Lindell Wigginton

Bucks Notes: Middleton, Holiday, Roster Moves, Wigginton

The Bucks have been almost unbeatable when Khris Middleton has played this season, but coach Mike Budenholzer was in no rush to put him back in the starting lineup, writes Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Before posting 24 points and 11 assists in a starting role Tuesday night, Middleton had been used off the bench since returning to action on January 23.

Budenholzer was being deliberately cautious with Middleton, who missed the first 20 games of the season due to injuries. Milwaukee is now 18-4 in games that Middleton has played, and Budenholzer plans to keep him in the starting unit for the rest of the season.

“I think it’s just more important to get the minutes,” Middleton said. “I mean, starting is kind of up in the air or whatever. Finishing games and playing minutes I think is what most guys want to do. They want to finish games, they want to play as many minutes as they can.”

There’s more on the Bucks:

  • Jrue Holiday missed Tuesday’s game with soreness in his neck, and Budenholzer called it more of an ongoing issue than a sudden injury, Owczarski adds. “Visiting with him a little bit, I think it’s just kind of been coming … it’s just kind of gotten kind of progressively worse,” Budenholzer said. “Hopefully it’s short term. We’ll just see how he feels day to day.” Holiday has been listed as probable for Thursday’s game against the Nets, Owczarski tweets.
  • Players are supportive of moves to bolster the roster with veterans such as Jae Crowder and Goran Dragic, even though it cuts into minutes for some players already on the team, Owczarski notes in another Journal-Sentinel article. “They do a great job of bringing high quality guys in, guys that are unselfish that want to sacrifice anything they can for the team to win,” Middleton said of the front office. “But then also I think we have an easy locker room, easy guys to get along with, many guys from different backgrounds but we have one common thing in mind and that’s to win. When you put all that together it’s easy for guys to come in and fit.”
  •  Lindell Wigginton‘s two-way deal with the Bucks is for two years, Hoops Rumors has learned.

Bucks Sign Lindell Wigginton To Two-Way Contract

The Bucks have promoted guard Lindell Wigginton from their G League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd, announcing today in a press release that Wigginton has signed a two-way contract with the NBA team.

Milwaukee opened up one of its two-way slots last week by waiving Sandro Mamukelashvili, so no corresponding move was necessary to add Wigginton.

Wigginton, who will turn 25 later this month, appeared in 19 games as an NBA rookie for Milwaukee last season while on a two-way contract, averaging 4.2 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 10.5 minutes per contest. The Canadian point guard spent most of last season with the Herd and rejoined the G League club in 2022/23 after being waived by Milwaukee at the end of the preseason.

Wigginton has played in 35 NBAGL games for the Herd so far this season — 18 in the Showcase Cup and 17 in the regular season. In those 35 appearances, he has put up 18.6 PPG, 5.8 APG, and 3.9 RPG in 33.5 MPG. He will likely continue to see action for Wisconsin down the stretch, since there’s no clear path to regular minutes in Milwaukee.

At one point last week, the Bucks had three open spots on their 17-man roster, but they’ve since filled all three by re-signing Meyers Leonard to a second 10-day deal, adding Goran Dragic off the buyout market, and now bringing back Wigginton.

Bucks Cut Lindell Wigginton, Marques Bolden

The Bucks have waived guard Lindell Wigginton and center Marques Bolden as they prepare for the regular season, per’s transaction log.

Wigginton, 24, played 19 games (10.5 MPG) as a rookie for Milwaukee last season while on a two-way contract, averaging 4.2 PPG, 1.3 RPG and 1.2 APG. The Canadian point guard spent most of last season with the Bucks’ G League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd, averaging 16.7 PPG, 5.1 RPG and 4.9 APG in 25 total games.

Bolden, 24, has spent most of his professional career in the G League since going undrafted out of Duke in 2019. In 69 career appearances for the Cavaliers’ and Jazz’s NBAGL affiliates, he has averaged 10.2 PPG, 7.4 RPG, and 1.6 BPG in 23.1 minutes per contest. The big man also spent time in the NBA with Cleveland from 2019-21, first on a 10-day contract and later on a two-way deal, playing a very limited role in seven games for the Cavs.

The Bucks also signed and waived former second-round pick Elijah Hughes today, per That move will secure Hughes’ G League rights for the Wisconsin Herd, Milwaukee’s affiliate.

Hughes spent most of his first two NBA seasons in Utah, playing sparingly for the Jazz, then was traded to Portland along with Joe Ingles at the 2022 deadline. He averaged 3.8 PPG and 1.9 RPG with a dismal .296/.224/.667 shooting line in 22 games (14.6 MPG) for the Blazers down the stretch.

The Bucks now have 15 players on standard guaranteed contracts and a pair on two-way deals, so they’re set for the regular season.

Keegan Murray Named Las Vegas Summer League MVP

Kings forward Keegan Murray has been named the Most Valuable Player of the 2022 Las Vegas Summer League, according to an announcement from the NBA (Twitter link).

Murray, the fourth overall pick in this year’s draft, averaged 23.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.3 steals in his four Summer League games. He also made 50% of his shots from the field and knocked down 40% of his 8.8 three-point attempts per contest.

It was a terrific start for a rookie who figures to play a major role for a Kings team that badly wants to end its 16-year playoff drought. The first player selected after the consensus top three prospects were off the board, Murray was rated behind No. 5 pick Jaden Ivey on some experts’ draft boards, so the two youngsters will likely be measured against one another for at least the first year or two of their professional careers.

Murray looks like he’ll be an excellent fit on a Kings roster led by De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis, two talented scorers who aren’t elite defenders or reliable outside shooters. The former Iowa standout is capable of stretching the floor and handling a variety of defensive assignments, so he’ll presumably see plenty of action alongside Sacramento’s two stars.

Tari Eason (Rockets), Quentin Grimes (Knicks), Sandro Mamukelashvili (Bucks), and Cam Thomas (Nets) joined Murray on the All-Summer League First Team, according to the league (Twitter links). Thomas and another King, Davion Mitchell, shared the Summer League MVP award in 2021.

This year’s All-Summer League Second Team is made up of Santi Aldama (Grizzlies), Bennedict Mathurin (Pacers), Marko Simonovic (Bulls), Trendon Watford (Trail Blazers), and Lindell Wigginton (Bucks).

Bucks Re-Sign Lindell Wigginton

The Bucks have re-signed guard Lindell Wigginton, the team announced in a press release.

Wigginton, 24, played 19 games (10.5 MPG) as a rookie for Milwaukee last season while on a two-way contract, averaging 4.2 PPG, 1.3 RPG and 1.2 APG. The terms of his new deal were not disclosed, but considering both of the team’s two-way spots are currently occupied (by Sandro Mamukelashvili and AJ Green), Wigginton was likely signed to an Exhibit 10 deal.

An Exhibit 10 contract is a non-guaranteed, minimum-salary contract that makes the player eligible for a bonus worth up to $50K if he’s waived before the regular season begins and then joins his team’s G League affiliate. It can also be converted into a two-way deal before the season.

The Canadian point guard spent most of last season with the Bucks’ G League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd, averaging 16.7 PPG, 5.1 RPG and 4.9 APG in 25 total games. After going undrafted out of Iowa State in 2019, Wigginton spent his first two pro seasons playing for the G League’s Iowa Wolves, as well as a couple of international stops in Israel and Canada.

Central Notes: Young, Wigginton, Hayes, LaVine

Former Bulls forward Thaddeus Young discussed a variety of subjects with K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago, including his time with the team and how he found out that he was being traded to San Antonio.

Young has only played in 25 games with the Spurs, a team clearly focused on building for the future. He remains grateful for his time with the Bulls, where he averaged an impressive 12.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game last season.

“Just the moments that I had with my teammates,” Young said when asked about what stands out from his Bulls tenure. “Those are all great guys. We all know I love Zach (LaVine) to death. And he feels the same way. Getting a chance to help groom Pat (Williams) and Coby (White) a little bit. And then the staff was great. I loved having conversations with everyone on staff and making sure the guys were good.”

San Antonio could trade Young before the February 10 deadline, or the team could reach a buyout agreement with the 33-year-old. Chicago has a need at power forward, but is ineligible to reacquire Young unless he’s traded to another team and then waived. The Bulls could also pursue a veteran like Paul Millsap, who reportedly isn’t expected to play another game with Brooklyn.

Here are some other notes from the Central Division:

COVID-19 Updates: Murphy, J. Green, Wigginton

Pelicans rookie wing Trey Murphy III entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols on Monday prior to New Orleans’ win over Indiana, according to the team (via Twitter).

The 17th overall pick in the 2021 draft, Murphy has played a minor role for the Pelicans this season, averaging 3.8 PPG and 2.1 RPG in 36 games (12.8 MPG). The 21-year-old hasn’t logged more than three minutes in a game since December 28, so his absence didn’t affect the club’s rotation on Monday. He’ll remain in the protocols until at least this weekend unless he can exit early by registering two consecutive negative tests 24 hours apart.

Here are a few more protocol-related updates from around the league:

  • Nuggets forward JaMychal Green is no longer on the team’s injury report, indicating that he has exited the COVID-19 protocols, as Mike Singer of The Denver Post tweets. Jamal Murray is the only Nugget still in the protocols, and he’s not ready to return from his ACL surgery yet anyway.
  • Bucks two-way player Lindell Wigginton entered the protocols over the weekend, tweets Eric Nehm of The Athletic. Wigginton is the only Milwaukee player currently in the protocols.
  • As our health and safety protocols tracker shows, there are currently 12 players in the protocols. Only the Grizzlies (three players) and Pistons (two players) have more than a single player affected at the moment. We’ll continue to update that tracker going forward, but since the number of players entering and exiting has declined significantly in the last couple weeks, it will likely be updated just once or twice per day, rather than several times.

Bucks Sign Lindell Wigginton To Two-Way Deal, Waive Javonte Smart

The Bucks have signed G League guard Lindell Wigginton to a two-way contract, the team announced in a press release. Two-way guard Javonte Smart has been waived to make room on the roster.

Wigginton, 23, has been playing for Milwaukee’s G League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd, averaging 17.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 17 games. This is his third season in the G League.

After going undrafted in 2019, Wigginton signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Timberwolves and participated in Minnesota’s training camp. He has yet to play in an NBA game.

Smart, an undrafted rookie out of LSU, signed a two-way deal with the Bucks in late November after being waived by the Heat in training camp. He appeared in 13 games, averaging 2.4 points and 1.5 rebounds in 12.3 minutes per night.

In-Market Bubble Updates: Pistons, Wolves, Cavs

As the NBA’s bottom eight teams gear up to conduct group workouts starting next week, the Pistons have 15 players in attendance for the first phase of their in-market bubble. However, that 15-man group includes five G Leaguers, with a number of notable names from the NBA roster absent.

As Eric Woodyard of ESPN details, head coach Dwane Casey said on Wednesday that Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose, Christian Wood, and Langston Galloway aren’t participating.

“All of our young guys are here. Derrick Rose and Blake are not here, which is totally understandable,” Casey said. “Both are working out, and it’s nothing physical. They’re both 100 percent. Blake’s working out in LA, and Derrick is in and out of town.”

As for Wood and Galloway, both players are set to reach unrestricted free agency this fall, so Casey said he understood why they’d be reluctant to participate in workouts with the club over the next few weeks.

“We’re not reading anything into that either way,” Casey said, per Woodyard. “So it’s just something I totally get because if I’m a free agent, I wouldn’t attend anyway to the team you’re not under contract with.”

Here’s more on those mini-camps taking part in “bubbles” across the country:

  • The majority of the Timberwolves‘ key players, including Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell, and restricted free agent Malik Beasley, are participating in their in-market bubble, as are G Leaguers Canyon Barry and Lindell Wigginton (Twitter link via Woodyard). Free-agent-to-be Evan Turner, Omari Spellman, and Juan Hernangomez won’t be in attendance. Hernangomez is an RFA and is currently overseas, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic notes (via Twitter), while Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News tweets that Spellman’s camp is hoping to find the big man a new home.
  • Chris Fedor of provides details on the Cavaliers‘ in-market bubble plans for the next two-and-a-half weeks, with group practices set to begin next Wednesday. Tristan Thompson and Matthew Dellavedova, both eligible for free agency, won’t attend, but G Leaguers Levi Randolph, Marques Bolden and Vince Edwards have been invited to participate.
  • A personal matter will also prevent center Andre Drummond from attending the Cavaliers‘ mini-camp, though he wanted to be there, sources tell Fedor. “He’s been pretty engaged in everything,” one source said of Drummond. “It’s not like he’s gone dark. He wanted to be there. It’s nothing malicious. It’s not a sign or anything like that. It’s not going to cause a rift.”
  • The NBA sent a memo to the league’s bottom eight teams warning them that if they “require or coerce” players to participate in the optional workouts, they’ll be subject to league punishment, tweets Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer.

NBA’s Bottom Eight Teams Gearing Up For Group Workouts

Monday, September 14 marks the first day of the three-week offseason workout window for the NBA’s bottom eight teams. The first phase of these de facto training camps will last for one week, through next Monday. During that time, activities will continue to be limited to individual workouts, as participants begin being tested daily for the coronavirus.

After one week, once participating players have returned multiple negative COVID-19 tests – or have been quarantined if they test positive – the second phase of the camps will take place in bubble-type environments. Group workouts, including practices and intra-squad scrimmages, will be permitted during the next two weeks as coronavirus testing continues.

The eight teams not invited to Orlando – the Warriors, Timberwolves, Cavaliers, Hawks, Knicks, Pistons, Bulls, and Hornets – won’t congregate at a single site like the top 22 teams did at Walt Disney World. Their “bubbles” will be created in their respective markets.

[RELATED: Eight Teams Left Out Of Restart To Conduct Workouts At Home Sites]

For instance, as K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago writes, the Bulls will stay at a downtown hotel and will be transported back and forth between there and the Advocate Center. The Hawks, meanwhile, are working to secure their players a hotel that has not yet opened to help avoid any outside contact, per Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The other clubs will make similar arrangements.

These workouts – both the individual sessions this week and the group activities beginning next week – are entirely voluntary. However, since these players have been unable to take part in organized basketball activities with teammates since March and are likely itching to get back on the court, there’s an expectation that attendance will be robust for most clubs.

Chris Kirschner of The Athletic reports, for example, that the Hawks anticipate all their core players – including Clint Capela – will take part in the camp. Jeff Teague is one of the only players not expected to participate, per Spencer, who notes that the veteran point guard is ticketed for free agency.

The Pistons are in a similar situation — James L. Edwards III of The Athletic reports that free-agent-to-be Langston Galloway isn’t expected to be in attendance, but most of the rest of the team’s players will participate.

There are some cases where players who could reach free agency in the coming months will take part in workouts. For instance, Marc Berman of The New York Post says that Bobby Portis and Taj Gibson will likely be in attendance for the Knicks. Portis has a pricey team option for 2020/21, while only $1MM of Gibson’s $9.45MM salary is guaranteed, so both vets could be let go by the team this fall.

Berman does caution that some veteran Knicks players intend to participate in individual workouts but won’t join the rest of the club in the “bubble.”

Teams that want to fill gaps on their roster and make sure they have enough players to hold intra-squad scrimmages will be able to invite players who suited up for their G League affiliates this past season. For example, Lindell Wigginton and Canyon Barry of the Iowa Wolves will join Minnesota for the team’s mini-camp at Mayo Clinic Square, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News.

With these offseason camps set to end on October 6 and the NBA Finals likely to wrap up shortly thereafter, the next time clubs meet for organized activities will presumably be for training camps at the start of the 2020/21 season.