Bucks coach Jason Kidd discussed why the team dealt Brandon Knight to the Suns last season, and noted that the reasoning was purely financial, with Milwaukee not wanting to have two max salary players in its backcourt, Charles F. Gardner of The Journal-Sentinel writes. “I wouldn’t say we gave up a lot,” Kidd said. “He [Knight] was having a great season, and he’s having a great season this year. But it wasn’t we gave up Brandon. We had a decision to make between our backcourt. It wasn’t Klay Thompson or Stephen Curry. We weren’t going to max out our backcourt. As an organization, we had a decision to make, and we made it.” The Bucks re-signed Khris Middleton this summer to a five-year, $70MM deal, while Knight re-signed with Phoenix for the same terms.
Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:
- The Wizards are gaining trust in young small forward Otto Porter, and his playing time has increased as a result, J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic.com writes. It’s Porter’s ability to do the little things as well as make his teammates around him better that has impressed the team, Michael adds. “He does a great job of pushing the pace. He’s comfortable putting the ball on the floor and making plays for other people,” John Wall said of Porter. “Always going to be averaging around nine or 10 rebounds because he’s always in the right position at the right time. He’s always in helpside defense. He’s does the little things on the basketball court that people don’t get noticed for.”
- Knicks president Phil Jackson has not been more involved with the team this campaign despite his offseason statement indicating that he intended to take a more active role, notes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. “Maybe a couple times earlier in training camp, we had some kind of sat down and talked about some things visually at the same time. So far, it’s our typical mornings-after-the-game conversations or email exchanges,” coach Derek Fisher told Bondy. “Sometimes before practice we’ll visit for a few minutes. But not really any hardcore film sessions together. Although when those opportunities do present themselves, I’ll definitely be happy to participate.”
- Joe Johnson is struggling to find other ways to help the Nets as he deals with the cumulative effects of age and injuries, and the veteran has gone from a scoring threat to more of a facilitator in the team’s offense, Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.com writes. “People make such a big thing about him being such a dominant scorer, but being his teammate these past two years, he’s such a willing passer.” Jarrett Jack said of Johnson. “Joe being selfless enough to make those plays and take advantage of those opportunities speaks volumes about him as a person and a player.”