Central Notes: C. Jones, Dragic, Stevens, Pistons

When they promoted him to their 15-man roster, the Bulls used a portion of their mid-level exception to sign Carlik Jones to a contract that covers two seasons beyond this one, Hoops Rumors has learned.

Jones’ rest-of-season salary ($357,717) is his minimum, but if the Bulls had relied on the minimum salary exception to convert Jones to a standard contract, they would only have been able to tack on one extra year. The mid-level exception allowed them to complete a three-year deal that includes a non-guaranteed minimum salary for 2024/25 ($2,092,344) in addition to a non-guaranteed minimum salary for ’23/24 ($1,927,896).

Jones will receive a partial guarantee of $250K on his 2023/24 salary if he remains under contract through the first day of the regular season this fall. The Bulls guard would have his full salary for next season guaranteed if he’s not waived on or before January 7, 2024.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Veteran point guard Goran Dragic officially signed with the Bucks on Saturday, but will have his debut with his new team delayed a little due to left knee soreness, writes Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (subscriber story). Once he’s cleared to play, Dragic won’t be expecting to get a certain amount of minutes per game. “I didn’t talk nothing about the role because I understand those guys are the main guys,” Dragic said, referring to his new teammates. “I’m here just to help. So, you know, I’m at that point of my career. I want to win, so I came here and whatever they want me to do I’m going to do it and hopefully we get that ring.”
  • Lamar Stevens‘ minutes haven’t been as consistent in recent weeks as they were when he was starting at small forward earlier in the season, but he played a critical role in the fourth quarter and overtime of the Cavaliers’ overtime win over Boston on Monday, per Kelsey Russo of The Athletic. Head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said after the game that he “can’t say enough about how proud I am” of Stevens. The Cavs hold a minimum-salary team option on the 25-year-old for next season, which looks like a lock to be exercised.
  • Even though the Pistons have lost eight games in a row and 20 of their last 24, morale in the locker room remains high due to the team’s focus on development and growth, according to Mike Curtis of The Detroit News (subscription required). “I know our fans are probably frustrated — which I understand — but we’re in a growth mentality,” head coach Dwane Casey said. “Every day for us is a teaching (moment). Every film session, we hold guys accountable, but we’re positive. We’re teaching and I wish there was a magic wand that says, ‘These guys gotta grow up.’ It doesn’t happen in this league.”
View Comments (0)