Mike Budenholzer‘s job status with the Bucks could hinge on whether they advance past the Nets in the playoffs, Adrian Wojnarowski said on an ESPN broadcast (hat tip to the New York Times’ Adam Zagoria). Milwaukee’s early exit last season, plus the addition of Jrue Holiday, has put more pressure on Budenholzer to guide the franchise on a deep playoff run. Budenholzer is the third season of a four-year contract.
We have more from the Central Division:
- The major focus for the Pistons in the short run will be their lottery pick, but what GM Troy Weaver and his inner circle do after the draft will be even more telling, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Detroit won’t be anywhere near as active as it was last offseason, when Weaver did major roster reconstruction. The next major move after the draft, either in free agency or a trade, could be focused on making the roster more whole by improving the team’s 3-point shooting.
- Pistons center Isaiah Stewart, who was selected No. 16 in last year’s draft, admits he keeps tabs on the players selected ahead of him as a motivation tool, he told James Edwards III of The Athletic. “Throughout the entire season, I’ve kept track of my rookie peers and peers at my position, as well, to see what they’re doing and what the media said about them going into the draft, how they were all hyped up. … I don’t let it distract me in the wrong way. It adds fuel to my fire. I just take notes.”
- Arturas Karnisovas, the Bulls’ executive VP of basketball operations, was Denver’s assistant GM when the Nuggets drafted this year’s MVP, Nikola Jokic, in the second round. That experience could help Karnišovas uncover another gem for the Bulls, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago writes. Karnisovas surrendered two lightly-protected first-round picks to acquire Nikola Vučević, placing an even greater premium on making savvy picks that the Bulls do possess in the future, Johnson adds.