Jon Horford

Central Notes: West, Jennings, Horford

David West felt that staying with the Pacers would have been a risky move because of his desire to get a championship ring, he told Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star during a Q&A session. The veteran power forward shocked the basketball world by declining his $12.6MM player option with the Pacers to sign for approximately $1.5MM with the Spurs during the offseason. But West couldn’t bear the thought of sitting out another postseason. “It really came down to watching the playoffs for the first time in how many years, not being in the playoffs and then ultimately watching the Finals and just saying: ‘[Forget] it, man. You can’t roll the dice next year.’ Because that’s what I felt I would be doing,” West told Buckner.  “People were telling me: ‘Opt in and then demand a trade!’ That’s just not me. I’ve never been motivated by money.”

In other news around the Central Division:

  • Brandon Jennings will not jump into the Pistons’ rotation during their two-game road trip prior to Christmas, Keith Langlois of reports. Jennings still hasn’t regained all of his lateral mobility, despite playing 27 minutes for the team’s D-League affiliate in Grand Rapids on Saturday night. “I think more on the defensive end, I’m still having trouble right now pushing off, trying to get through screens, which is still expected,” Jennings told Langlois. “So my lateral movement is something I have to work on.” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy told Langlois that Steve Blake would remain the backup point guard for time being.
  • Pistons center Andre Drummond is averaging 18.2 points and a league-high 16.4 rebounds and Celtics coach Brad Stevens expects Drummond to play in his first All-Star game this season. “He’s an All-Star right now, for sure,” Stevens said last week to the media, including Hoops Rumors. “Eighteen-16 is no joke and he’s doing it against the best of the best. Every time the ball hits the rim, you’re fearful he’s going to get it. And his rim runs draw so much attention off of pick-and-rolls that their shooters get more open looks.”
  • The Cavaliers’ D-League affiliate, the Canton Charge, has acquired power forward Jon Horford off waivers, Adam Johnson of the D-League Digest tweets. Horford, the 24-year-old younger brother of Al Horford, signed with the Bucks prior to training camp but was waived in early October.

Bucks Waive Jon Horford, Charlie Westbrook

The Bucks have waived camp invitees Jon Horford and Charlie Westbrook, the team announced (Twitter link). Both were on non-guaranteed contracts that they signed last month. The moves leave Milwaukee with 18 players. It’s no surprise to see them hit waivers, since the team has 15 fully guaranteed deals.

Horford, the brother of Hawks star and 2016 free agent Al Horford, didn’t score in six minutes of action Tuesday against the Bulls in Milwaukee’s first preseason game. Westbrook had four points and three rebounds in nine minutes. Both are undrafted, though Horford is fresh out of college, having finished up with Florida last year. Westbrook was in his second NBA training camp since coming out of South Dakota in 2012, as he’d spent time with the Heat in 2013.

Jorge Gutierrez, Marcus Landry and Josh Powell are the Bucks without guaranteed money remaining on the roster. Milwaukee doesn’t have a D-League affiliate, so the team won’t be able to continue its partnership with Horford, Westbrook, or any of the other players it waives.

Bucks Officially Sign Powell, Horford, Westbrook

The Bucks have officially signed Josh Powell, Jon Horford and Charlie Westbrook, the team announced. All three are on non-guaranteed contracts for the minimum salary that cover one season, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reported earlier this week when he noted the trio had put pen to paper. The contracts give Milwaukee an even 20 players, the preseason limit, though 15 of them have fully guaranteed deals, meaning Powell, Horford and Westbrook are long shots to stick for opening night.

Powell spent last season as part of the Rockets coaching staff after accruing eight years of service time as an NBA player, including two seasons with the Lakers, who won the title both years. Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports first reported earlier this month that the 32-year-old power forward would leave coaching to resume his playing career (Twitter link).

Horford, also a power forward, is the younger brother of Hawks star Al Horford. The 23-year-old went undrafted this year out of Florida after spending most of his college career at Michigan. Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops was the first to report that Horford would join Bucks camp (Twitter link).

It’s the second NBA contract for Westbrook, who went undrafted out of South Dakota in 2012. He joined the Heat for the preseason in 2013. Westbrook, 26, was with Hyeres-Toulon Var in France’s second-tier league last season. Charania initially reported the shooting guard’s camp deal with the Bucks (Twitter link).

Now that the team’s summer moves appear complete, what do you think of the Bucks this season? Leave a comment to tell us.

Bucks Sign Jon Horford To Camp Deal

SEPTEMBER 16TH, 2:24pm: The signing has taken place, though the team has made no official announcement, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). It’s for one season at the minimum salary and is non-guaranteed with limited injury protection, Pincus adds, so it’s an Exhibit 9 contract.

SEPTEMBER 11TH, 8:56am: The Bucks are expected to sign power forward Jon Horford to a deal for training camp, reports Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops (Twitter link). The 23-year-old who went undrafted out of Florida this year is the younger brother of Al Horford, Scotto notes. He’ll ostensibly round out Milwaukee’s camp roster, since his deal would be the team’s 20th.

Jon Horford spent the bulk of his college career at Michigan before transferring for his senior season to Florida, where his brother had won back-to-back national championships in 2006 and 2007. The Gators gave the younger Horford his first crack at being a full-time starter, though he saw only 20.0 minutes per game and averaged 6.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per contest. He played with the Hawks, his brother’s current team, during summer league, but he went scoreless in a single five-minute appearance.

Al Horford is a free agent after this coming season, so it’s possible the Bucks are bringing in his brother with that thought in mind, though the presence of Greg Monroe would make the addition of the older Horford cumbersome. In any case, the Bucks already appear to have their opening night roster in order, with 15 fully guaranteed contracts. Jorge Gutierrez, Marcus Landry, Charlie Westbrook and Josh Powell will join Horford in trying to unseat one of those 15. Milwaukee has no D-League affiliate, so the team is without means to maintain a link to any of the players it cuts.

Can Jon Horford make a contribution in the NBA, or is he destined to play out his pro career elsewhere? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.