Jeff Teague

Central Notes: Love, DiVincenzo, Pistons, Gottlieb

Kevin Love‘s season was marred by injury and declining production, but Cavaliers GM Koby Altman says the veteran forward is still part of the team’s plans, according to an ESPN report. Love appeared in just 25 games due to a calf injury.

“We want him to be here,” Altman said. “We signed him to an extension for that reason, to be here when we want to make that next step. And so we’re going to hopefully rely on him heavily next year after a significant summer.”

There are still two years and $60.2MM remaining on Love’s extension, which would make it difficult for Altman to trade him.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The Bucks have lost a key member of their backcourt, Donte DiVincenzo, due to a torn ligament in his left ankle. The Athletic’s Eric Nehm takes a look at which players might absorb DiVincenzo’s minutes. Bryn Forbes, Pat Connaughton and P.J. Tucker could pick up the slack offensively with Forbes moving into the starting lineup. But it will be difficult to replace DiVincenzo on the defensive end. Coach Mike Budenholzer may give more playing time to Jeff Teague, though he could also opt to slice his rotation to eight players.
  • Nearly half of the players on the Pistons’ roster could become free agents this summer. The Detroit News’ Rod Beard takes a look at who’s likely to stay and who will go.
  • Cavaliers assistant coach Lindsay Gottlieb got a head coaching offer from USC that was too good financially for her to pass up, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com details. “I said, ʻI didn’t come to the NBA to turn right around. I’m really enjoying what I’m doing. I feel like I’m part of something,’” Gottlieb said of her initial reaction when USC came calling. “ʻHowever, I do feel I want to be a head coach again whether that’s men’s college basketball, women’s college basketball, the WNBA. I understand what USC can be and it’s intriguing to me to have a conversation. I got off the phone after 25 minutes and I didn’t feel too strong either way.” The school’s hard sell convinced her to take that job.

Central Notes: Vucevic, Bulls, Antetokounmpo, Horst

The Bulls collected a big road win at Boston on Monday but have generally struggled since trading for Nikola Vucevic. Billy Donovan believes the team’s rotation players were slow to adjust to new roles with the addition of the All-Star center, according to Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic.

“The trade really messed up our team a little,” the Bulls’ head coach said. “I don’t say that in a negative way. What I mean by that is everybody kind of got out of their normal rotation, how they were playing, how they were being used. We lost a little bit of our competitiveness not because we didn’t want to compete and play hard. It was really more of guys had to figure out their roles and what to do in their role.”

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The Bulls will likely open their doors to fans before the regular season ends, according to Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago. Mayor Lori Lightfoot expressed optimism that “there will be fans in the United Center” in the very near future. Chicago has seven home games remaining.
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo missed several games with a knee injury but that’s not why he sat out most of overtime during a loss to Phoenix on Monday, according to Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I just cramped. Got to get more fluids in me. That’s pretty much it,” the Bucks’ franchise player said.
  • Bucks GM Jon Horst feels he accomplished his mission by trading for forward P.J. Tucker and adding point guard Jeff Teague via the buyout market, he told Eric Nehm of The Athletic in a Q&A session. Horst feels they could be the final pieces to a championship puzzle. “I could not be happier the way that we came out of the trade deadline and the buyout market in terms of how we’ve hopefully finished off this roster,” he said.

Central Notes: Teague, Cook, Love, Dellavedova, Williams

Even with the addition of Jeff Teague to fortify their backcourt, the Bucks still have a little breathing room under the luxury tax line, ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets. Marks calculates that Milwaukee is $737,439 below the tax after taking a $510,589 cap hit on Teague, who was signed this week. Teague was traded by Boston to Orlando and then waived. The Bucks still have another roster spot open, should they choose to add another player.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • It’s uncertain whether forward Tyler Cook will remain with the Pistons after his second 10-day contract expires next week but coach Dwane Casey likes what he’s seen, Rod Beard of the Detroit News writes. “He’s an interesting guy. I don’t know what we can do with him contractually, but I’d love to keep him around as much as we can. He’s one of those guys you want to keep in your program because he gives you everything,” Casey said. Cook, who signed his second 10-day on March 28, has averaged 3.4 and 3.3 RPG in 13.3 MPG in eight games with the Pistons.
  • The return of Kevin Love and Matthew Dellavedova from long-term injuries puts the Cavaliers in position for a final playoff run, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes. “We don’t have much time left, but I do think that we can put together a great last however many games that we have and really make a push,” Love said. “Having Delly back, having myself back, actually being able to make an impact playing the game, there’s just nothing like that.”
  • With the addition of Nikola Vucevic, rookie Patrick Williams is now starting at small forward for the Bulls. Williams hasn’t seen his role change dramatically, according to Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times“The people I guard are pretty much the same,’’ Williams said. “Even when I was [at power forward], I was guarding some threes and some twos, so nothing really changes. In our offense, coach [Billy Donovan] does a really good job of making sure the wing positions are pretty much interchangeable.’’

Bucks Sign Jeff Teague

APRIL 1: The Bucks have made it official, announcing in a press release that they’ve signed Teague.


MARCH 29: Free agent point guard Jeff Teague will sign with the Bucks, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

Teague was waived by the Magic over the weekend after they acquired him as a salary throw-in to complete the Evan Fournier trade with the Celtics.

Teague, 32, signed a one-year deal with Boston during the offseason. He appeared in 34 games, including five starts, and averaged 6.9 PPG and 2.1 APG in 18.1 MPG while shooting 41.5% from the field.

For his career, Teague has averaged 12.3 PPG, 5.6 APG and 2.3 RPG in 805 games for the Hawks, Pacers, Timberwolves and Celtics.

With Milwaukee, he’ll add some depth at the point behind Jrue Holiday and will reunite with former Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer.

The Bucks have an open roster spot for Teague. They were seeking to fortify their guard depth after trading reserve point guard D.J. Augustin to Houston in the deal that brought veteran forward P.J. Tucker to Milwaukee.

Milwaukee will have one more opening on its 15-man roster after signing Teague, so the move doesn’t rule out the possible addition of Austin Rivers.

Central Notes: Windler, Garland, Sexton, Teague, Markkanen

Cavaliers swingman Dylan Windler has been experiencing knee pain recently and will undergo further evaluation in the next few days, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets. Windler, a late 2019 first-round pick, didn’t play at all last season due to injury. He’s seen action in 31 games this season off the bench, averaging 5.2 PPG, 3.5 RPG and 1.1 APG in 16.5 MPG.

Windler suffered a hand fracture in the season opener, which kept him out of action for nearly a month. The Cavs picked up their $2,239,200 third year option on the 24-year-old in December.

We have more on the Central Division:

  • Utah’s backcourt of Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell provides a blueprint of how the Cavaliers’ backcourt Darius Garland and Collin Sexton might eventually work, Fedor writes.  Thus far, it’s been a work in progress. In 821 minutes with Sexton and Garland, the Cavs have an offensive rating of 106.4 and a defensive rating of 115.5, for an overall net rating of -9.1, Fedor notes. However, it’s tough to fully evaluate the effectiveness of the backcourt pairing due to a lack of continuity in the frontcourt, mainly due to injuries, Fedor adds.
  • Jeff Teague will have a much different role with the Bucks than he did in Atlanta with Mike Budenholzer as his head coach, Eric Nehm of The Athletic notes. Milwaukee simply needs him to be a competent backup point guard for 10-15 minutes in postseason games. Teague has agreed to join the Bucks after being waived by the Magic.
  • Lauri Markkanen has been relegated to the second unit with the addition of Nikola Vucevic but the Bulls’ big man doesn’t want to be considered a backup, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago writes. Markkanen will be a restricted free agent this summer, if Chicago extends a qualifying offer in excess of $9MM. “I know I’m a starter in this league but I’m going to play my role,” he said.

Lakers “Strong Frontrunner” To Sign Andre Drummond

The Lakers are considered a “strong frontrunner” to sign center Andre Drummond when he clears waivers, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The team’s star players have been trying to convince Drummond to join them and he is close to making a decision, according to sources (Twitter link).

Drummond finalized a buyout with the Cavaliers on Friday and will officially clear waivers on Sunday evening.

The Lakers can’t give Drummond more than the veteran’s minimum, but they have a starting job to offer as well as a chance to compete for a title. He has only been to the playoffs twice in his nine NBA seasons.

Drummond met recently with the Celtics, who are also a contender for his services. Boston is in the market for help at center after trading Daniel Theis on Thursday.

The Knicks pulled out of the Drummond sweepstakes, deciding against getting into a bidding war, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. With $15MM in cap space, New York is in position to make Drummond the best offer, but the Knicks have decided to use those resources elsewhere.

Berman states that team officials have been watching film on Drummond to determine how he would fit alongside Julius Randle and whether he would be worth the investment if it means taking Mitchell Robinson out of the starting lineup. The Knicks decided they’re set at center with Robinson, Nerlens Noel and Taj Gibson providing a solid defensive presence.

New York could still be active on the buyout market, a source tells Berman. Point guard Jeff Teague, who was waived today by the Magic, played for Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota. Other names to watch are small forward Otto Porter, who was traded to the Magic on Thursday and still remains with the team, and center Gorgui Dieng, who was waived Friday by the Grizzlies.

Magic Waive Jeff Teague

The Magic have waived veteran point guard Jeff Teague, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. Orlando acquired Teague as part of the Evan Fournier trade at the trade deadline and had reportedly informed the veteran he would be let go.

Teague, 32, signed with Boston as a free agent over the summer but did not play well during his brief stint in Beantown. In 34 games (five starts), Teague averaged just 6.9 PPG and 2.1 APG while shooting 41.5% from the field, his lowest single-season total since his rookie campaign.

A former All-Star, Teague was at one time a reliable scorer and playmaker for the Hawks but he has failed to replicate his prior success since leaving Atlanta following the 2015/16 season.

Teague is still a veteran presence with postseason experience so he figures to draw interest from at least a few teams as a depth piece for the remainder of the season.

For his career, Teague has averaged 12.3 PPG, 5.6 APG and 2.3 RPG in 805 games for the Hawks, Pacers, Timberwolves and Celtics.

Celtics Trade for Evan Fournier

12:27am: The Fournier trade is now official, according to an announcement from the Magic (via Twitter).


9:07pm: The draft picks headed to Orlando in the trade are the Celtics’ own 2027 second-rounder and whichever pick is the least favorable of the Celtics’ and Grizzlies’ 2025 second-rounders, reports Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe (Twitter link).


2:36pm: The Celtics will also send Jeff Teague to Orlando in their trade for Fournier, according to Josh Robbins and Jared Weiss of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Since Teague is on a minimum-salary contract, the value of the Magic’s $17MM+ trade exception generated by moving Fournier will remain the same.

Teague has been told he doesn’t have to report to Orlando and will be released by the Magic, Robbins adds.


10:34am: The Celtics are finalizing a deal to land shooting guard Evan Fournier from the Magic in exchange for two second-round picks, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Since it appears Boston isn’t sending any sizeable salaries to Orlando in return, the Celtics will use part of their $28.6MM trade exception to take on Fournier’s expiring contract.

Fournier carries a $17.15MM cap hit that will be adjusted to $17.45MM once the deal is complete, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN. The increase involves bonuses, as Fournier has incentives for reaching the second round of the playoffs and the conference finals, which are both now considered likely since the Celtics did so last season.

Boston doesn’t have a roster opening, so another move will be necessary before the trade can be finalized. Marks adds that the deal puts the Celtics $1.6MM over the luxury tax, so Boston could include a low-priced contract in the trade to address both issues.

The Magic would create a $17.15MM trade exception if they’re not acquiring any players in the deal (or if they only take on a minimum-salary contract).

Fournier, 28, is in his ninth NBA season and his seventh with the Magic. He’s averaging a career-best 19.7 points per game and shooting 38.8% from three-point range in advance of unrestricted free agency.

The Celtics were previously said to be in serious contention to land Aaron Gordon from Orlando in addition to Fournier, but Gordon is reportedly headed to Denver.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Celtics Trade Daniel Theis To Bulls In Three-Team Deal

6:27pm: The trade is now official, per a press release from the Wizards.


2:57pm: Ryan McDonough of Radio.com provides the full details on the trade, explaining (via Twitter) that it’ll be folded into the previously-reported Bulls/Wizards swap that involved Wagner. The breakdown is as follows, per McDonough:

  • The Bulls will receive Theis, Green, Troy Brown, $1.3MM in cash from the Celtics, and $250K in cash from the Wizards.
  • The Celtics will receive Kornet and Wagner.
  • The Wizards will receive Daniel Gafford and Chandler Hutchison.

The C’s will end up $950K below the tax line as a result of their series of moves, tweets Marks.


2:31pm: The Celtics and Bulls have agreed to a deal that will send Daniel Theis to Chicago and Moritz Wagner to Boston, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter links). K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago first reported the talks between the two teams (Twitter link).

According to Johnson and Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald (Twitter links), Jeff Teague and Javonte Green were also discussed leading up to the deadline, with the possibility of a third team joining the mix. Teague will be sent to Orlando as part of the Evan Fournier trade and will subsequently be waived, per Josh Robbins and Jared Weiss of The Athletic.

It’s not clear if a third team will take on Green or if he’ll be end up going to the Bulls, but the Celtics are believed to be acquiring Luke Kornet from Chicago in the deal, tweets Murphy.

The move will get the Celtics get out of luxury tax territory following their acquisition of Fournier, as Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. Meanwhile, it gives the Bulls a solid backup center following their earlier deal for Nikola Vucevic.

Free Agent Stock Watch: Atlantic Division

Throughout the season, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents this off-season. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we take a look at players from the Atlantic Division:

Bruce Brown, Nets, 24, SG (Up) – Signed to a three-year, $3.92MM deal in 2018

The Pistons uncovered a diamond in the rough when they selected Brown with the 42nd overall pick in 2018. Brown quickly became a starter due to his defensive prowess, so it was surprising when Detroit’s new GM Troy Weaver dealt him in the off-season. He’s become an increasingly important role player on the star-laden Nets with his all-around contributions.

In the last six games prior to the All-Star break, Brown averaged 18 PPG, 6 RPG and 3 APG. He becomes a restricted free agent after the season – if he receives an offer sheet, can Brooklyn afford to keep him given all its salary commitments? The way Brown is playing, the Nets can’t afford to let him go.

Nerlens Noel, Knicks, 26, C (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $5MM deal in 2020

The Knicks have displayed dramatic improvement in part because players have settled into their roles. No one needed to tell Noel that he’d be the fifth option on the offensive end when he signed a one-year deal in the fall. The sixth pick in the 2013 draft had already carved a niche in the league as a post defender and rebounder.

With his team’s other centers, Mitchell Robinson and Taj Gibson, sidelined prior to the break, coach Tom Thibodeau relied heavily on Noel to patrol the middle. Noel averaged 40 MPG in the last four games prior to the break and the Knicks won three of them. Noel ranks fourth in the league in blocks despite playing just 22.2 MPG. He’ll continue to be valued for his strengths when he enters the free agent market again this summer.

Aron Baynes, Raptors, 34, C (Down) – Signed to a two-year, $14.35MM deal in 2020

The Raptors sit three games below .500 and are contemplating whether to trade long-time star Kyle Lowry. A big reason for their first-half struggles was the poor play of their middle men. Baynes seemed like a quality addition coming off a season with the Suns in which he posted career highs in points, rebounds and assists. It hasn’t worked out that way. Among qualified centers, Baynes ranks dead last – 62nd overall – in ESPN’s PER calculations.

The good news for the Raptors is that Baynes’ $7.35MM salary for next season isn’t guaranteed. He’s posted best numbers the last few games but it’s difficult to envision a scenario in which Baynes will ever see that money.

Jeff Teague, Celtics, 32, PG (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $2.56MM deal in 2020

Teague started on some good teams in Atlanta earlier in his career but he’s bounced around the league the last few seasons. Seeking a chance to play for a contender, Teague signed a veteran’s minimum deal with Boston to provide insurance behind Kemba Walker and his gimpy knees. He’s generally been a non-factor, though he perked up during the Celtics’ four-game winning streak heading into the break. With Marcus Smart returning to action and rookie Payton Pritchard earning steady minutes, Teague will likely find himself scrounging for playing time during the second half of the season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.