Tag: Michael Carter-Williams

Milwaukee Bucks v Detroit Pistons

Report: Greg Monroe signing a maximum contract with Bucks


The Knicks entered free agency as favorites to land two players: Greg Monroe and Arron Afflalo.

They got Afflalo.

They’re not getting Monroe.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

This is a nice signing for the Bucks. They’re taking advantage of a few market conditions that work in their favor now and only now:

1. They had max cap space due to Khris Middleton’s low cap hold. That will disappear once he officially signs his five-year, $70 million contract.

2. They also had cap space because so many of their players – including Jabari Parker, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Michael Carter-Williams and John Henson – are on low-paying rookie-scale contracts. Those players will be in line for major raises in coming seasons.

3. They’re locking Monroe into a max in the final year of the old-TV-contract money. As the salary cap skyrockets in coming years, his deal will look even better.

4. Because the cap has not yet exploded, they’re one of only so many teams with max space now. Next year, most of the league will have max cap space, and that makes it more difficult for small-market Milwaukee to compete.

Monroe provides the center the Bucks desperately need, and he should thrive no longer playing next to Andre Drummond. The lane will be much more clear for Monroe’s post moves.

Handling Jason Kidd’s aggressive defensive schemes will be a bigger challenge for Monroe, but perhaps Milwaukee can use its length to hide him to some degree.

Monroe should feel vindicated after accepting the Pistons’ qualifying offer last summer. The risky move has paid off for him, and his next deal should pay off for the Bucks.

Lakers’ selection of D’Angelo Russell with No. 2 pick in NBA Draft causes chaos for Sixers, Knicks

2015 NBA Draft

NEW YORK — In the weeks leading up to the NBA Draft, the expectation was that Karl-Anthony Towns would go number one overall to the Timberwolves, and that Jahlil Okafor was too talented for the Lakers to pass up at two.

But even if Okafor does eventually evolve into the once in a generation post player that some project, L.A. is in the business of attempting to win now. And with its eyes on landing someone like LaMarcus Aldridge or Kevin Love in free agency, or a disgruntled talent like DeMarcus Cousins in trade from a dysfunctional organization, that bevy of big man options was enough to send the Lakers looking in another direction.

D’Angelo Russell got the call, a 6’5″ point guard who can shoot the three and has as good a chance as anyone in this class of becoming a real star. And once he did, that threw a fairly large wrench into the plans of the Sixers at three, and the domino effect could have been strong enough to remove some very real options the Knicks may have had at four.

“I didn’t know at all, man,” Russell said, when asked if he had any advance notice that he’d be heading to Los Angeles. “I’m still in shock.”

That might be too strong a word to describe the feeling in the war room of the Philadelphia 76ers, but they had to at least be a little bit surprised. Having Okafor still on the board made the choice for Sam Hinkie and company easy, because taking the best available player, regardless of need, is the team’s currently prevailing philosophy.

But the rebuilding Sixers now have a logjam of talented frontcourt players, all of whom would seem to need a healthy dose of minutes in order to speed their development. Nerlens Noel averaged 30.8 minutes per game last season, and Okafor would like to see in the neighborhood of the same. But there’s Joel Embiid to consider, provided the setback he’s experienced with his foot injury doesn’t force him to miss some or all of a second consecutive season.

“Joel Embiid texted me last night and said, ‘See you in Philly,'” Okafor said. “He kind of jinxed me.”

Okafor has said all along that he wasn’t concerned with whether or not he might fall from one of the top two spots on draft night, and reiterated that stance after his fate became known.

“I wasn’t shocked,” Okafor said of ending up with the Sixers. “I knew I was going to be going to the NBA tonight. I was going to be a top-five pick no matter what happened, so I wasn’t shocked.”

Philadelphia needed to grab a guard here, after dealing a reigning Rookie of the Year in Michael Carter-Williams in part because he simply couldn’t shoot. With a seemingly sure thing in Russell now gone, however, and with Emmanuel Mudiay perhaps feeling like too big of a risk, the Sixers are now forced to try to make it work with three potentially franchise-changing big men, perhaps all at the same time.

“It’s not my job to figure it out,” Okafor said. “I’ll just go there and work as hard as I can.”

Similar words were spoken by Kristaps Porzingis, the international seven-footer with the sweet shooting stroke who was mercilessly booed after being selected by the Knicks.

“I mean, a lot of fans weren’t happy that they drafted me, but I have to do everything that’s in my hands to turn those booing fans into clapping fans,” Porzingis said. “For me it’s an honor to be a part of this organization, and I just can’t wait to let the season start and just get to work.”

Porzingis may vey well have ended up in New York because of L.A.’s unexpected choice. Phil Jackson told reporters that he had offers from other teams, but they were all contingent on how the first three picks played out. Had Okafor been gone as had been projected, the Sixers may very well have gone with Porzingis at three if they believed he was the best player left on the board — a possibility which had been previously reported, and one which could have unlocked all kinds of attractive offers for the Knicks.

The result, instead, is chaos in Philadelphia, and uncertainty in New York — all thanks to D’Angelo Russell landing in Los Angeles with the Lakers.

Report: Raptors trade Greivis Vasquez to Bucks for two draft picks

Toronto Raptors Vs Milwaukee Bucks

We nearly made it through the NBA draft lottery without a trade.

And the night’s first deal – Greivis Vasquez from the Raptors to the Bucks – didn’t even involved a pick in the first three quarters of the 2015 draft.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

I really like Vasquez in Jason Kidd’s system. Vasquez is a long point guard who can trap and disrupt passing lanes, though he’s not an ideal athlete for the scrambling scheme. Offensively, he’s a solid distributor who will involve Milwaukee’s deep crop of wings.

But this is a decently high price to pay for Michael Carter-Williams’ backup.

Vasquez will eat more than $6 million into the Bucks’ cap room this summer. Though he’ll likely be better than either of those draft picks, they’ll be paid less and offer more upside.

That Clippers pick is top-14 protected in 2017, 2018 and 2019. In the unlikely event it’s not conveyed by them, it becomes the Clippers’ 2020 and 2021 second-rounders.

Sometimes, though, you just have to get a player you know helps you. Milwaukee did that.

The Raptors added flexibility, which seems more in line with their goals.

Report: Buzz around NBA is that D’Angelo Russell doesn’t want to play for Sixers

NBA Draft Prospects Workout 2015

Early on in the pre-draft evaluation process, it was reported that the Sixers would be selecting D’Angelo Russell with the third overall pick.

The thinking, of course, was that Philadelphia needed a point guard who could shoot a solid percentage from three-point distance, after dealing a reigning Rookie of the Year in Michael Carter-Williams in part because he could not.

But most mock drafts now have Kristaps Porzingis slotted to go to the Sixers at three, and it’s worth wondering if Russell’s reported preference to play elsewhere may be partially responsible for the change in perception.

From Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times:

After trading point guard Michael Carter-Williams, the 2014 rookie of the year, to Milwaukee this past season, it would appear that the 76ers need a point guard.

But the buzz around the NBA is that D’Angelo Russell, a 6-5 point guard from Ohio State whom many see as a lesser Stephen Curry-type, doesn’t want to play for the unpredictable 76ers. Russell did work out for the 76ers last week.

Let’s start with the obvious, which is that it doesn’t matter one bit if Russell would indeed prefer to play somewhere else. That will change immediately if Philadelphia decides to select him, and players entering the league at the top of the draft no longer have the power to force their way to a particular landing spot.

If you’re Russell, however, there are reasons to be concerned.

The way Philadelphia bailed on Carter-Williams midway through his second season was alarming from a player perspective, even if the Sixers had more than one legitimate reason for doing so. Add in the fact that the team has brought in injured players the last two years who were forced to sit out (at least) their first full NBA season, along with the way the team has continued its prolonged rebuild by fielding what has essentially amounted to a D-League roster, and it’s easy to understand why, at least at this point, the Sixers are a less-than-desirable destination.

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

Chicago Bulls v Milwaukee Bucks - Game Three

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.