Williams and Tyler Ennis can handle point guard better than the Bucks’ other wing options can step up at small forward.

How much would any player received in a trade boost the Bucks’ playoff odds?

Milwaukee isn’t getting a good wing without giving up a player of value (and that’s apparently not Greg Monroe). Considering the Bucks’ best assets are young players and draft picks, they’d likely be mortgaging their future to win now. That’s not necessarily a bad aim, but it only pays off if the wing acquired actually makes gets Milwaukee into the playoffs.

The Bucks need to take a sober assessment of where they stand without Middleton, where they’d stand with a replacement and where they’d stand next year with Middleton healthy, Antetokounmpo developed at point guard and all their assets still in tact. It’s not a fun analysis, but it’s necessary now.

Report: Bucks wing Khris Middleton tears hamstring, undergoing surgery

Khris Middleton
AP Photo/David Zalubowski
1 Comment

The Bucks just can’t have nice things.

After signing Giannis Antetokounmpo to a very team-friendly contract extension, Milwaukee got bad news about its second-best player: Khris Middleton.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The Bucks are fairly thin on the wing, especially with Antetokounmpo playing point guard. This could push Rashad Vaughn and Malcolm Brogdon into larger roles before they’re ready.

This is a blow to Milwaukee, which is trying to return to the playoffs after slipping last year. With thin margins around the Eastern Conference’s lower seeds, every game Middleton misses could have a large impact.

The big question now is how long Middleton will be sidelined.

Report: Nets signing Jorge Gutierrez

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 22: Jorge Gutierrez #13 of the Brooklyn Nets brings the ball up court against the Boston Celtics during a preseason game at TD Garden on October 22, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Nets have a clear 1-2 at point guard with Jeremy Lin and Greivis Vasquez.

Beyond that, it gets murky.

Randy Foye and Isaiah Whitehead are combo guards. Yogi Ferrell‘s deal is just partially guaranteed.

Another candidate to be third point guard? Former Nets third point guard Jorge Gutierrez.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Brooklyn has 15 players, the regular-season roster limit, with guaranteed salaries. But the Nets are so far under the salary floor, they probably wouldn’t hesitate to eat a guaranteed contract if Gutierrez wins the job.

Gutierrez broke into the NBA with the Nets in 2014, when they were run by deposed general manager Billy King and coach Jason Kidd. It seems more coincidental than institutional Gutierrez is returning to Brooklyn under the Sean Marks/Kenny Atkins regime.

In stints with Kidd’s Bucks and the Hornets, Gutierrez has continued to look like a fringe NBA player. He’s a decent defender, but his lack of outside shooting holds him back.

Report: Clippers signing Xavier Munford

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Xavier Munford #14 of the Memphis Grizzlies goes for a layup against Paul Pierce #34 of the Los Angeles Clippers during the first half of the basketball game against Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center April 12, 2016, in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using the photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Xavier Munford went from a D-League All-Star to a key contributor down the stretch for the injury-ravaged Grizzlies.

What’s next for the 24-year-old point guard?

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Though Munford was rough around the edges in Memphis, he proved himself a fringe NBA player. It probably doesn’t hurt that he had two of his better games against Doc Rivers’ Clippers. But is unlikely to stick in Los Angeles.

The Clippers already have 15 players, the regular-season roster limit, with guaranteed salaries. Hard-capped and with little wiggle room, they probably won’t waive a guaranteed player for Munford – though there’s at least a theoretical chance they could eat Raymond Felton‘s deal and keep Munford behind Chris Paul and Austin Rivers.

Much more likely, Munford tries to impress now in case the Clippers – or another team – has an opening later in the season.

Lakers sign Thomas Robinson

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 14:  Thomas Robinson #41 of the Brooklyn Nets passes against Jared Sullinger #7 of the Boston Celtics during their Preseason game at Barclays Center on October 14, 2015 in New York City.    NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

The Lakers aren’t just signing washed-up veterans.

They’re also adding a player who could help the team on the court now and in coming years: Thomas Robinson.

Lakers release:

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed forward Thomas Robinson, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders:

Robinson opted out of a guaranteed minimum contract with the Nets. I’m surprised he had to settle for an unguaranteed deal.

But he could make the regular-season roster and break even.

The Lakers have 14 players with guaranteed salaries, plus Yi Jianlian and maybe minus Nick Young. That leaves Robinson, Metta World Peace, Zach Auguste, Travis Wear and Julian Jacobs seemingly competing for one spot.

Robinson, just 25, is a strong rebounder and shot blocker. The Lakers want to depend on Timofey Mozgov in the middle, but they still need a long-term answer at center (which raises questions about signing 30-year-old Mozgov to such a lucrative deal). Might that be Robinson? He could at least be a stop-gap around their perimeter talent depending on Mozgov’s aging curve. Robinson can also provide depth behind Mozgov in the short-term.

Of all the Lakers without guaranteed deals, I like Robinson the most – and that includes Yi. Still, Robinson must prove himself in the preseason.