Michael Carter-Williams

Contract Details: Jazz, MCW, Muscala, Robinson

More contract details continue to trickle in as the 2019 free agency period winds to a close. Below are some additional reports regarding signings for the Jazz, Magic, Thunder, and Wizards:

  • According to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders, the Jazz gave Stanton Kidd a $250K guarantee on his 2019/20 salary. The guarantee for William Howard is only $50K, but jumps to $250K if he remains on the roster through the first game of the regular season.
  • Per Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports, Michael Carter-Williams’ one-year deal with the Magic is a fully-guaranteed, veteran’s minimum contract.
  • The Thunder signed big man Mike Muscala to a two-year, $4.31MM deal with a player option for the second season, reports Michael Scotto of The Athletic. A minimum-salary arrangement for Muscala, a six-year veteran, equals $4,311,628, so that’s what his contract figures to be given the Thunder’s cap situation.
  • The Wizards used part of their mid-level exception to sign Justin Robinson, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports that the rookie point guard inked a three-year deal with a $250K guarantee in year one. His first-year salary is also $988,310, $90K more than what would have been permitted had he been signed with the minimum-salary exception.

Magic Re-Sign Michael Carter-Williams

JULY 10: Carter-Williams’ new deal with the Magic is official, per a press release from the team (Twitter link). Terms were not disclosed, but it figures to be a minimum-salary arrangement with Orlando up against the tax line.

JULY 1: The Magic have agreed to a one-year contract with free agent point guard Michael Carter-Williams, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

Carter-Williams, who turns 28 in October, joined Orlando on two 10-day contracts in March and impressed the team with his play. He signed for the remainder of the season on April 4 and was a key cog off the bench entering the playoffs.

Carter-Williams joins D.J. Augustin and Markelle Fultz as current point guards in the Magic’s projected rotation, with the club also reaching free-agent agreements with Nikola Vucevic, Terrence Ross and Al-Farouq Aminu during the first day of free agency.

Named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year in 2014, Carter-Williams has played for the Sixers, Bucks, Bulls, Hornets, Rockets and Magic across his six year-career. He was selected 11th in the 2013 draft by Philadelphia.

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Eastern Conference

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. With the playoffs underway, we turn our attention to the Eastern Conference:

Michael Carter-Williams, Magic, 27, PG (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $60K deal in 2019
Carter-Williams was scrounging for work six weeks ago after getting traded from Houston to Chicago in early January and then immediately getting waived. The former Rookie of the Year had to settle for 10-day contracts with Orlando before he was signed for the remainder of the season. Not only did he help the Magic reach the playoffs, he’s been one of their main cogs off the bench against Toronto. He posted 10 points, five rebounds and two assists in Orlando’s Game One upset. Carter-Williams has played well enough to receive offers commensurate to other veteran backup point guards.

Glenn Robinson III, Pistons, 25, SF (Down) – Signed to a two-year, $8.35MM deal in 2018
With Blake Griffin sidelined by a knee in the first two games against Milwaukee, Robinson got one last chance to convince the Pistons that they should exercise their $4.3MM option on him for next season. Robinson has been utilized as an undersized power forward in the series but his perimeter shooting woes have continued. After shooting just 29% from deep and falling out of Dwane Casey‘s rotation during the regular season, Robinson has made just one of his eight 3-point attempts in the first two games. Robinson will assuredly return to the free agent market this summer.

Pat Connaughton, Bucks, 26, SG (Up) — Signed to a two-year, $3.36MM deal in 2018
Connaughton’s modest salary of $1.723MM for next season becomes guaranteed if he’s still on the roster July 1st. That already seemed like a good bet heading into the postseason; now it’s a no-brainer. He’s taken advantage of an expanded role with Malcolm Brogdon and Tony Snell sidelined by injuries. Connaughton has been a difference-maker against Detroit, averaging 14.0 PPG on 73.4% shooting and 8.5 RPG in 29.5 MPG. He also recorded four blocks on perimeter shooters in Game Two. He’ll be one of the league’s best bargains next season.

Jeremy Lin, Raptors, 30, PG (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $487K deal in 2019
Lin chose the Raptors after agreeing to a buyout with the Hawks in mid-February. The expectation was that he would bolster the playoff rotation behind Kyle Lowry. But Lin has had trouble finding his footing in Toronto and with Fred VanVleet healthy, he has been the odd man out in the postseason. He never left the bench in the Game One loss to Orlando and played four meaningless minutes in Game Two. Lin should still find work this summer but he’ll likely have to settle for something close to the veteran’s minimum.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eastern Notes: Carter-Williams, Gasol, Olynyk, Ennis

Michael Carter-Williams has thrived in his new role with the Magic, adding defense, size and a much-needed boost of energy off the bench.

Carter-Williams, who won the Rookie of the Year award during the 2013/14 season, has since bounced around the league with multiple teams and largely failed to find a concrete role. That is, of course, until Orlando took a chance on him with two 10-day contracts last month.

“It’s great. It’s a blessing. I can only thank everybody here for giving me the chance to come in and show what I can do,” Carter-Williams said, according to Chris Hays of the Orlando Sentinel. “I always believed in myself … just a matter of time until I got the chance.”

The Magic are 8-2 since signing Carter-Williams to a first 10-day contract. His hard work paid off in his limited amount of time with the team, and the 27-year-old happily signed a rest-of-season contract with the organization on April 4.

“It definitely feels good, I can’t lie,” Carter-Williams said. “Everybody is playing well … everyone’s been solid. We’ve all had big moments in those [eight] wins.”

There’s more out of the Eastern Conference today:

  • Marc Gasol has quickly adjusted to his new role with the Raptors, positively impacting the team on both ends of the floor, Dave Feschuk of The Toronto Star writes. Gasol grew acclimated to his new teammates and play style quicker than most expected, with Toronto holding a 17-8 record since acquiring him. “It’s just weird that he stepped in day one and he was right on point … He doesn’t need a learning curve,” teammate Fred VanVleet said of Gasol. “He stepped in from day one and was able to adjust to pretty much everything we did. So that just speaks to his basketball IQ.”
  • Heat forward Kelly Olynyk has kept tabs on the Canadian men’s national team, most notably the team’s head coaching search ahead of the FIBA Basketball World Cup that starts on August 31, Michael Grange of Sportsnet writes. Olynyk, who was born in Canada, will likely play for the team this summer. “It’s not a thing where we need someone to micromanage a game and do all that stuff and trick other teams,” he said of the team’s coaching search. “We have the talent, we have the abilities we just need someone to help us put them to the test.”
  • Derek Bodner of The Athletic ponders how the Sixers could adjust with the latest injury to forward James Ennis. Ennis, who’s averaged 5.3 points and 15.6 minutes off the Sixers’ bench in 18 games, sustained a right quad contusion last week that’ll likely force him to miss at least part of the first round. Jonathon Simmons could receive more playing time in Ennis’ absence, with the playoffs just one week away.

Southeast Notes: Beal, Carter-Williams, Haslem, Young

The next general manager of the Wizards will be tasked with making a major decision on star guard Bradley Beal, David Aldridge of The Athletic writes.

Beal, named to his second All-Star team this season, has transformed into Washington’s clear leader in the absence of John Wall. He’s averaging a career-high 25.9 points per game on 48% shooting from the field, due to make $27MM next season and $28.7MM the following season.

“I’m not saying you have to trade him,” one NBA executive told Aldridge of Beal. “But you do have to think about it.”

Between Beal and Wall, the next Wizards GM will find more interest around the league in Beal’s services. Wall is under contract for another four seasons ($37.8MM in 2019/20, $40.8MM in 2020/21, $43.8MM in 2021/22 and a $46.9MM player option in 2022/23). That, combined with Wall’s surgeries on his heel and ruptured Achilles this year, make trading him virtually impossible in the present day.

For the Wizards, deciding whether to keep or trade Beal in the coming months will determine their future course. The general manager position — which was vacated when the team dismissed Ernie Grunfeld this week — is said to appeal to current GMs under contract elsewhere largely due to the resources and geography that comes with the job, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter links).

There’s more from the Southeast Division today:

  • Magic guard Michael Carter-Williams is proving to be a difference maker as the team looks to make a final push for the playoffs, John Denton of NBA.com writes. Orlando signed Carter-Williams to a rest-of-season contract on Thursday, waiving guard Isaiah Briscoe. Carter-Williams provided a much-needed boost of energy off the bench during his first two 10-day contracts, scoring 5.4 points and dishing out 3.7 assists in 18.7 minutes per outing.
  • Heat veteran Udonis Haslem reflected on his storied 16-year career in an exclusive article relayed by Marc Spears of ESPN’s The Undefeated, looking back on his competitors, teammates, early upbringing and love for the game of basketball. Haslem has spent the past few seasons in a very limited on-court role, doing most of his work on the Heat with the younger players in practice and in the locker room. Haslem’s veteran presence is greatly valued by Miami’s coaching staff and players, many of whom have publicly stated their hopes of him returning for another season.
  • ESPN’s Brian Windhorst chronicles the slow build to success for Hawks guard Trae Young, who continues to improve as the 2018/19 season nears the finish line. Young, a dominant shooter and passer in contention for the Rookie of the Year award, must continue to improve on defense in order to take his game to the next level. The Hawks hold major selling points of Young, John Collins, a new head coach in Lloyd Pierce, cap flexibility and future draft picks for star players entering free agency this summer.

Magic Sign Michael Carter-Williams For Rest Of Season

APRIL 4: The Magic have officially re-signed Carter-Williams, the team announced today in a press release. The club waived Briscoe to ensure that MCW is playoff-eligible, as we detail in a separate story.

APRIL 3: Michael Carter-Williams‘ second 10-day contract with the Magic will expire after tonight’s game vs. New York, but the team doesn’t plan on letting him get away. President of basketball operations Jeff Weltman tells Chris Hays of The Orlando Sentinel that the Magic plan on signing Carter-Williams for the rest of the season.

“So you are allowed two 10-days and after that you have to sign the player to a contract for the rest of the season, which we will do with Michael,” Weltman said. “Beyond that, as far as setting a roster for the playoffs, that’s bad karma to talk about right now. Let’s make the playoffs then we’ll talk about that.”

The Magic have been able to carry Carter-Williams on their roster via a hardship exception, which is granted to teams that have at least four players who have missed three or more games and are expected to continue to miss two weeks or more. However, as Weltman suggests, a 16th man signed via the hardship provision isn’t eligible for the playoffs.

Orlando can sign MCW for the rest of the season using the hardship provision, but in order to make him postseason-eligible, the team would need to waive another player to reduce its roster to 15 players before the end of the regular season. With a playoff spot not yet assured, the Magic figure to put off that decision until sometime next week.

Carter-Williams’ stats with the Magic (5.6 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 3.6 APG, and a .364/.214/.667 shooting line) are somewhat modest, but he has helped stabilize the team’s second unit as D.J. Augustin‘s backup. The club is 6-2 since his debut.

If the Magic do make the playoffs, point guards Jerian Grant and Isaiah Briscoe figure to be among the candidates to be cut to make room on the 15-man playoff squad for MCW, as Josh Robbins of The Athletic wrote earlier this week. Grant is on an expiring contract, while Briscoe has two more years left on his minimum-salary contract, though Briscoe has a knee injury and isn’t expected to return this season.

Southeast Notes: Richardson, Winslow, Ariza, Carter-Williams

The Heat may have to make their final push for the playoffs without Josh Richardson and Justise Winslow, relays Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Neither player traveled with the team on its two-game trip to New York and Boston, and there’s no guarantee that either will return over the final week and a half of the regular season.

Richardson, Miami’s leading scorer at 16.7 PPG, suffered a bruised left heel when he was undercut in Tuesday’s game. He has been wearing a walking boot for protection and because he’s not able to put pressure on the heel.

Winslow missed his eighth straight game tonight with a bruised right thigh. The team hoped to have him back this week, but he hasn’t made enough progress to resume playing. Rodney McGruder also didn’t make the trip because of an aching left knee, and coach Erik Spoelstra confirmed that they’re all getting “as much treatment and work they can get around the clock. That’s their focus.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The short-handed Heat are turning to rookie power forward Duncan Robinson to help fill the gap until their injured players return, Jackson adds in the same story. Robinson signed a two-way contract last summer and has only appeared in 12 NBA games. However, he played 22 minutes Thursday night. “He’s certainly gotten better,” Spoelstra said. “He had a phenomenal year in the G League, but he’s improved his defense, his body, conditioning, his strength. He’s improved his ability to work on the move for catch and shoot opportunities. He’s become much more dynamic.”
  • Bradley Beal‘s competitive nature will likely prevent him from taking any nights off, even though the Wizards are out of playoff contention, writes Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. However, Trevor Ariza appears to be done for the year after aggravating his left groin strain on Tuesday.
  • The Magic have been so impressed by Michael Carter-Williams that they would like to have him on the postseason roster if they qualify, but that will require a difficult decision next week, notes Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Orlando received an injury hardship waiver that enabled it to sign Carter-Williams to a pair of 10-day contracts. His second deal expires Thursday, and he must be added to the 15-man roster to be eligible for the playoffs. Robbins identifies Jerian Grant and Isaiah Briscoe as candidates to be waived to make room.

Southeast Notes: Bryant, Carter-Williams, Graham

The Wizards have long been eliminated from playoff contention, but second-year big man Thomas Bryant is taking every late-season opportunity to establish himself as a long-term rotation piece for the club, Candace Buckner of the Washington Post writes.

Bryant recently impressed for the Wizards as the team closed out a tight contest against Phoenix. Bryant’s game-winning bucket, his second of the year, capped off a night in which he racked up 18 points and 19 rebounds, outplaying 2018 first-overall pick Deandre Ayton.

My teammates believe in me. It’s a real big thing,” the Wizards big man told Buckner. “I give it all to my teammates, they believe in me to make that shot, time and time after I missed so many shots this month, this year. To have that confidence is great.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • While his stats don’t jump off the page, Michael Carter-Williams has made an impact during his brief stay thus far with the Magic, John Denton of the Magic’s official site writes. Carter-Williams’ length and versatility have contributed to several late-season wins but his future with the franchise is up in the air.
  • Veteran Tony Parker will cede playing time to Devonte’ Graham, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer tweets. Hornets coach James Borrego would like to give the 24-year-old additional experience and Parker is on board.
  • If Kelly Olynyk logs 89 minutes over the final eight games of the regular season, he’ll earn a $1MM bonus built into his contract with the Heat, Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel writes. That’s likely but not necessarily guaranteed. “It’s like one of those things that if you want it too much, you’re not going to get it,” Olynyk said. “You’ve just got to focus on the team and winning and the rest will fall into place where it may.

Magic Sign Michael Carter-Williams To Second 10-Day Deal

Michael Carter-Williams‘ 10-day contract with the Magic expired overnight on Sunday, but the veteran point guard isn’t going anywhere. According to a press release from the team, Carter-Williams has officially signed a second 10-day deal with Orlando.

A former Rookie of the Year, Carter-Williams began the 2018/19 season with the Rockets, but failed to lock down a rotation role in Houston. He was traded to the Bulls in January and was released before his salary became fully guaranteed.

Since catching on with the Magic earlier this month, the 27-year-old has served as D.J. Augustin‘s backup, displacing Jerian Grant in the rotation and filling in for injured rookie Isaiah Briscoe. MCW’s numbers on his first 10-day deal were modest (3.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.3 APG, and a .222 FG% in 16.3 MPG), but he has played well on the defensive end and the Magic won all three games he played, keeping their postseason hopes alive.

The Magic’s press release announcing Carter-Williams’ new 10-day deal doesn’t indicate that anyone has been released, so it appears the team’s hardship exception has been extended. That exception – which can be granted to teams with at least four injured players – allows Orlando to temporarily carry a 16th man. However, if the Magic do make the playoffs and want MCW available, they’ll have to waive another player to make room for him, since the hardship exception wouldn’t extend to the postseason.

Carter-Williams’ new 10-day contract, like his previous deal, will count against the cap for $85,458, though he’ll earn a slightly higher salary ($99,290).

Michael Carter-Williams Embracing His Latest Opportunity

Michael Carter-Williams is on his fifth team since becoming the No. 11 overall pick out of Syracuse back in 2013. His latest club, the Magic, needed point guard help and he needed an opportunity. On Friday, a 10-day contract was printed and signed.

“I don’t know how many more chances I’m going to get,” Carter-Williams tells Josh Robbins of The Athletic. “I play hard every possession. I try to make the right play all the time and just have fun. I love the game. I love playing at the highest level. I believe I still have got a long career to go.”

Coach Steve Clifford is familiar with Carter-Williams from the pair’s time with the Hornets. Clifford calls the lanky guard “one of the best perimeter defenders” he’s ever coached.

“He’s a difference-maker at the defensive end of the floor, and he’s a point guard who’s going to get us playing up and down the floor faster,” Clifford added.

As Robbins explains, the backup point guard position has been a weakness for Orlando. Jerian Grant couldn’t hold down the spot and while Isaiah Briscoe emerged, he injured his knee, leaving Grant as the only option to lead the reserves.

Briscoe is one of several players who are unlikely to see the court again this season. Markelle Fultz, Timofey Mozgov, and Mohamed Bamba, who recently spoke with Hoops Rumors about learning from the sideline, are all likely out for the rest of the year. The league recently granted the Magic a hardship exception to sign an additional player, meaning they didn’t have to waive one of their 15 players to add MCW.

The 2013/14 Rookie-of-the-Year signed his deal on March 15 and he’s eligible to sign another 10-day deal once his contract expires on Sunday night.

Teams can only sign players to two 10-day deals in a given season, as our glossary entry details. Assuming Orlando inks MCW to a second 10-day pact, there would only be three games left in the regular season when it expires, at which time the Magic would be forced to either sign him for the remainder of the season (and postseason) or let him go. Orlando enters the day one game back of the Heat for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Carter-Williams saw 16 minutes in his debut for the Magic, backing up starting point guard D.J. Augustin. His play impressed teammates.

“What I really like is his motor,” Evan Fournier said. “He’s very active. He really, really wants to compete.”

Prior to the season, MCW thought Houston would be the team he’d be helping to achieve playoff goals. The Rockets had other plans, sending him to the Bulls in a cost-saving deal in early January. Chicago waived the point guard before his contract for the season would have become fully guaranteed. The path to his latest opportunity hasn’t been linear, though the road taken has taught him how to be resilient. It’s been “tough,” Carter-Williams said.

“I think it’s helped me grow, though, a lot,” MCW said. “It helps me deal with different situations. … It just helps me grow as a human. I’ve been through a lot of things in this league and I know I’m resilient and I know I’m never going to give up and quit. So I take that and I bring it to the court.”