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Milwaukee Bucks

Khris Middleton To Miss Six Months

Khris Middleton has suffered a torn hamstring and is slated to undergo surgery next week, Shams Charania of The Vertical reports. Middleton is expected to be sidelined for roughly six months, according to the team’s website. The final timetable for his return will be set after the surgery, sources tell Charania.

“We’re obviously disappointed for Khris and our team, but injuries are an unfortunate part of the game,” said Bucks GM John Hammond. “We’ll rely on our overall roster depth to help us while Khris is out for a significant period of the season.”

Milwaukee signed Middleton to a five-year, $70MM deal last offseason. In the first year of the deal, he averaged 18.2 points and 1.7 steals in 79 games. He was drafted by the Pistons with the 39th pick in the 2012 draft before coming to the Bucks in the Brandon Jennings deal.

Bucks To Sign Jabari Brown, Cut Xavier Henry

The Bucks will bring a former Laker to training camp, reports Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. According to Spears (via Twitter), Milwaukee is adding free agent shooting guard Jabari Brown to its roster for camp.

Brown, 23, made his NBA debut with the Lakers during the 2014/15 season after going undrafted out of Missouri. Brown saw plenty of action for the team down the stretch that season, appearing in 19 games and averaging 11.9 PPG, 2.1 APG, 1.9 RPG, and a .371 3PT% in 29.9 minutes per contest.

Over the last two seasons, Brown has also played in China and has spent time with the Lakers’ D-League affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders. Brown averaged 23.1 PPG and shot .443/.374/.842 in 47 D-League games. He also worked out for the Jazz earlier this month.

In Milwaukee, Brown figures to be on the outside looking in as he attempts to earn a regular-season roster spot. The Bucks currently have 15 players on guaranteed salaries, with Orlando Johnson and J.J. O’Brien among the other camp invitees on non-guaranteed deals.

Xavier Henry also recently signed a non-guaranteed contract with the Bucks, though’s transactions log suggests the club waived him on Tuesday — it’s not clear why Henry’s stint in Milwaukee was so short-lived. Ronald Roberts was also rumored to be heading to camp with the Bucks, but hasn’t officially signed a contract and may not end up doing so.

Antetokounmpo Left Money On The Table To Help Team

  • With his future in Milwaukee secure thanks to his new four-year, $100MM extension, Giannis Antetokounmpo noted that he never had any doubts about being with the Bucks for the long-term, Charles F. Gardner of The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel relays. “I can’t imagine me being somewhere else,” Antetokounmpo said. “I don’t say this just for the media but from the bottom of my heart. I know after this five years, hopefully, we’ll be doing great, and I’ll be here five more years. As I said last summer, I want to be here for 20 years. I don’t like change, anyway.”
  • Antetokounmpo could have pushed for a maximum salary extension, but chose to leave some money on the table to help the Bucks maintain future flexibility, Dan Feldman of writes. “There was a max number out there, and that was discussed, discussed internally and externally,” GM John Hammond said. “And the one thing we asked Giannis to do was take that into consideration as we move forward. Give us every opportunity. We want to become a championship-level team. There’s going to be guys and guys who have done that, players who have given back some. And it’s a little bit of the time, as we move forward, hopefully we’re going to have other guys with the organization willing to do that. Those small pieces can turn into a bigger chunk at some point.

Latest On Greg Monroe, Bucks

Many have made Greg Monroe the scapegoat for the Bucks’ regression during the 2015/16 season, with the team going from 41 wins the previous year to just 33. Milwaukee has reportedly been actively seeking to deal the big man this offseason, with the general consensus around the league being that Monroe wouldn’t still be a member of the Bucks when training camp begins next week, Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times notes. According to league sources, Milwaukee was willing to accept below market value in order to find a taker for Monroe and his $17,145,838 salary for this season, Woelfel adds.

Despite all the rumors, Monroe’s agent, David Falk, says neither he nor his client are surprised the player is still a member of the Bucks, the scribe relays. “There’s been a lot of speculation, but that’s part and parcel for the NBA,’’ Falk said. “You always have rumors and one percent of them come true. I’ve become a cynic to rumors.’’ Falk added that he’s been in constant contact with Bucks officials about Monroe’s situation and that the team’s owners “have been amazingly supportive of Greg.’’

The Bucks have reportedly spoken to the Pelicans about Monroe this summer, according to a July report from ESPN’s Zach Lowe. “I think [the Bucks] got closer than maybe has been reported with New Orleans during either the draft or free agency,” Lowe had said during an episode of The Lowe Post podcast (54:25 mark for the relevant portion). “Monroe’s a New Orleans native,” ESPN’s Marc Stein added. “I think that’s where he wants to end up.” Neither Lowe nor Stein suggested that a deal between the Pelicans and Bucks was necessarily in the works, but Stein expected the big man to eventually be moved. It should be noted that those two clubs also discussed Monroe prior to last season’s trade deadline.

The agent also dismissed the speculation that he or Monroe have lobbied to get the big man out of Milwaukee, Woelfel notes. “Greg is a very mature guy, a very professional guy,’’ Falk said. “He has never asked to be traded on any team.’’ Falk also told the scribe that he doesn’t see Monroe being traded in the near future. “Greg expects to be in training camp with the Bucks,’’ Falk told Woelfel. “He’s looking to have a great season for the Bucks. If anything changes, we’ll deal with it at that time.’

Falk acknowledged that things didn’t go smoothly for Monroe or the Bucks last season, but noted that all parties are on the same page, Woelfel writes. “He [Monroe] wants to accomplish what they didn’t accomplish this year: making the playoffs,’’ Falk said. “We are trying to make this work. Whether it will happen, I don’t know. But we’re going to try.’’ In 79 appearances for the Bucks last season, Monroe averaged 15.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 29.3 minutes per outing. His shooting line was .522/.000/.740.

Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo Agree To Extension

1:20pm: The Bucks have officially confirmed that they have an extension agreement in place with Antetokounmpo, announcing the deal in a press release. According to Brian Windhorst of (via Twitter), there will be no player or team options on the contract. Windhorst adds (via Twitter) that Antetokounmpo was willing to take less than the max to help the Bucks retain talent going forward.Giannis Antetokounmpo vertical

12:57pm: The Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo have agreed to a four-year extension worth $100MM, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. The deal will go into effect next year, keeping the 21-year-old under contract through the 2020/21 season.

Antetokounmpo had been on track to become a restricted free agent in the summer of 2017, at which point he likely would have commanded enough interest around the NBA to ensure that he landed a maximum-salary deal. By locking him up now, the Bucks appear to have avoided paying the max. Maximum salaries and cap figures for 2017/18 won’t be set until next July, but the NBA’s latest projection would mean a starting max salary of about $24MM for ’17/18, with subsequent raises of $1.8MM annually — Antetokounmpo will make a little less than that.

The 15th overall pick in the 2013 draft, Antetokounmpo was viewed as a raw talent with huge upside when the Bucks selected him, and has since adjusted to the NBA more rapidly than expected. He has increased his averages in nearly every meaningful category from year to year, enjoying the best season of his young career in 2015/16, when he averaged 16.9 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.4 BPG, and 1.2 SPG while shooting an impressive 50.6% from the field.

While Antetokounmpo’s traditional position is at forward, he’s also capable of handling the ball, and his versatility and his youth suggest that his best basketball should still be ahead of him. In the first installment of our free agent power rankings for 2017, he placed the Greek Freak third, behind only Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, and ahead of Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. Of course, when we update those power rankings, Antetokounmpo’s name will no longer show up on the list.

Instead, Antetokounmpo will remain in Milwaukee as another key piece of the Bucks’ core, joining a handful of players who have already been locked up for the next several seasons. Khris Middleton and Mirza Teletovic are under team control through 2019, while Miles Plumlee, John Henson, Matthew Dellavedova, and Thon Maker are under control through 2020.

Antetokounmpo is the second player entering the final year of his rookie contract to reach an agreement on an extension this offseason, joining C.J. McCollum of the Trail Blazers. His Bucks teammate, Michael Carter-Williams, is also extension-eligible until October 31, though Carter-Williams isn’t considered as strong a candidate for an extension as Antetokounmpo had been. When our Arthur Hill examined Antetokounmpo’s case for an extension last month, he called it an easy decision for the Bucks to offer a lucrative, long-term deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bucks Sign Xavier Henry

SEPTEMBER 12th: The signing is official, the Bucks announced.

AUGUST 30th: The Bucks have added a well-traveled NBA veteran to their offseason roster, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical, who reports (via Twitter) that Xavier Henry has agreed to a training camp deal with Milwaukee. Henry worked out for the Lakers earlier this month and had been considering his options, per Charania.

Having recently signed Jason Terry and Steve Novak, the Bucks now appear to have 15 players on guaranteed salaries for the 2016/17 season, assuming Novak’s contract is guaranteed. That will make it an uphill battle for Henry as he attempts to earn a regular-season roster spot. However, if he has a strong preseason, he could attract interest from other teams and may become a 10-day contract candidate later in the season.

Henry, 25, was the 12th overall pick in the 2010 draft, and has since appeared in 185 total regular-season NBA games. Henry’s best season came in 2013/14 with the Lakers, when he averaged 10.0 PPG, 2.7 RPG, and 1.0 SPG in 43 contests (21.1 MPG). He previously spent time with Memphis and New Orleans, and last year played for the Warriors’ D-League affiliate.

Henry is now nearly two years removed from suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon, an injury that required a long recovery period. The 6’6″ wing said earlier this month that he’s healthy and feels “blessed” that he’s even able to play basketball again.

NBA Teams With Full Rosters

While NBA teams are limited to carrying 15 players on their regular-season rosters (with a few exceptions), roster limits expand to 20 players during the offseason. The five extra roster slots allow clubs to bring in veterans hopeful of earning a place on the regular-season roster, or young players who may eventually be ticketed for D-League assignments.

Most teams will fill up their 20-man rosters for training camp, but at this point in the NBA offseason, it can be difficult to determine which clubs still have room on their rosters. Many potential camp invitees have reportedly reached agreements with teams, but those signings haven’t yet been officially announced.

By our count, there are currently just two team at the 20-man offseason roster limit. One is the 76ers, who were at the 20-man limit for much of the offseason before waiving Carl Landry and Tibor Pleiss. Since then, they’ve added Elton Brand and Cat Barber, though it appears only 11 of the club’s 20 players have fully guaranteed salaries for 2016/17.

Meanwhile, on their official website, the Nuggets list 14 players who have guaranteed contracts, plus Axel Toupane, JaKarr Sampson, and D.J. Kennedy, who are on non-guaranteed or partially-guaranteed deals. In addition to those 17 players, the team has also reportedly reached agreements with Nate Wolters, Robbie Hummel, and Jarnell Stokes, bringing Denver’s total roster count to 20.

Still, not all of Denver’s signings are official, and even once they are, the Nuggets could easily make room for another player by cutting a non-guaranteed salary from their books. The same can be said for Philadelphia. While their rosters may technically be “full,” it’s not as if the Nuggets and the Sixers don’t have the flexibility to replace a camp invitee with a veteran free agent, if they so choose.

A more productive way of determining which teams’ rosters are “full” at this point in the offseason might be to examine the number of guaranteed salaries on their books. The deadline for teams to stretch the 2016/17 salary of a waived player is now behind us, so any team that cuts a player with a guaranteed salary won’t be able to reduce that cap hit unless the player agrees to a buyout. Most teams are reluctant to add much dead money to their cap with such a move, so if a club has 15 guaranteed contracts on its cap, we can assume its regular-season roster is fairly set, barring a trade or a surprise cut.

Here are the NBA teams that currently have 15 (or more) guaranteed salaries on their roster:

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Bucks Sign J.J. O’Brien

The Bucks have added a couple more players to their offseason roster, inching closer to the 20-man limit. According to RealGM’s NBA transactions log, Milwaukee has signed free agent wing J.J. O’Brien. RealGM also confirms the team’s previously-reported agreement with Orlando Johnson.

An undrafted 24-year-old out of San Diego State, O’Brien played for the Jazz in Summer League action a year ago, then later signed a 10-day contract with the team. However, he only appeared in two regular season contests for Utah. O’Brien spent the majority of the 2015/16 season with the Idaho Stampede, averaging 14.1 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 2.8 APG, and 1.5 SPG for the D-League squad.

The Bucks already have 15 guaranteed contracts on their books, so O’Brien will have an uphill battle ahead of him as he attempts to earn a roster spot in Milwaukee. In addition to their 15 players with guaranteed salaries, the Bucks have also reportedly reached agreements with Xavier Henry, Ronald Roberts, O’Brien, and Johnson, though the team has yet to formally announce those additions.

[RELATED: Salary Cap Snapshot: Milwaukee Bucks]

While exact details of O’Brien’s and Johnson’s contracts aren’t known, it appears likely that both players got one-year, non-guaranteed deals worth the minimum.

Stacey Augmon To Join Bucks’ Coaching Staff

The Bucks are close to finalizing an agreement with former NBA swingman Stacey Augmon to join their coaching staff, reports Marc Stein of According to Charles F. Gardner of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (via Twitter), Augmon will sign a deal with the team soon.

Augmon last played in the NBA during the 2005/06 season before joining the Nuggets as a player development coach. For the last several years, the former ninth overall pick – known as “Plastic Man” during his NBA career – has served as an assistant coach at his alma mater of UNLV. As Stein notes, Augmon expressed disappointment at being passed over for the head coaching job at UNLV earlier this year.

In addition to Augmon’s hiring in Milwaukee, there are a couple other minor coaching notes from around the NBA to pass along. Let’s round them up…

  • The Cavaliers‘ D-League affiliate, the Canton Charge, is expected to promote assistant Nate Reinking to head coach for the upcoming season, league sources tell Adam Johnson of D-League Digest. Reinking has been on the club’s staff since the 2013/14 season.
  • As Derek Bodner of tweets, the Sixers‘ D-League affiliate, the Delaware 87ers, also announced some coaching changes today. Former Villanova forward Curtis Sumpter is among the coaches on Delaware’s staff.

Bucks To Sign Orlando Johnson

The Bucks have reached an agreement with Orlando Johnson, tweets Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops. The 6’5″ shooting guard will join Milwaukee in time for training camp.

Johnson, 27, has been with four teams in four seasons after being drafted in the second round by the Kings in 2012. He signed two 10-day contracts last season, one with the Suns in February and one with the Pelicans in March. He appeared in two games with Phoenix and five with New Orleans.

Milwaukee, which recently added free agent Jason Terry and re-signed Steve Novak, has 15 players with guaranteed contracts. However, Scotto says the Bucks are still looking for ways to improve their depth at the wing position.

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