D.J. Augustin

Central Notes: Forbes, Holiday, Nwora, Stewart, Plumlee

Shooting guard Bryn Forbes has moved into the Bucks’ starting lineup in place of Jrue Holiday, who has been sidelined by the league’s health and safety protocols, according to Eric Nehm of The Athletic. Holiday will miss his third consecutive game on Friday and it’s unknown how long he’ll be out.

In the Bucks’ first two games without Holiday, Forbes averaged 16 PPG. Forbes holds a $2.45MM option on his contract for next season. Backup point guard D.J. Augustin has remained in that role.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The Bucks have recalled rookie Jordan Nwora from the G League’s Salt Lake City Stars, according to a team press release. Nwora appeared in one game with Salt Lake City and scored a game-high 26 points against the Erie BayHawks. The second-round pick has appeared in 10 NBA games, averaging 5.1 PPG and 1.5 RPG in 8.2 MPG.
  • Rookie center Isaiah Stewart made his first start for the Pistons on Thursday in place of injured Mason Plumlee and scored a season-high 17 points. Stewart, one of three first-rounders from the 2020 draft on Detroit’s roster, has to learn the nuances of the game but coach Dwane Casey loves Stewart’s energy, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com writes. “I wouldn’t trade his intensity, his disposition, his earnest approach for anything in the world,” Casey said. “That kid, he’s going to be OK.”
  • The Pistons were severely shorthanded up front against the Celtics on Friday, Langlois tweets. Plumlee missed his second straight game with right elbow bursitis and Sekou Doumbouya was sidelined by a concussion. Another backup big man, Jahlil Okafor, is out 6-8 weeks after undergoing knee surgery.

Central Notes: Drummond, Holiday, Augustin, Gores

A nearly empty arena took away some of the excitement of Andre Drummond‘s return to Detroit on Saturday night, but the experience was still memorable for the Cavaliers‘ center, who spent the first seven and a half years of his career with the Pistons, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.

“Overwhelming amount of feelings rushed through my body,” Drummond said. “Just being back in this building again, but on the other side, it was a lot of memories that just rushed through my head, hearing my name again in this arena. After that, the moment was over. Came out in the starting lineup, got ready to play and we came out with a great win.”

Drummond was a franchise cornerstone from the time he was taken in the 2012 draft, but he became expendable at the February trade deadline when Detroit decided to shed salary and embrace rebuilding. Pistons coach Dwane Casey has watched Drummond a few times since the trade and has noticed his growth on offense since arriving in Cleveland.

“Different seeing him on the other side,” Casey said. “I loved him. I got close to Andre and I took it as a project to try to work with him and develop him and put him in position to be successful. It was a business decision for us — the direction we were going in and the direction he needed to go in from an individual standpoint. Hated to see him go. (Owner) Tom (Gores) loved Andre. The whole organization loved Andre. He’s the Dennis Rodman of our game as far as rebounding. He has a knack and timing. Tried to develop some other skills and just didn’t have enough time to get there with him. He has a bright future.”

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Jrue Holiday is having the impact the Bucks hoped for when they made him the focal point of their offseason, notes Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Holiday was a difference maker in the Christmas Day win over the Warriors, contributing to 30% of the offense through the first three quarters and holding Stephen Curry to 6-of-17 from the field. “I just think our spacing we have, the athleticism that we have opens up everything,” Holiday said.Giannis (Antetokounmpo) and Khris (Middleton) demand so much attention, so just to be able to run in space, to correct spacing and really just go from there.”
  • Veteran guard D.J. Augustin made his Bucks debut Friday after suffering a calf strain during the preseason, Owczarski adds in the same story. Augustin credits the medical staff for making him take his time to recover.
  • Gores is rejecting a call to sell the Pistons because of his ownership of a prison telecom company that is accused of charging inmates up to $15 for a 15-minute phone call, according to Eric Woodyard of ESPN.

Bucks, D.J. Augustin Agree To Three-Year Deal

NOVEMBER 22, 12:51pm: The third year of Augustin’s new contract won’t be guaranteed, according to Eric Nehm of The Athletic (Twitter link).


NOVEMBER 21, 11:19am: The Bucks and free agent point guard D.J. Augustin have agreed to a deal, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that Augustin will sign a three-year, $21MM contract.

Augustin, 33, averaged 10.5 PPG and 4.6 APG on .399/.348/.890 shooting in 57 games (24.9 MPG) as the Magic’s primary backup point guard in 2019/20. Those shooting rates were off his usual marks — in the two previous seasons, he had made 46.2% of his shots from the field and 42.0% of his three-pointers.

In Milwaukee, Augustin will get the opportunity to play alongside impact players like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, and Khris Middleton, so the Bucks are presumably hoping that – with plenty of open looks – the veteran point guard will improve upon last year’s shooting numbers.

Augustin will also be able to take on some ball-handling and play-making duties in Milwaukee’s rotation, playing a similar role to the one that Bogdan Bogdanovic might have if his reported sign-and-trade deal with the Bucks hadn’t fallen apart earlier in the week.

The Bucks will sign Augustin using a portion of their mid-level exception. Milwaukee is also reportedly using its bi-annual exception to sign Bobby Portis, meaning the team will be hard-capped at $138.93MM for the 2020/21 league year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eastern Notes: Pistons, Ariza, Raptors, Hornets, Magic

When the Pistons eventually officially acquire forward Trevor Ariza, who is being dealt from Portland to Houston to Detroit, the expectation is that he’ll have his full $12.8MM salary guaranteed, tweets Keith Smith of RealGM.

Ariza’s salary was initially only partially guaranteed for $1.8MM, but as cap expert Albert Nahmad explains (via Twitter), his salary guarantee deadline will come and go before the Pistons are able to officially acquire him. As a result, the Rockets will create a $12.8MM traded player exception in the transaction.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Nashville was in the mix for the Raptors as a temporary home late into the decision process, but the team opted for Florida for a few reasons, including the lack of a state income tax, per Blake Murphy and Eric Koreen of The Athletic. There’s also a brand-new hotel next to Amalie Arena in Tampa with ballrooms that could be used as makeshift practice spaces, according to The Athletic’s duo.
  • Undrafted Kentucky forward Kahlil Whitney is considering signing an Exhibit 10 contract with the Hornets, according to Adam Zagoria of Forbes (Twitter link). Whitney declared for the draft this year after a single season of college ball.
  • Amid rumors that point guard D.J. Augustin is drawing interest from Phoenix and Milwaukee, Roy Parry of The Orlando Sentinel says (via Twitter) that a return to the Magic is very unlikely for Augustin, given the team’s cap constraints and Wednesday’s Cole Anthony pick.

Free Agent Rumors: Bogdanovic, VanVleet, Augustin, Thompson

Now that Bogdan Bogdanovic has re-emerged as a free agent option for teams outside of Milwaukee, the RFA swingman and his representatives are expected to take meetings when free agency opens, according to Sam Amick and Eric Nehm of The Athletic, who say that the Hawks and Lakers are known to have interest.

Amick and Nehm suggest it’s “widely known” that Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo had been recruiting Bogdanovic to Milwaukee. Since it seems that union won’t happen, teams hoping to eventually lure Giannis away from the Bucks will probably become a little more interested in Bogdanovic, according to The Athletic’s duo, who mention the Mavericks and Heat as a couple of those clubs.

Here’s more on free agency:

  • Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News tweets that he has consistently heard the Raptors‘ goal is to re-sign Fred VanVleet on a Malcolm Brogdon-type contract. Brogdon’s four-year, $85MM deal was cited way back in August as a probable market-setter for VanVleet’s new contract.
  • The Suns have reached out to D.J. Augustin, who is also drawing real interest from the Bucks, according to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 (Twitter link). Gambadoro adds that the veteran point guard is likely to accept the best offer he receives.
  • Even after winning a championship, the Lakers aren’t content to be passive in free agency, says general manager Rob Pelinka. As Dave McMenamin of ESPN relays, Pelinka vows his club will be “aggressive” as it looks to continue making upgrades. “We’re not going to just sit back and not expect others who are in position to try to better their roster or better their teams,” Pelinka said. “So we have to stay aggressive. I think the danger of winning is complacency, and I won’t — we won’t allow that to creep in here. We’re going to try to improve our team and put Coach (Frank) Vogel and his staff in the best possible position to defend.”
  • The Lakers would love to land Tristan Thompson in free agency, according to Chris Mannix of SI.com. Mannix says the Raptors are also expected to express interest in Thompson, though Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca (Twitter link) hears Toronto hasn’t reached out to the Canadian center yet.

Celtics Notes: Free Agency, Theis, Green, Drummond

The playoffs showed that the Celtics could use more scoring off their bench, and Jared Weiss of The Athletic has a few suggestions that should fit into Boston’s budget. If Gordon Hayward and Enes Kanter both opt in for next season, the team will be limited to the taxpayer mid-level exception, which should be about $5.7MM.

Weiss’ first choice is Langston Galloway, who averaged 10.3 points per game and shot 39.9% from 3-point range this year with the Pistons. Weiss notes that Galloway also handles the ball well enough to be considered a combo guard and would be a step up from Brad Wanamaker. Two other veteran possibilities he brings up are Orlando’s D.J. Augustin and Atlanta’s Jeff Teague, who may want to wrap up their careers on a team that can compete for a title.

Weiss also throws in point guard Jordan McLaughlin, who played 30 games for the Timberwolves this year after a sensational performance in the G League. However, the 24-year-old is a restricted free agent and Minnesota has expressed a desire to keep him, so the Celtics would likely have to go above his market value to have a chance.

There’s more from Boston:

  • Center Daniel Theis had an arthroscopic procedure on his left knee Tuesday that included removal of a loose body, the team announced on Twitter. The surgery was successful and he is expected to be ready when training camp opens (Twitter link). Theis had surgery on the same knee in 2018, notes Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston (Twitter link).
  • In a full story, Forsberg looks at Carsen Edwards, Javonte Green and Vincent Poirier and examines whether any of them have a future in Boston. Edwards was a second-round pick who is under contract for $1.78MM next season, so he’ll likely return. Green made his NBA debut at age 26 this season after several years of playing overseas, but he has a non-guaranteed contract for 2020/21 that nearly doubles his salary to $1.5MM. Poirier will make $2.6MM next season, and Forsberg expects the Celtics to look for someone to take that salary off their hands to ease their tax situation.
  • The Celtics are monitoring the Andre Drummond situation in Cleveland and could be a potential trade partner if the Cavaliers decide to move him, sources tell Evan Dammarell of Forbes. Drummond is expected to opt into the the final year of his contract at $28.7MM, which would make him a free agent next summer. Dammarell mentions the Clippers and Spurs as other possibilities.

Atlantic Notes: Okoro, Dragic, Dunn, Theis, Celtics

Lottery prospect Isaac Okoro has received plenty of attention from the Knicks, Ian Begley of SNY TV reports. Okoro’s college coach, Auburn’s Bruce Pearl, said New York’s front office has conducted a number of interviews regarding the 6’6” Okoro, who is ranked No. 7 overall by ESPN. The Knicks own the No. 8 pick.

“They’ve talked to strength coaches, trainers, assistant coaches – they’ve done their homework. And they’ve liked Isaac from the jump,” Pearl said of the Knicks.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Goran Dragic, D.J. Augustin and Jeff Teague are some of the veteran free agent options at point guard that the Raptors might pursue, Blake Murphy of The Athletic opines. Combo guard Kris Dunn could be an even more attractive option as a restricted free agent, and De’Anthony Melton could also be a consideration despite his RFA status, Murphy adds.
  • Daniel Theis was a big part of the Celtics’ rotation during the restart and Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston doesn’t anticipate that anything will change next season. Theis complemented Boston’s stars nicely since he’s solid at screening and defending, Forsberg adds. Boston must guarantee Theis’ $5MM salary prior to next season but that seems like a foregone conclusion.
  • The Celtics own three first-round picks in the November draft and they’ll be looking to deal, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. Boston simply doesn’t have the roster space to absorb and develop three rookies and if the Celtics can’t trade one or more of those picks, they’ll look into draft-and-stash options.

New York Notes: Nets, Crawford, Thibodeau, Forbes List

The Nets were overmatched in their first reseeding game Friday against the Magic, and it’s a trend that will likely continue throughout their stay in Orlando, writes Mike Vaccaro of The New York Post. Brooklyn started out strong in the 128-118 loss, which dropped the team into eighth place in the East, but a lack of proven NBA talent was too much to overcome. The Nets are missing seven members of their regular roster.

“We need to embrace that stuff a little bit,” coach Jacque Vaughn said. “We’ll have to be extremely gritty, put a body on someone every single possession. That gave us more than 40 opportunities to shoot 3s and when teams do that you have to make them pay.”

There’s more on the New York teams:

  • Veteran guard Jamal Crawford was held out of Friday’s game and may not make his debut with the Nets tomorrow, tweets Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Crawford is listed as questionable for the contest with the Wizards because of conditioning issues. Brooklyn holds a six-game lead over Washington and can effectively clinch a playoff spot with a win.
  • Now that Tom Thibodeau is officially the new head coach of the Knicks, Jonathan Macri of Sports Illustrated looks at five of his former players who could potentially play for him in New York. He notes that when Thibodeau was hired in Minnesota, he brought in several of his ex-players from Chicago. In addition to Taj Gibson, who is already on New York’s roster and is waiting for the team to make a decision on his $9.5MM option for next season, Macri’s list includes D.J. Augustin, Zach LaVine, Jeff Teague and Dario Saric.
  • The Knicks are this year’s highest-valued NBA team on the annual list from Forbes. Despite seven straight losing seasons, the Knicks are third overall at $4.6 billion, trailing only the Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees. The Lakers rank fourth at $4.4 billion and the Warriors are fifth at $4.3 billion.

Suns Notes: Point Guard, Free Agency, Booker, Baynes

The Suns will miss out on important opportunities for player evaluation if the season doesn’t resume, states John Hollinger of The Athletic in a conversation with Gina Mizell. Holllinger says after going through several failed attempts to find a back-up point guard, Phoenix could have used Ty Jerome in that role for the remainder of the season to see if he can handle it. He speculates that since Jerome didn’t get the opportunity to prove himself, the Suns will wind up spending resources on the position in free agency.

If Phoenix uses all its cap space to land a power forward, that will leave a room exception of about $5MM to sign a point guard. Hollinger mentions the Clippers’ Reggie Jackson, who formed a connection with Suns executive Jeff Bower in Detroit, as one possibility, along with the Wizards’ Shabazz Napier. Hollinger adds that D.J. Augustin and Jeff Teague may also be available for that price.

He also notes that the team may opt to address the position through the draft. The Suns hold the 10th spot right now, which is probably too low to land any of the top point guard prospects, but Hollinger suggests Alabama’s Kira Lewis could be a sleeper in that range.

There’s more from Phoenix:

  • The Suns could create up to $24MM in cap room, Hollinger notes in the same piece, which might be enough to attract Danilo Gallinari, Davis Bertans or Paul Millsap, but he notes that the options will shrink if that number is lowered because a loss of revenue due to the hiatus. Depending on what happens in free agency or the draft, Hollinger suggests Phoenix may try to re-sign Aron Baynes and Dario Saric to one-year contracts.
  • In an interview with Robby Kalland of Dime Magazine, Devin Booker said Monty Williams‘ first priority when he took over as head coach was to change the way the Suns were viewed around the league. “And if that’s having to get a little nasty, play tougher, more physical, but people are going to know when they play against up some talented, hard-working guys,” Booker said.
  • Baynes is pessimistic about the potential of a “bubble” environment as a way to finish the NBA season, relays Matt Layman of Arizona Sports 98.7. “They’re trying to come up with some scenarios that would work, but I think in terms of everyone being in one hub, how’s that going to work when you have 450 guys and if one guy does test positive then you have to get back in two months of isolation to get back to playing again?” Baynes said this week in an interview with an Australian radio station. “That’s unrealistic and there’s a better way to put all those resources that are being used into something else than professional sport.”

Southeast Notes: Isaac, Augustin, Hornets, Carter

In an interview with Josh Robbins of The Athletic, Magic forward Jonathan Isaac expressed hope that he can return if the season doesn’t resume for a while. Isaac is working his way back from a severe knee sprain he suffered in early January.

“If I’m ready to play when this thing adjourns, I want to play,” he said. “I can’t really speak for the front office. I can’t speak for everybody as a whole. At the end of the day, it really comes down to them because they want to make sure that everything is good, that I’m preserved and everything. And that’s great. But if I’m in a place where my knee is great, my mental (outlook) is great, my spirit is great and I’m in a place where I can play a game and I have a couple of weeks of conditioning, a couple of weeks of basketball where I’m like, ‘I’m set and I’m ready to play,’ then I’ll go ahead and play.”

This is the second injury-shortened season in three years for Isaac, who was averaging 12.0 PPG in 32 games before getting hurt. He added that his ability to train is limited right now because the team facility is shut down.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Magic guard D.J. Augustin hasn’t lost hope that the season will resume, writes Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. “The only hard part if we do come back this season is guys having a rhythm and skills being on point,” Augustin said. “But in terms of being in shape, I will be in shape when we come back. I’m hoping we come back. We’re missing the game, and the fans are missing the game. I feel like we had a lot to prove this season. We were in a good spot. … I’m hearing things may pick up in July and go into September.”
  • To help his young team understand postseason intensity, Hornets coach James Borrego is having players watch old playoff games during the break, according to Zach Lowe of ESPN. He picked a seven-game series from 2012 between the Lakers and Nuggets. “Part of this is to show them what physical playoff basketball looks like,” Borrego said. “This is where we want to get to someday. Let’s study it.”
  • In the latest episode of his Winging It podcast with the Ringer, Hawks veteran Vince Carter talks about the possibility that he may have already played his final NBA game.