Kurt Helin

Chicago Bulls v Milwaukee Bucks - Game Three

Report: Expect Bucks, Khris Middleon to reach quick deal in free agency


Khris Middleton was the best value in the NBA last season. The Milwaukee Bucks got 13.4 points per game (18.1 per game after the All-Star break) and a guy who shot 40.7 percent from three, played strong defense against multiple positions, and was incredibly efficient with a league 10th-best real plus-minus of +6.07, all for just $915,243.

This summer, Middleton is going to get paid.

The restricted free agent should have a number of suitors but nobody thought the Bucks would let him go (they have the right to match any offer). However, it may not come down to matching, according to the Milwaukee Journal’s Gery Woelfel (hat tip Eye On Basketball).

Free agency begins July 1 and, according to a person close to the scene, Khris Middleton won’t be a free agent for long and will reach a quick agreement to remain with the Bucks.

Expect that deal to be north of $8 million a year, maybe well north. He is the perfect example of a player who gets locked up on what seems a big contract this summer, but a deal that looks good once the salary cap spikes in 2016.

The Bucks only have a couple potential free agents this summer, and Middleton is the highest priority (Jared Dudley is expected to opt out of his deal as well and be an unrestricted free agent). Middleton fits with a lineup loaded with versatile and long defenders, such as Michael Carter-Williams and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Middleton has said he wanted to reach a deal with the Bucks and stay with this team and coach Jason Kidd.

Milwaukee announced itself as a team on the rise last season, and they will add instant offensive punch getting Jabari Parker back from injury, plus whoever they likely add in free agency. Middleton is a key part of that future and the Bucks aren’t going to let him go.

Report: Former Nuggets coach Melvin Hunt near deal to be lead assistant in Dallas

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Clippers
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Melvin Hunt did a good job when handed the head coaching job in Denver mid-season — a team that had given up on Brian Shaw won six of its first eight for the popular assistant coach. They did so well management cut him off at the knees forcing him to rest guys, they were concerned the team would fall too far down the draft. Still the team was 10-13 under him, taking steps forward.

After the season, Hunt was a front-runner for the Nuggets job that was ultimately given to Mike Malone (who had been unfairly let go in Sacramento in the middle of the season).

Now it looks like Hunt has found a new home, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.

Great hire by Dallas. Hunt is professional, and the player like and respect him — this is a good hire by the Mavericks.

Hunt is going to get another head coaching job in the coming years, until then Dallas has a quality assistant coach.

Report: Lakers will not pick up $9 million option on Jordan Hill

jordan hill

When the Lakers wildly overpaid Jordan Hill $9 million last season, with a team option for this season, the idea was to create a salary that could be a trade chip. The hope was Jordan’s salary would become part of a deal to bring a quality player to the Lakers, and the team that traded for Jordan would not pick up the option and save cap space.

It didn’t work out that way, no deal involving Jordan materialized.

Instead, the Lakers are going to get that cap space. The Lakers are not likely to pick up Hill’s $9 million option for next season, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.com.

As the Los Angeles Lakers maneuver to free $24 million-plus of salary cap space for summer free agency, the franchise is unlikely to exercise the option on forward Jordan Hill’s contract for the 2015-16 season, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

The Lakers are not obligated to make a final determination on the $9 million owed on Hill’s contract before June 30, but momentum is strong that they’ll allow Hill to enter into free agency, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Hill started 57 games for the Lakers and averaged 12 points and 7.9 rebounds a game. You can’t fully trust his midrange game, but he can pop and not just roll off the pick. He can play solid defense in the paint, is athletic, and appears to have worked out off-the-court issues. He’d make a decent reserve big man somewhere.

He’s just not going to make $9 million again.

And if the Lakers draft Jahlil Okafor at the No. 2 spot, there would be far fewer minutes for Hill anyway.

There will certainly be interest in Hill in the $4 million to $5 million range, and the Lakers may well be among the teams interested. They liked him. Just not at that price.

PBT Podcast: Why can’t we all… er, Blatt and LeBron just get along?

David Blatt, LeBron James

In the wake of the Cavaliers loss in the NBA Finals came another big story about how LeBron James completely disrespects coach David Blatt?

What does this mean for the future of Blatt in Cleveland (not much short term, probably)? It’s LeBron’s call, would he get the blood on his hands to can Blatt and bring in his guy Tyronn Lue? If Blatt is disrespecting his head coach, what do you think the rest of the team is doing?

We cover all of it in this latest PBT Podcast, we’ve got PBT’s Kurt Helin and Brett Pollakoff, plus NBCSports’ Dominic Ridgard breaking down the Cavaliers coaching situation, and where they go from here — including taking Kevin Love’s future.

Then we get into some talk about the top of the draft, and where Marc Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge might land as free agents.

Listen to the podcast below or you can listen and subscribe via iTunes.

WATCH LIVE: Golden State Warriors’ 2015 Championship Parade


It’s time to party in the Bay Area.

For the first time in 40 years, the Golden State Warriors are the NBA champions — that’s a perfect reason for a parade through the streets of Oakland.

If you can’t be there to see Riley Curry — and Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Draymond Green and all the rest — in person we’ve got you covered with a live stream of the parade courtesy our friends and CSNBayArea.com. You can find out who wore ridiculous sunglasses, who gets the annual “Mark Madsen this guy can’t dance” award, and you can see how pale Steve Kerr looks in the sunlight.


The parade is set for noon ET. Enjoy the revelry.