Central Notes: Middleton, Bulls, Boylen, Cavs

Asked after the All-Star Game about his upcoming free agency, Bucks swingman Khris Middleton deflected the question, as Matt Velazquez of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel relays (via Twitter).

“I’ll think about the summertime in the summertime,” Middleton said. “We have a lot more work to do, hopefully. The second half of the season is going to be tough. We’ve been playing great basketball, so that’s the only thing I’m worried about.”

While Middleton may not want to talk about it yet, he figures to draw a ton of interest in the offseason — he’d be an ideal complementary piece for a handful of teams with cap room, and may be a fall-back option for other clubs that miss out on stars like Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard. If they want to retain Middleton going forward, the Bucks will likely have to double his $13MM salary.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer lauds the Bulls for their traded-deadline acquisition of Otto Porter, arguing that the veteran forward is exactly the sort of piece the team needed, since he has the ability to make players around him better.
  • The Bulls haven’t had a ton of on-court success since Jim Boylen took over as the team’s head coach, but he has done what the team’s management group asked of him, instilling a “blue-collar identity,” writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. According to Cowley, Boylen, who could earn up to $1.6MM next season, with $1MM guaranteed, currently looks very likely to return to Chicago’s bench for 2019/20.
  • Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com takes an early look at potential candidates for the Cavaliers‘ permanent head coaching job. According to Fedor, Larry Drew should receive consideration if he wants it, but Cleveland figures to cast a wide net and may target an up-and-coming coach that can grow with the team’s players during the rebuild.
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17 thoughts on “Central Notes: Middleton, Bulls, Boylen, Cavs

  1. Dionis

    Bud even said Middleton is taking a backseat to Giannis to make things work in Milwaukee. They’ll definitely re-sign him, 4 years 120 million.

    • Dionis

      Boylen isn’t the problem, Kris Dunn is just not going to cut it in Chicago. If they could get Ja Morant in the draft they make the playoffs next season.

      • dust44

        They r more then 1 piece away from the playoffs. Dunn isn’t the only thing holding them back. They have no depth. No big behind Carter and Markkanen. Blakeney should grow into a solid bench guard. But right now he’s just ahh. Hutchison and Valentine(when healthy) r decent bench guys. But they don’t have a true 6th man who can score on the second unit. There’s a lot more holes then Ja would fix.

        • Dionis

          You realistically need a 8 man rotation.

          If you trot out Morant-Lavine-Otto-Lauri-Wendell that gives you 4 shooters and what will be the most versatile big in the game in Wendell. They lack depth certainly.

        • Haven’t seen Morant play. On Sports Center they were comparing him to DeAaron Fox.

        • stevep-4

          Yeh pretty likely. I think the Bulls will try to get a PG who compliments Dunn (i.e., better shooter, acceptable defender) and Dunn comes off the bench with a defensive unit when they have leads. They could grab someone to fill the role on the free agent market, and then wait to draft another point guard nest year if they don’t manage to get Morant.

  2. Reflect

    ‘An up-and-coming coach that can grow with the team’s players during the rebuild.”

    AKA, someone cheap

  3. hiflew

    Middleton has the feel of being a very bad contract in a couple of years IF he leaves Milwaukee. It may seem unfair, but I think he is the next Chandler Parsons in that scenario.

    • Only if he becomes injury prone. Parsons just can’t stay on the court Middleton has never had the injury issues that Parsons has had

  4. x%sure

    Nice list by Fedor per CLE coach hire. Apparently Utah and Denver coaches have a leg up, and Mark Price is one. Spurs guys are always popular in Cleveland– that was a Danny Ferry attraction, even though he brought back bad memories as a player. Luke Walton could become available. Retaining Larry Drew would be fine with most people, though his desire for the job is questionable. Chris Jent is another known name who might be too mellow.

  5. x%sure

    Bucks need to pay whatever for Middleton & Brogdon. Brogdon is restricted so that will help.
    Probably also one of Mirotic/BLopez, then there’s Bledsoe. Dragic or Beverly might be more feasible than Bledsoe.
    They will be about $30mil under the cap I think after waiving GHill.

    • BLEDSOE is good pg.good defender,good scoring. i hope my bulls sign him or ja morant. i cant stand with dunn anymore.

    • x%sure

      Correction, I see $47mil under the cap 2019/20 using Bas.Ref. figures. The $30mil I wrongly used is what they cut from the on-the-books total projection (of 92) by waiving GHill (17) and Middleton declining his last year (13). The cap is about 109. 109-(92-30)=47. The tax line would be about 61 then.
      link to basketball-reference.com

      Middleton max33 and Brogdon 10-15 will eat that up. Connaughton & Brown 3.5 should be picked up plus 5 more. Bledsoe will be too much & GHill gone too at PG.

  6. Thomas James

    After the 1 mill buyout for Hill the Buck’s will be around fifty mill under the cap and seventy to tax cap to sign their own. They can only offer 6 to Lopez because of the vet min they paid him this year so loosing him is a real possibility. They should be able to sign the rest for Seventy Mill but replacing Lopez will be difficult.

    • D$!LLKU$H-og

      Brook is a loyal dude though. If they go to the finals or at least ECF he’ll take the 6 mil. Also Bucks will have 53 Mil on the books w 6 guys guaranteed and cap is 109. Max Middleton at 32mm, give Bledsoe 3/50mm, Brogdon 4/50mm and Lopez 6mm they’ll be around 109 w 10 guys then use exceptions and vet mins to fill out the roster.

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