Jevon Carter

Bucks Agree To Deals With Joe Ingles, Wesley Matthews, Jevon Carter

Free agent forward Joe Ingles has agreed to a one-year contract with the Bucks worth $6.5MM, agent Mark Bartelstein tells Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). Ingles’ wife Renae first broke the news on Twitter.

The Bucks have also agreed to bring back a pair of their own free agents, agreeing to a one-year deal with swingman Wesley Matthews and a two-year pact with guard Jevon Carter, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links).

The $6.5MM salary for Ingles indicates he’ll be getting the team’s taxpayer mid-level exception. Carter’s deal will be worth $4.6MM over two years, with a player option on year two, tweets Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. That figure suggests Carter may be getting slightly above the veteran’s minimum using his Non-Bird rights.

It’s a somewhat surprising use of Milwaukee’s taxpayer mid-level exception, given that Ingles just underwent surgery on a torn ACL in February. The 34-year-old seems extremely unlikely to be ready to go by the fall and may not get back on the court until 2023. If and when he’s healthy though, he’ll be a nice fit for a Bucks team that could use his ball-handling, shooting, and defensive versatility.

As for Matthews and Carter, they played modest reserve roles for the Bucks in 2021/22, but should be useful depth pieces. Matthews, in particular, had a strong playoff run, starting all 12 of the Bucks’ postseason contests and making 40.0% of his threes.

Otto Porter, Gary Harris, T.J. Warren Among Lakers’ Potential FA Targets

The Lakers‘ options on the free agent market this week will likely be limited, since the team will only be able to offer the $6.5MM taxpayer mid-level exception or a minimum-salary contract to potential targets. However, as Jovan Buha of The Athletic writes, the team will still aim high, hoping to sell players on the opportunity to start and the ability to increase their stock with a strong year in Los Angeles, like Malik Monk did in 2021/22.

According to Buha, youth, length, athleticism, and shooting are among the traits the Lakers will be prioritizing. Two-way wings who could come in and potentially start alongside Anthony Davis, LeBron James, and Russell Westbrook will be a priority, sources tell The Athletic.

Here are some details on the types of players the Lakers will be eyeing in free agency:

Central Notes: LaVine, Hill, Carter, Bucks

Recent reports suggest that it’s no slam dunk Zach LaVine will re-sign with the Bulls. However, execs around the league believe the chatter is agent-driven and he’ll likely stay put, according to Sean Deveney of The thinking is that his agency, Klutch Sports, is trying to ensure he’s considered the franchise player in Chicago and that he gets a max deal. An NBA source told Deveney, “It is still Zach’s team, Klutch just wants to make sure everyone knows it.”

We have more from the Central Division:

  • If LaVine does indeed leave, the Trail Blazers or Spurs would be the logical move for him, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report writes. LaVine could join forces with Damian Lillard in Portland or Dejounte Murray in San Antonio. Re-signing with the Bulls is still the likely outcome, Fischer echoes, but the fact that DeMar DeRozan was often the crunch-time go-to scorer this season may play a role in LaVine exploring other options.
  • Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer made a mistake playing George Hill over Jevon Carter against Boston, Eric Nehm of The Athletic opines. Budenholzer overestimated Hill’s postseason impact as he battled through an abdominal injury. Nehm explores numerous topics in his mailbag, including how Milwaukee could improve defensively in future postseasons.
  • With the Bucks near the luxury-tax threshold for the 2022/23 season, they’ll once again be looking for players who will sign at the veteran’s minimum, Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes. Owczarski looks at all of the team’s free agent decisions this summer, pointing out Milwaukee will only have the taxpayer mid-level exception at its disposal to sign outside free agents beyond those minimum-salary roster fillers.

Bucks Notes: Game 7, Middleton, Carter, Hill, Allen

The Bucks missed an opportunity to end their series at home Friday night and they’ll have to regroup quickly as they head to Boston for Game 7, writes Eric Nehm of The Athletic. Milwaukee has already won twice on the Celtics’ home floor in the series, and Giannis Antetokounmpo said he and his teammates will have a relaxed attitude heading into Sunday’s showdown.

“No matter what happens, we’re gonna leave that game and we’re going to be better,” Antetokounmpo said. “If we’re going to be the team advancing to the next round, great. I hope so. We’re gonna play hard, but if we’re not, at the end of the day, we’re gonna learn from this one. We’re gonna be better. So for me just go out and play free. Be fearless, play free, we don’t owe nobody nothing.”

There’s more from Milwaukee:

  • The Bucks haven’t found an effective way to replace Khris Middleton, who has already been ruled out for Game 7 with a Grade 2 MCL sprain, Nehm states in the same story. Jevon Carter, who was signed in February, took Middleton’s spot in the rotation during the first two games against Boston and George Hill replaced him once he returned from injury in Game 3, but neither is the complete player that Middleton is. “Jevon’s been good. He’s helped us,” coach Mike Budenholzer said. “So we gotta look at everything, but I think the defense and everything … I think George really helps us defensively. And Jevon can too. They’re different in how they help us defensively.”
  • Budenholzer will also have to decide how much to use Grayson Allen in Game 7, Nehm adds. Allen has made some important contributions in the series, but he was a minus-29 and missed all four of his three-point shots in Game 6. Boston has been targeting him on defense and taking advantage of switches to create mismatches. “The plus-minus is a tough stat and sometimes it’s good, but Grayson is doing his best,” Budenholzer said. “He had some good looks. Just some nights they go, some nights they don’t. Sometimes you get good looks …  It can flip. You make one or two of those, he feels a lot better. Less transition defense, more halfcourt defense, but as a group, we gotta be better.”
  • An outdoor watch party in Milwaukee for Sunday’s game has been canceled in the wake of shooting incidents on Friday night that left 21 people wounded, according to Jim Salter of The Associated Press. The Bucks said 11,000 people attended Friday’s watch party.

Eastern Notes: Harden, Sixers, J. Smith, Oladipo, Bucks

James Harden‘s effort level came under scrutiny during his final games in Brooklyn, but he appears more motivated to keep his foot on the gas pedal for his new team. As Tim Bontemps of ESPN writes, Harden raved about the environment in Wells Fargo Center on Thursday after making his home debut with the Sixers, calling it “exciting” to play in front of the Philadelphia fans.

“The love, the fans, it feels like home. Just the love, the support, man, from looking around, hearing, ‘We love you, James,'” Harden said. “That right there makes me go out and play harder, and I just wanted to do whatever it takes to get the win.”

While the Sixers have looked great since Harden made his debut last Friday, two of their three wins have come against a reeling Knicks team. With matchups against Cleveland, Miami, Chicago, and Brooklyn up next on the schedule, the 76ers will face a tougher test as they look to continue developing chemistry and push for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

“Every game for us is gonna be tough,” Harden said, per Bontemps. “We’re new, we’re fairly new, we’re still learning each other. Every game is going to be a learning experience for us, and we’ve got to just find ways to continue to chip away, continue to get better, win or lose. Obviously it’s better when you win to figure it out, but it’s going to be great tests for us and we’re really looking forward to it.”

Here’s more from around the East:

  • Pacers center Jalen Smith was fined $20K by the NBA for “directing profane language toward a game official,” the league announced on Wednesday. Smith was ejected from the game as a result of the incident, which took place during the third quarter of Indiana’s loss to Orlando on Monday.
  • Heat guard Victor Oladipo has returned to the team after taking part in three practices this week with the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Miami’s G League affiliate, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. The Heat still haven’t provided an update on Oladipo’s potential season debut, but Chiang confirms that the club is hoping he’ll be able to play within the next couple weeks, as ESPN reported over the weekend.
  • After coming out of the trade deadline with three open roster spots, the Bucks filled two of them with former Nets, and both DeAndre’ Bembry and Jevon Carter have given Milwaukee a boost with their intensity and versatility on defense, says Eric Nehm of The Athletic. “It’s fun, man,” Carter said after Monday’s game. “I was telling the guys … I haven’t played this hard in I don’t know how long. … Just being out there playing with a team that’s locked in defensively is just, for me, it’s just fun to be a part of, honestly. That’s really all I can say, I’m just having fun.”

Jevon Carter Signs With Bucks

FEBRUARY 24: The Bucks have officially signed Carter, according to a team press release.

FEBRUARY 22: Fourth-year guard Jevon Carter intends to sign with the Bucks after he clears waivers, agents Mark Bartelstein and Reggie Brown of Priority Sports tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

The Bucks were said to be seriously pursuing Goran Dragic in order to add some depth to their backcourt. Having missed out on the 35-year-old, they’ll instead sign the player who was released to make room for Dragic in Brooklyn. The Nets officially announced earlier today that they’ve waived Carter.

Carter, 26, began his NBA career in Memphis in 2018 and had a couple promising seasons in Phoenix from 2019-21, averaging 4.5 PPG and 1.8 RPG on .418/.397/.789 shooting and playing solid defense in 118 games (14.1 MPG) for the Suns.

He was traded to Brooklyn during the offseason in a deal that sent Landry Shamet to the Suns, but struggled with the Nets. His shooting percentage dipped to 33.3% and he wasn’t a consistent part of the rotation after the first month of the season.

While Wojnarowski’s report says Carter will clear waivers on Wednesday, it looks like it’ll actually happen on Thursday, unless the Nets cut him a day before they officially announced the move. As we observed on Monday, Milwaukee needs to make a roster addition on or before Thursday in order to get back to the league-mandated 14-player minimum — it appears Carter will be the team’s new 14th man.

The Nets will remain on the hook for Carter’s $3.9MM guaranteed salary for 2022/23 after he clears waivers and signs with the Bucks.

Central Notes: Carter, Pistons Rookies, Thompson, DeRozan

Jevon Carter, who was recently released by the Nets in order to sign Goran Dragic, plans to sign with the Bucks after he clears waivers.

It’s the second time the Bucks will have scooped up an ex-Nets player who was cut in the past few weeks, as the same thing happened with DeAndre’ Bembry following the blockbuster James Harden/Ben Simmons trade (Brooklyn received three players but sent out two, necessitating an incumbent player’s release). Eric Nehm of The Athletic explores what Milwaukee will be getting with Carter’s expected addition.

Carter, the 32nd overall pick of the 2018 draft, was the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year in his senior season at West Virginia and his defensive ability is the primary reason he’s in the NBA. Carter is a tough defender with strong instincts who can be a pest to opposing point guards, Nehm writes.

Carter doesn’t provide much offensively, but he’s a career 36.9% three-point shooter (33.1% this season) and the majority of his shots come from beyond the arc. According to Nehm, Carter likely won’t be asked to do much beyond catch-and-shoot. Carter is unlikely to play a large role with Milwaukee, but he should provide capable regular season minutes while George Hill and Pat Connaughton recover from injuries, Nehm opines.

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • Pistons coach Dwane Casey says the team wants to get a good look at rookies Isaiah Livers and Chris Smith in the latter portion of the season (Twitter links via Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press). Livers has been slow to recover from right foot surgery, while Smith had a torn ACL last summer. Livers recently made his debut with Detroit’s G League affiliate, the Motor City Cruise. Smith is on a two-way contract, but Livers has a guaranteed standard contract for this season and next, with a club option in 2023/24.
  • Pistons rookie Cade Cunningham, who was recently named MVP of the Rising Stars event during All-Star weekend, said he was eager to prove himself on the big stage, as he told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. “All this talent, I wanted to stand out for sure. It’s the All-Star Game weekend. Everyone is going to go out there and try to have fun. But everybody deep down still wants to be that guy. I knew that. I wanted to compete. I wanted to win. More importantly, I was happy to come out with a trophy, some hardware,” Cunningham said.
  • New Bulls addition Tristan Thompson believes he’ll fit in well with Chicago, as Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic relays. “I think I’ll mesh pretty well with this group,” Thompson said. He also believes DeMar DeRozan should be the MVP front-runner. “Right now, he’s the league MVP in my eyes, flat-out,” Thompson said, as part of a larger quote.

Nets Sign Goran Dragic, Waive Jevon Carter

FEBRUARY 22:  The Nets have officially signed Dragic and waived Carter, the team announced in a press release.

Dragic’s rest-of-season contract will pay him $728,742 and will have a cap hit of $460,463. Since Brooklyn is well over the tax line, the club’s end-of-season tax bill will further increase as a result of the signing.

FEBRUARY 21: After being bought out by the Spurs last week, point guard Goran Dragic has made a decision on his next team, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that Dragic will sign with the Nets.

Dragic, who was traded from Toronto to San Antonio at this month’s deadline, had reportedly been considering a handful of suitors, including the Bucks, Warriors, Bulls, Lakers, and Clippers.

Dallas, where Dragic would’ve had the opportunity to team up with fellow Slovenian Luka Doncic, had also been considered a potential landing spot earlier in the season. However, the Mavericks weren’t said to be in the mix for him following his buyout, having acquired another point guard (Spencer Dinwiddie) at the trade deadline.

In Brooklyn, Dragic should get the opportunity to share point guard duties with Patty Mills. Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons, of course, will be in the mix as well, but Irving is ineligible for home games as long as New York City’s vaccine mandate remains in place and it’s unclear when Simmons will make his Nets debut.

The move to Brooklyn will also give Dragic an opportunity to reunite with head coach Steve Nash, who played in Phoenix when Dragic first entered the NBA as a Sun. Marc Stein reported on Sunday that Nash was very involved in the process of recruiting his former teammate.

Dragic averaged 13.4 PPG, 4.4 APG, and 3.4 RPG on .432/.373/.828 shooting in 50 games (26.7 MPG) for the Heat in 2020/21. However, he appeared in just five games for the Raptors this season after being sent to Toronto as part of the Kyle Lowry sign-and-trade. He hasn’t played since November, having taken a personal leave of absence from the Raptors up until he was traded to San Antonio.

The Nets have a full 15-man roster and will have to waive a player in order to officially sign Dragic. That player will be guard Jevon Carter, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). The team will have the option of stretching Carter’s guaranteed $3.925MM salary for 2022/23 across three seasons. His current $3.65MM salary will remain on the ’21/22 cap.

Brooklyn used its full mid-level exception to sign Mills in the offseason and doesn’t have its bi-annual exception available, so Dragic will sign a minimum-salary contract with the club. The exact value of his deal will depend on when he officially signs, but the 35-year-old will earn $15,182 per day.

Nets Rumors: Millsap, Brown, Carter, Harris, Claxton, Edwards

Although the Nets are trying to find a new home for veteran forward/center Paul Millsap, they don’t want to just give him away for free or attach an asset to move him, Michael Scotto said on the latest episode of the HoopsHype Podcast.

According to Scotto, Brooklyn wants some sort of asset in exchange for Millsap, such as a veteran who can contribute right away or a future second-round pick. It remains to be seen whether any team will meet that asking price for a player who turns 37 on deadline day and has been ineffective in his limited minutes this season.

Here’s more on the Nets from Scotto:

  • Scotto suggests that Bruce Brown and Jevon Carter are among the other Nets to keep an eye on as possible trade candidates. Brown’s role has fluctuated this season, while Carter has fallen out of the rotation in recent weeks and is believed to be available.
  • Although the Nets have received inquiries on players like Joe Harris and Nic Claxton, they’re unlikely to be moved unless Brooklyn can land an impact player in return, according to Scotto. As we relayed earlier, the Cavaliers are reportedly among the teams with interest in Harris.
  • If the Nets get through the trade deadline with an open roster spot or two, rookie Kessler Edwards will be a strong candidate for a promotion to the 15-man roster, per Scotto. Edwards has started Brooklyn’s last eight games and is averaging over 32 minutes during that stretch, but would be ineligible for the playoffs if he remains on his current two-way contract.

Atlantic Notes: Celtics, IT, Smart, Durant, Boucher, Carter, Kemba

Following 10-day stints with the Lakers and Mavericks, Isaiah Thomas is once again a free agent. Meanwhile, the Celtics have an open spot on their 15-man roster after waiving Jabari Parker. Appearing on the Toucher & Rich radio show in Boston, president of basketball operations Brad Stevens was asked whether a reunion with Thomas was possible, and while he didn’t rule it out, Stevens also didn’t suggest it’s something Boston is pursuing.

“I’m a huge Isaiah fan, always have been,” Stevens said, per Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston (Twitter link). “… Our roster situation right now is complicated enough that we’ve got to get through next month to see where it lands and what it looks like. We’ll make other decisions, whether we have spots or adds or whatever the case may be. Isaiah is everything everyone has made him out to be.”

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • The Celtics have ruled out Marcus Smart for Friday’s game in Philadelphia due to the health and safety protocols (Twitter link via Marc Stein). Smart had originally been listed as questionable, suggesting perhaps he registered an inconclusive or false positive COVID-19 test, but based on the latest update, it appears he had no luck testing out of the protocols.
  • The NBA announced today that the league has hit Nets star Kevin Durant with a $15K fine for using profane language during a media interview and failing to comply with an NBA Security interview as part of the review process.
  • In his latest rumor roundup, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report identified a pair of under-the-radar Atlantic trade candidates, writing that Raptors big man Chris Boucher is considered available and that the Nets are believed to be exploring the idea of trading guard Jevon Carter.
  • Although Knicks point guard Kemba Walker appears to be nearing a return from his knee soreness, there’s no guarantee that he’ll return to the starting lineup right away, and he may not play both parts of back-to-back sets again this season, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post.