Central Notes: Horst, Pistons, Kornet, Holidays

Eric Nehm of The Athletic recently sat down with the Bucks’ award-winning GM Jon Horst to discuss the team’s free agency this summer. Here are a few noteworthy passages from Horst’s interview.

Regarding the team’s ability to bring back Khris Middleton on a five-year deal:

“Khris was always a focus… He’s our second superstar, our second star. He’s an All-Star. He’s been one of our best players for a long period of time here… Khris was a target obviously and he got a contract that represents that and we think it’s a great contract because we got our second All-Star locked up for the next five years.”

Regarding the team’s trade of Tony Snell and a first-round pick for Jon Leuer in order to create the requisite cap space needed to re-sign Brook Lopez:

“When we got Brook last offseason, we understood, at some level, how important he was going to be to us… (and) we also understood if he’s as good as we think he’s going to be, it’s going to present a lot of challenges.”

“So, we spent the entire year trying to prepare for that… Just different things we did throughout the year were in preparation to position ourselves to either be prepared to keep Brook, be in a position to keep Brook or be prepared to react if we couldn’t… I don’t know if a lot of people saw it coming, maybe after the Tony Snell deal. Then, maybe they were like, ‘Okay, this is how they’re going to try to do it.’ But before that, I don’t think people saw the moves we lined up to position ourselves to hopefully keep Brook and I’m very thankful we were able to.”

Regarding the decision to trade RFA Malcolm Brogdon to Indiana and whether the luxury tax was a factor in that decision:

“I think there’s a lot that goes into restricted free agency. It’s a monster. Malcolm is very, very important and we knew how important he was to our team. It will be hard to replace him. I think we’ve done the best that we can and we’ll continue to work in ways to be creative and fill that gap.”

“I would say the luxury tax was only part of the consideration for not matching or not being willing to pay Malcolm the market that he was able to get from Indiana. Whether or not he had that market from anywhere else besides Indiana, I don’t know. The decision on Malcolm was much more about our internal evaluations, the roster fit, the ability to be flexible and have options going forward and just building a team that, as I always say, can sustain success over a long period.”

There’s more from the Central Division this afternoon:
  • Horst confirmed in the above interview that the Bucks were not able to create a traded player exception when they traded Brogdon to Indiana, as the signing of George Hill with cap space occurred after the trade, and teams lose their exceptions (other than the Room MLE) when they go under the cap.
  • Taking a look at what each player’s role may be for the Pistons’ during the 2019/20 season, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com opines that there are five guys locked in to being sure-fire rotation pieces – Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson, Luke Kennard, and Derrick Rose, and three who will almost certainly join that group – Markieff Morris, Tony Snell, and Bruce Brown.
  • The Bulls are hoping that the three-point shooting ability of free-agent addition, big man Luke Kornet, will be a nice complement next to starter Wendell Carter Jr. and fellow reserve, rookie Daniel Gafford, writes Sam Smith of Bulls.com.
  • Pacers’ new addition Justin Holiday is excited about the prospect of playing with his baby brother, reserve point guard Aaron Holiday, reports Scott Agness of The Athletic. “It was the best situation I had at this time,” Justin said. “(T)he Pacers obviously being a contender every year and going to the playoffs, and then also them having my brother was something that was very, very enticing for me. To be able to be a part of that culture and play with my brother, I think it made it pretty simple where I needed to go.”
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7 thoughts on “Central Notes: Horst, Pistons, Kornet, Holidays

  1. x%sure

    This year I think the Pistons have a handle on their perimeter at least regarding depth.
    (Well I said that last year too, but now I mean it lol.) Jordan Bone & Svi19 looked good in Vegas as well as Brown and some say, Khyri Thomas. Langlois suggested starting Brown for the first 6′ coming out for his D.
    ReggieJ, recovered, has had a good 2019 so far.

    They need Drummond and Griffin to stay healthy though.

  2. Theone23

    I don’t understand why a rebuilding team like the Knicks would let a youngish talent like Luke Kornet go for nothing. Seems to have a place in today’s game. Oh wait, it’s the Knicks. Now I understand.

    • Bryzzo2016

      Yeah, that is a head scratcher. But as you said, it is the Knicks.

  3. IslandFlava

    Disappointing how the bucks let go brogdon thinking of the luxury tax… Not the way to keep giannis happy on the long run, right?
    They should have improved the team to make sure they will be in the finals, instead I think is weakened as they haven’t replaced brogdon… Wasted chance!
    Why didn’t they wanna pay the lux tax? Can’t win if you don’t…

    • brewcrew08

      They certainly improved in my eyes. Were able to keep guys like Middleton, Lopez and Hill. They brought in a legit back up center in Robin López that the bucks haven’t had in years. Added much needed outside shooting with Matthews and Korver who can both play on the wings. Not to mention added 3 draft picks from Indy and still have another open roster spot.

      • IslandFlava

        IMO Matthews + Korver is way less than Brogdon.
        Yes you kept Hill, K-Mid & Bropez from last year, but it doesn’t add anything as they already were there.
        RoLo yes is an addition but you lost Mirotic, not a 5 but a far better player…
        Sorry just can’t see how you are better, as a stretch maybe the same, but realistically I think you are a bit weaker than last year & older for sure.
        Just a shame if Giannis see these moves & thinks that the team is more interested in making money than winning championships… I mean to win you MUST be in the lux tax the way things are these days.

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