George Hill

COVID-19 Updates: G. Hill, Budenholzer, Warren, F. Jackson, More

The Bucks received good news today, as veteran George Hill and head coach Mike Budenholzer have both cleared the health and safety protocols, Eric Nehm of The Athletic reports (Twitter links).

However, the team did place one more player in the protocols: Langston Galloway. Galloway’s 10-day contract expires on Sunday night, so it’s possible he’ll no longer be a Buck by the time he exits the protocols.

Here are more COVID-related updates from around the NBA:

  • Pacers forward T.J. Warren has exited the protocols, James Boyd of The Indianapolis Star tweets. Unfortunately, Warren is still sidelined as he recovers from foot surgery.
  • Pistons guard Frank Jackson has exited the protocols but needs to wait a couple days to recondition. He might return Sunday against the Suns, Rod Beard of The Detroit News tweets.
  • Robert Woodard has entered the protocols for the Kings, according to James Ham of ESPN 1320 (Twitter link).
  • Heat forward Markieff Morris has exited the protocols but needs time to recondition, tweets Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
  • Two-way rookie Ish Wainright has exited the protocols for the Suns, but is listed as questionable for Friday’s contest against Indiana due to reconditioning, per Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic (via Twitter).
  • Warriors assistant coach Kenny Atkinson has entered the protocols, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic.
  • Marcus Smart of the Celtics is listed as questionable for Friday’s game against Philadelphia due to the protocols, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN (Twitter link). Based on his status, Smart may have returned an inconclusive test, so we’ll have to wait for an update to see if he’ll actually be sidelined or not.

COVID-19 Updates: Caruso, Hill, Collins, Morris, Rivers, More

One of the few players not affected by a stint in the NBA’s health and safety protocols last month, Bulls guard Alex Caruso has now entered the protocols, tweets K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. Caruso, who has missed Chicago’s last six games due to a sprained foot, appeared to be nearing a return. If he contracted COVID-19, his return will obviously be delayed, but it will give his foot more time to get back to 100%.

Here are more protocol-related updates from across the league:

  • Hawks big man John Collins has exited the COVID-19 protocols and is expected to meet the team in Los Angeles, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. Atlanta faces the Lakers in L.A. on Friday and the Clippers on Saturday. Meanwhile, hardship addition Cameron Oliver has entered the protocols for Atlanta, tweets Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Unless he returned a false positive or inconclusive test result, Oliver almost certainly won’t clear the protocols before his deal expires on Friday night.
  • Bucks guard George Hill is the latest Milwaukee player to enter the health and safety protocols, tweets Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The team now has a league-high six players in the protocols, though Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Jordan Nwora, and Semi Ojeleye are being listed as questionable for Wednesday’s game vs. Toronto, which suggests they’re on the verge of exiting.
  • Nuggets guard Monte Morris confirmed on his Twitter account that he’s out of the health and safety protocols and prepared to return to action. Morris is still listed as questionable for Wednesday’s contest vs. Utah, but it sound like he expects to play.
  • Sixers head coach Doc Rivers is out of the protocols and will resume his duties on Wednesday vs. Orlando, tweets Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • Thunder rookie Jeremiah Robinson-Earl has cleared the protocols and is being listed as available for Wednesday’s game in Minnesota, tweets Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman. Oklahoma City no longer has any players in the protocols.
  • Our health and safety protocols tracker, which is updated multiple times daily, can be found right here.

Central Notes: LeVert, Pritchard, Hill, Pistons

Pacers swingman Caris LeVert is attracting plenty of interest around the league, Jordan Schultz of Schultz Report tweets. His play-making and scoring abilities make him highly coveted, according to multiple sources who spoke with Schultz.

A report last week indicated the Pacers were looking at a roster shakeup, with LeVert among the players they’d be willing to move at the right price. He’s averaging 15.5 PPG and 3.1 APG in 28.1 MPG this season for Indiana, which has a 12-16 record. He has one more year left on his three-year, $52.5MM contract.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Pacers president Kevin Pritchard has apologized for his recent comment to The Athletic that the franchise is still trying to “manufacture that real star,” according to James Boyd of the Indianapolis Star. Pritchard took heat on social media for the comment, considering the team has a two-time All-Star in Domantas Sabonis. Pritchard wrote in part on Twitter, “First of all, I believe in all our players and hold them to the highest order. In all honesty, I believe we have multiple ‘stars’ on our team but we all know we need more. We have challenged our players to be better. … Could have used a better word than ‘stars’ probably.”
  • Bucks guard George Hill will not play on consecutive days in the near future, Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets. Hill is returning from a hyperextended right knee and sat out the team’s game against Boston on Monday. Hill played the front end of the back-to-back on Sunday, going scoreless in 14 minutes against the Knicks.
  • The Pistons have lost 12 straight and their game at Chicago, scheduled for Tuesday, has been postponed due to COVID-19 issues among the Bulls. Detroit won’t play again until Thursday against Indiana and that’s just fine with coach Dwane Casey, Rod Beard of the Detroit News tweets“It gives us a couple of days of practice, which is very, very important,” Casey said.

Eastern Notes: Martin-Garrett, Spoelstra, Bucks, Noah

The top-heavy Heat could benefit from their two-way players proving their NBA mettle sooner rather than later. Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel wonders if either of their two two-way players, guards Caleb Martin or Marcus Garrett, could find their way onto Miami’s 15-man roster by the end of the year.

Because of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, two-way player rules no longer have restrictions on how frequently two-way players can practice or travel with their NBA clubs. Winderman thinks Garrett will see more run with the Heat’s G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, but that Martin could carve out a fringe rotation role at the next level.

The 6’5″ Martin played his first two years with the Hornets, and holds career averages of 5.3 PPG, 2.5 RPG and 1.3 APG, with shooting splits of .391/.315/.682.

There’s more out of the East:

  • Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra could be a finalist to succeed Team USA head coach Gregg Popovich in future international competitions, opines Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Spoelstra coached the Select Team, comprised of young up-and-coming American players, who faced off against Team USA ahead of their gold medal run this summer.
  • The Bucks could look to more carefully manage the minutes of Olympic champions Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton, coming off the club’s championship run, writes Eric Nehm of The Athletic in an extensive mailbag. Nehm anticipates that second-year forwards Jordan Nwora and Mamadi Diakite, as well as reserve point guard George Hill, will benefit the most from the resting of Holiday and Middleton.
  • Retiring former Bulls All-Star center Joakim Noah will be celebrated by Chicago during an October 28 Bulls-Knicks contest. The Knicks are led by Noah’s former Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, and feature his former Chicago teammates Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson, writes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. The Bulls are currently led by Noah’s old college coach, Billy Donovan, with whom Noah won two straight NCAA titles with the University of Florida in 2006 and 2007. Noah was a two-time All-Star and the 2014 Defensive Player of the Year while with the Bulls.

Atlantic Notes: Green, Young, Marks, Noel

Danny Green, who re-signed with the Sixers on a two-year deal, said most of his other suitors in free agency offered less money or would have needed to work out a sign-and-trade with Philadelphia, according to Rich Hofmann of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Ex-teammates Dwight Howard (Lakers) and George Hill (Bucks) tried to recruit Green to the teams they signed with this summer, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. However, Tobias Harris and Joel Embiid were also in frequent contact with the veteran guard, urging him to stick with the Sixers, Kyle Neubeck of The Philly Voice tweets.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Former Celtics assistant Jamie Young is joining Doc Rivers’ staff with the Sixers, Derek Bodner of The Athletic tweetsYoung spent 21 years with Boston.
  • While Nets general manager Sean Marks says he’s mostly done tweaking the team’s roster this offseason, he reserved the right to make more moves, Brian Lewis of The New York Post writes. “We’ve got to continue to tinker with the roster, and just see what happens,” he said. “We’ve seen in the past where other teams make cuts, and so forth, and we’re able to adjust because of that. So I don’t want to say that the roster’s complete: Maybe it’s 90 percent complete, 99 percent complete.”
  • Nerlens Noel‘s three-year contract with the Knicks includes $4MM in total incentives. Among those potential incentives is a $750K bonus each time he makes First or Second Team All-Defense, Ian Begley of SNY.TV reports.

Eastern Contract Details: Lowry, Birch, Heat, Dinwiddie, Niang, More

Kyle Lowry‘s new three-year, $85MM contract with the Heat is a standard increasing deal, starting at about $26.98MM and rising annually by 5%, tweets Keith Smith of Spotrac.

Based on Lowry’s 2021/22 salary, we now know the value of the traded player exception the Raptors created in their sign-and-trade deal with the Heat, tweets Blake Murphy of The Athletic. That TPE will be worth $4,832,848, which is the difference between Lowry’s new salary and the combined cap hits of Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa.

Murphy also confirms that Khem Birch‘s three-year, $20MM deal with the Raptors is a standard increasing contract with no options or partial guarantees — it eats up about $6.35MM of Toronto’s mid-level exception, leaving $3.187MM on that MLE.

Here are more contract details from around the East, courtesy of Smith:

  • As expected, the new deals for Max Strus, Omer Yurtseven, and Gabe Vincent with the Heat are each two-year, minimum-salary contracts with one year guaranteed and the second year non-guaranteed (Twitter link). P.J. Tucker, meanwhile, got a two-year, $14.35MM contract that uses $7MM of Miami’s mid-level exception in year one. Tucker’s second year is a player option (Twitter link).
  • Spencer Dinwiddie‘s three-year contract with the Wizards only has a base value of $54MM, rather than the previously-reported total of $60MM+ (Twitter link). The deal, which features unlikely incentives that could push its value higher, has a partial guarantee worth $10MM (of $18.86MM) in year three.
  • Georges Niang‘s deal with the Sixers came in at $6.765MM over two years, both of which are fully guaranteed (Twitter link).
  • Trae Young‘s five-year, maximum-salary extension with the Hawks includes a 15% trade kicker (Twitter link).
  • The numbers are also in for the finalized deals between Jarrett Allen and the Cavaliers (Twitter link), Bobby Portis and the Bucks (Twitter link), George Hill and the Bucks (Twitter link), and Danny Green and the Sixers (Twitter link), with no surprises among that group. As expected, Green’s second year is non-guaranteed and Portis has a second-year player option, while Allen and Hill have fully guaranteed salaries.

Sixers Notes: Lillard, Hill, Henry, Springer

With Damian Lillard heading home from the Olympics, the most important part of the Sixers‘ offseason is getting under way, writes Derek Bodner of The Athletic. President of basketball operations Daryl Morey is hoping Lillard makes his long-rumored trade request to the Trail Blazers, and Bodner believes Philadelphia is in a good position if that happens.

Lillard held a press conference last month to deny a report that a trade request was imminent. However, he has expressed an urgency to Portland’s management about the need to improve the roster, and the Blazers’ most significant additions so far have been the free agent signings of Tony Snell, Cody Zeller, and Ben McLemore.

Bodner adds that two potential competitors for Lillard are less of a threat than they were a few weeks ago. The Knicks used their cap space without acquiring another star player, while the Heat added Kyle Lowry and are now facing a hard cap for the upcoming season. It would be virtually impossible for Miami to match Lillard’s $43.75MM salary in a trade anytime soon, according to Bodner.

There’s more from Philadelphia:

  • The Sixers will receive a financial benefit now that George Hill has signed with the Bucks, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN. Hill, who was waived by Philadelphia on Tuesday, received a two-year, $8MM contract in Milwaukee. The Sixers will get a $1.255MM set-off on the money they still owed Hill, which will take effect after the 2021/22 season.
  • Rookie small forward Aaron Henry was more comfortable finding a team in free agency than he would have been as a late-round draft pick, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Henry agreed to a two-way contract with the Sixers shortly after the draft ended and is ready to prove himself in Summer League. A quadriceps strain forced him to be held out of the combine in Chicago, but he worked out for 12 teams in 19 days. One of those sessions was with the Sixers, who liked what they saw. “Since we got him, you can see his versatility,” said assistant Brian Adams, who’s handling head coaching duties for the Summer League team. “He can defend multiple positions. He can defend one-on-one and in the schemes we have. He’s picked up everything really fast.”
  • Sixers first-round pick Jaden Springer hopes to succeed with the same franchise that drafted his father in 1984, Pompey adds in a separate story. A knee injury prevented Gary Springer from playing in the NBA, but he believes his son has a bright future.

George Hill Signs With Bucks

AUGUST 6: Hill’s deal with the Bucks is now official, according to the team (Twitter link).

AUGUST 5: Having cleared waivers, Hill is now on track to sign with the Bucks, according to Charania, who reports (via Twitter) that the guard will sign a two-year, $8MM contract with Milwaukee. That money will come out of the team’s mid-level exception.

Both years of the deal will be guaranteed, tweets Eric Nehm of The Athletic.

AUGUST 3: Veteran point guard George Hill, who was released on Tuesday by the Sixers, intends to rejoin the Bucks after he clears waivers later this week, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

While it’s still possible that Hill could be claimed on waivers by a team with cap room or a large trade exception, it’s unlikely that any club would want to guarantee his $10MM+ salary, so it’s a safe bet he’ll become a free agent.

Hill played for the Bucks in 2019/20, averaging 9.4 PPG and 3.1 APG with a league-high .460 3PT% in 59 games as the club’s third guard. However, he became expendable when his contract was needed for salary-matching purposes in the Jrue Holiday trade.

Hill, who was sent to Oklahoma City in that Holiday blockbuster, averaged 8.7 PPG and 2.4 APG on .482/.388/.800 shooting in 30 total contests (22.4 MPG) for the Thunder and Sixers this past season.

He didn’t make much of an impact in the postseason for Philadelphia, with just 4.7 PPG and 1.5 APG in 12 playoff games (17.1 MPG). The 76ers opted to waive him before his salary for 2021/22 became fully guaranteed.

The Bucks are now eyeing deals with two veterans who are currently on waivers. A report earlier on Tuesday indicated that Milwaukee is expected to sign Rodney Hood, who was cut today by Toronto.

Sixers Waive George Hill

5:40pm: The Sixers have officially waived Hill, announcing the move in a press release.

12:12am: The Sixers are planning to waive veteran guard George Hill, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Hill, acquired by Philadelphia at the trade deadline in March, is currently under contract for 2021/22 with a cap hit of $10.05MM. However, only about $1.28MM of that salary is guaranteed, so the Sixers can save some money and generate a little extra cap flexibility by releasing him before his salary guarantee deadline this week.

Hill, who began the 2020/21 season with Oklahoma City, averaged 8.7 PPG and 2.4 APG on .482/.388/.800 shooting in 30 total contests (22.4 MPG) for the Thunder and Sixers. He didn’t make much of an impact in the postseason for Philadelphia, with just 4.7 PPG and 1.5 APG in 12 playoff games (17.1 MPG).

While Hill wasn’t exactly a bargain on his $10MM salary, he’d be a worthwhile investment at a lower rate. If and when he clears waivers, he should receive interest from teams looking to add an affordable veteran guard to their bench.

Atlantic Notes: Tatum, J. Green, Simmons, Hill, Raptors

The Celtics and Nets each had a player leave Tuesday’s game early due to an injury, as Tim Bontemps of ESPN details.

The Celtics’ loss was more significant, as star forward Jayson Tatum exited in the third quarter after being inadvertently poked in the eye by Nets forward Kevin Durant. Tatum, who headed to the locker room following the injury, eventually returned to the bench, but he was unable to play any more and his status going forward is uncertain.

“He went back out on the court (and) tried to readjust to the light out there, and he was really struggling,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said, per Bontemps. “He got scratched pretty good. It looks pretty red, it looks pretty swollen to me. I don’t know what that means. I don’t know what the exact diagnosis is. But he’s uncomfortable right now.”

Meanwhile, Nets forward Jeff Green left in the second quarter due to a bruised left foot. The veteran has been a reliable role player for Brooklyn this season, averaging 27 minutes per game in 68 regular season contests and matching that minute total in Game 1. However, the Nets – already up 2-0 in the series – are far better positioned to handle any missed time for Green than the Celtics are for Tatum.

Here are a few more items from around the Atlantic:

  • After Ben Simmons scored just six points on 3-of-9 shooting in Game 1, Sixers head coach Doc Rivers said he doesn’t understand criticism of the standout guard, who contributed 15 assists and 15 rebounds in the team’s victory. “Only in Philadelphia,” Rivers said, per Rob Maaddi of The Associated Press. “If you guys don’t know the treasure you have by now, then shame on everyone because he’s been fantastic for us. … I’m amazed that people don’t see what he does. We’re so caught up in the amount of points he scored. … Does it matter if Ben had all 125? Would we be mad that Joel (Embiid) didn’t score? Who cares who scores as long as we’re scoring. … When Ben plays, we score more points.”
  • It took a while for George Hill to get healthy and make his Sixers debut after he was acquired at the trade deadline, but the veteran guard will be relied upon more heavily now that the postseason is underway, writes Tom Moore of The Bucks County Courier Times.
  • The Raptors‘ own first-round pick is in the lottery for the first time since 2012, prompting Blake Murphy of The Athletic to explore whether the team should consider trading its first-rounder. Murphy also looks at trade possibilities for Toronto’s two second-round selections.