Craig Porter

Central Notes: Cavaliers, DeRozan, Dosunmu, Drummond, Rivers, Giannis

The boos that the Cavaliers heard as they left the court after Sunday’s loss to Charlotte weren’t directed at the players, writes Joe Vardon of The Athletic. There was an organizational decision to rest several rotation members rather than prioritize a win that would have earned the team the No. 2 seed and avoided a potential second-round matchup with the league-leading Celtics. The result was embarrassing, as Cleveland was outscored 18-2 to end the game and will face Orlando in the first round after falling to fourth place.

Vardon notes that the loss of Craig Porter Jr. to a sprained ankle in the first quarter left the Cavs short on ball-handlers. With Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland and Caris LeVert all sitting out, there was no one to run the offense as the lead slipped away.

“It was difficult (to watch), but we had our plan in place with what we were gonna do with our guys,” coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “(Our starters) were gonna play those three quarters, and then Craig not being out there made it a little difficult to organize and score in the fourth quarter, but we wanted to stick to our plan, and no matter what was going to happen, we were going to give our guys an opportunity to play.”

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Thirty-four-year-old DeMar DeRozan finished the season as the NBA’s leader in minutes, per Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. The Bulls swingman was on the court for 2,988 minutes, his highest total in a decade, as he became the first player over age 30 to league the league in that category since LeBron James did it six years ago. “And he doesn’t miss practice. He doesn’t miss shootaround,” Coby White said of DeRozan. “He’s early to everything. Those are the things I notice. He’s always on time. He’s always one of the first ones there. You know how some guys can be. And for him, it’s just his professionalism day in and day out never changes.”
  • The Bulls have some injury concerns heading into Wednesday’s play-in game, notes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. Ayo Dosunmu has a bruised quad and Andre Drummond is dealing with a sprained left ankle, and neither is certain to play against Atlanta. ‘‘Ayo is having issues with the running and the starting and the sprinting and the stopping,’’ coach Billy Donovan said. ‘‘There’s been some discomfort there for him. He has to get over that hurdle. I think there is hope he can clear those hurdles.’’
  • Bucks coach Doc Rivers is looking forward to a playoff matchup against Indiana, which was 4-1 against Milwaukee this season, according to Jamal Collier of ESPN. They haven’t faced each other since January 3, which was before Rivers took over the team. “Indiana has had our number all year, so perfect opponent,” Rivers said. “They’ve played great against us. They have great confidence against us. We’ll have great focus because we’re going to have to.”
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo may not be available for the start of that series, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). The Bucks star hasn’t played since Tuesday when he suffered a soleus strain in his left calf, and Rivers confirmed over the weekend that there are doubts about his status for the opener.

Central Notes: Stewart, Eubanks, C. Porter, Dosunmu, Terry

During Wednesday’s game vs. Phoenix, the Pistons released a statement regarding the pregame incident between forward/center Isaiah Stewart and Suns center Drew Eubanks.

We are aware of the incident between Isaiah Stewart and Drew Eubanks prior to this evening’s game. We are in the process of gathering information about what happened and what provoked it, and responding to the NBA and local authorities.”

Eubanks was punched in the face by Stewart after arriving at the Footprint Center. He said he was OK and called it a “soft punch,” per Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports. Eubanks played in the game, while Stewart remains sidelined with a sprained ankle.

Here’s more from the Central:

  • Craig Porter Jr.‘s new four-year contract with the Cavaliers will pay him a guaranteed $1.5MM in 2023/24, nearly tripling the salary of his old two-way deal, reports ESPN’s Bobby Marks (via Twitter). Porter’s base salary for ’24/25 is $1.9MM, with $1MM in guaranteed money. However, years three ($2.2MM) and four ($2.4MM) are fully non-guaranteed, with no special trigger dates beyond the league-wide guarantee date of January 7. The final season — ’26/27 — is a team option, Marks adds.
  • Bulls guard Ayo Dosunmu had a stellar performance in Tuesday’s win over Atlanta, scoring a career-high 29 points (on 12-of-18 shooting, including 5-of-7 from three) and dishing out seven assists while playing terrific defense on Trae Young, who finished just 3-of-14 from the field, writes Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. Dosumnu has become a much more consistent offensive threat of late, averaging 15.9 PPG on .592/.525/.773 shooting over in the 14 games (32.3 MPG) leading up to Wednesday’s loss to Cleveland. “He’s got incredible stamina and endurance,” head coach Billy Donovan said, per K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. “It’s a skill. [Udonis] Haslem had it. Joakim [Noah] had it. The more fatigued and tired they get, the more stubborn they get and the more competitive and the more they push. He’s got that in him. He can keep his motor running high. For him to do what he did offensively and then to play the defense he did was a pretty remarkable performance with the number of minutes he got.”
  • Second-year wing Dalen Terry has received rotation minutes for the Bulls in 2023/24 due to injuries to Zach LaVine, Patrick Williams and Torrey Craig (Craig has since returned), and while his performances have been uneven, he says the speed of the NBA game is starting to slow down for him, Johnson writes for NBC Sports Chicago. “This season I feel I improved a lot on my discipline, just realizing that sometimes my fouling gets me out of the game,” Terry said. “My confidence level is just so much different than it was last year. … My rookie year, sometimes I was out there and I was like, ‘Man, everything is going so fast.’ It just happened. Now I can see stuff happen before it happens. That’s been the easiest part to me.” Terry, 21, was the 18th pick of the 2022 draft.

Cavs Sign Craig Porter Jr. To Four-Year Contract

FEBRUARY 14: Porter’s deal is now official, per’s transaction log.

FEBRUARY 13: The Cavaliers are converting Craig Porter Jr.‘s two-way contract into a standard deal, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports (via Twitter). Porter will receive a four-year contract.

Porter has been one of the more pleasant surprises for the Cavs this season. The former Wichita State point guard went undrafted after playing three seasons with the Shockers. He agreed to a two-way deal with Cleveland shortly after the draft.

The 23-year-old point guard has appeared in 32 NBA games in his rookie year, including five starts. He’s averaged 6.5 points, 2.8 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 14.7 minutes per game.

Porter unexpectedly played a rotation role earlier in the season when primary backup point guard Ricky Rubio left the team for mental health reasons and third-string point guard Ty Jerome suffered an ankle injury. Porter continued to see regular minutes when Darius Garland missed several weeks due to a broken jaw, though his playing time has been cut back as of late now that the roster is healthier.

Cleveland has an open roster spot despite signing Zhaire Smith to a 10-day contract on Sunday.

Porter’s deal will come out of the mid-level exception. The Cavs used a portion of it during the 2023 offseason to sign Georges Niang, but still have more than enough left to accommodate a new deal for the rookie.

Cavaliers Notes: Mobley, Garland, Allen, Thompson, Porter

Injured Cavaliers big man Evan Mobley is making steady progress in his return from left knee surgery and participated in a contact practice on Thursday, according to Chris Fedor of, who says Mobley could return as soon as next week after being sidelined since December 6.

If everything continues to progress, it will be soon,” head coach J.B. Bickerstaff told Fedor. “He’s progressed positively. It’s what you want to see. He hasn’t had any setbacks to slow his progression. He continues to ramp up in the right direction. It’s what we expected. He looks good. He continues to build. It remains a matter of how everything responds.”

However, even if Mobley does come back next week, he’ll be on a minutes restriction to start out, Fedor notes.

It will probably be a low-20-minute-a-night workload to start with,” Bickerstaff said. “We’ve got to ramp him back up. When you go down with a knee injury, not a lot of conditioning that you can do and those types of things. You can’t simulate the NBA. We will work on that. We will let him get his conditioning back. The minutes will increase as that gets better.”

Mobley may be back soon, but point guard Darius Garland will likely be out a while longer, Fedor adds. Garland is working his way back into shape after sustaining a broken jaw on December 14 vs. Boston.

Here’s more on the Cavs:

  • Center Jarrett Allen set a team record with his 12th consecutive double-double in Monday’s win over Orlando, Fedor writes for (subscription required). Allen later extended the streak to 13 games in Wednesday’s loss to Milwaukee. Allen has stepped up in a major way since Mobley and Garland went down with injuries, averaging 18.4 PPG, 14.1 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.1 SPG and 1.4 BPG while shooting 64.0% from the field and 83.9 from the line during the streak. “He’s a hell of a person,” star guard Donovan Mitchell said of Allen, a former All-Star. “To see the work that he puts in on a daily basis, it’s great to see those efforts starting to come to fruition. To be able to do it after losing someone who is an All-Defensive player like Ev, be able to hold the fort down, set that tone for us, it’s incredible. I’m happy for him. He acknowledged it but he’s not satisfied. The biggest thing was the win. These don’t mean anything if we lose. I think that’s one of the things that’s so special about him. He means everything to us. He is the catalyst.”
  • Backup center Tristan Thompson gave an emotional apology to his teammates before the news of his 25-game suspension was announced, Fedor adds in another subscriber-only story. A veteran leader with a prominent voice in the locker room, Thompson was suspended for violating the league’s anti-drug policy. Thompson’s teammates said they gained more respect for him for taking responsibility for his actions. “Tristan is huge for our team,” Max Strus said. “The things he does as leader off the court and what he does for us on the bench, the inspiration he gives us when he plays and how hard he plays, we’re going to miss that. We’re just gonna ask somebody else to step up. We have to band around our brother. We’re always going to be here for him.”
  • According to rookie guard Craig Porter, who is on a two-way deal with Cleveland, the only reason he’s in the NBA is because he was able to attend the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, he told Alex Kennedy on the Running Up The Score podcast (Twitter video link). That’s how he drew the attention of NBA scouts, with Porter saying he’d be playing overseas right now if he hadn’t had the opportunity. Porter has been viewed as a strong candidate to be promoted to a standard deal later in the season, as two-way players aren’t playoff-eligible.

Scotto’s Latest: Raptors, Pacers, Hawks, Markkanen, Hornets, More

Rival executives believe Pascal Siakam is more likely to be traded than OG Anunoby if the Raptors decide to shake up their roster, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. In fact, teams looking for help on the wing think Toronto “will do whatever it takes” to retain Anunoby as a free agent in 2024 — he’s widely expected to decline his $19.9MM player option for next season.

Scotto reports that top front office executives from the Pacers and Hawks had extensive conversations with Toronto’s brass at the NBA G League’s Winter Showcase in Orlando this week. Both teams have consistently been linked to the Raptors for several months, Scotto notes.

If the Raptors trade Siakam, they’d be looking for young players and draft capital in return, according to Scotto, with the goal of retooling around Scottie Barnes and Anunoby.

To that end, Pacers forward Jarace Walker, the No. 8 overall pick in the 2023 draft, could be a name to watch in trade talks. He hasn’t played much as a rookie this season, but he’s had some strong performances in the G League. Scotto also hears the Hawks would prefer to keep Jalen Johnson, who was having a breakout third season before sustaining a fractured wrist (he was recently cleared to resume practicing in full).

Here are more rumors and notes from Scotto:

  • Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen has been the subject of some trade speculation this season, but Scotto is the latest reporter to reiterate that the Finnish star is expected to stay put. According to Scotto, there are three reasons for that: Markkanen wants to remain with the Jazz, the cost of acquiring him could be exorbitant, and he could renegotiate and extend his contract in the offseason, which would bypass 2025 free agency. Multiple executives told Scotto the idea of a possible Markkanen trade was “wishful thinking.”
  • There’s a “strong belief” among rival executives that the Hornets will make front office changes “by next season at the latest,” Scotto writes. If president of basketball operations Mitch Kupchak is fired or moved to a different role, Nets assistant GM Jeff Peterson and Wizards senior VP of player personnel Travis Schlenk are potential candidates to replace him, league sources tell Scotto. As Scotto writes, both Peterson and Schlenk previously worked with new Charlotte co-owner Rick Schnall in Atlanta.
  • Kings guard Keon Ellis and Cavaliers guard Craig Porter Jr. are among the top candidates to be promoted to standard deals from their current two-way contracts, per Scotto. Cleveland has an open roster spot and wouldn’t necessarily need to release anyone to give Porter a raise (and make him playoff-eligible), while Sacramento has Juan Toscano-Anderson on a non-guaranteed deal.

Cavs Notes: Injuries, New Lineup, Mitchell, Roster

Less than an hour after it was reported on Friday that Darius Garland is expected to miss at least a month due to a fractured jaw, word broke that Evan Mobley would undergo knee surgery, which will sideline him for roughly six-to-eight weeks.

It was a crushing one-two blow for the Cavaliers, as Chris Fedor of (subscription required) writes. Head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said that the team “felt like s–t,” while Dean Wade said it “sucks” to see two key starters go down with injuries. However, the club is determined to remain competitive without Garland and Mobley in its lineup.

“Injury is a part of the game. But you hate to see it. Hate to see with two guys who continuously put the work in to get better and those guys have been working their butts off,” Donovan Mitchell said. “On the flip side, and I think these two will feel the same way, no one’s going to care outside of this locker room. You know what I mean? If anything, teams are going to want to try to come at us even more. I think that’s what kind of brings us together. We have to go out there and hold it down for these two. They’re our rocks. They’re part of what we built.”

“I knew that our team could do it,” Jarrett Allen said of overcoming the two injuries. “We always rely on the next guy to be ready to come in and make an impact.”

The Cavaliers got off to a good start on Saturday in their first game without Garland and Mobley, defeating the Hawks by a score of 127-119.

“I think we just came together,” Wade said. “Everyone likes each other. When things like this happen, adversity comes and hits us, I think we get closer. We still got a lot of weapons, a lot of talent in this room. Even with those guys out, we can still get the job done. What D.G. and Evan bring to the floor, we just had to do a little extra.”

Here’s more out of Cleveland:

  • In deciding on a new lineup, the Cavaliers opted to slide Mitchell to point guard and Max Strus to shooting guard, with Isaac Okoro and Wade entering the starting five at small forward and power forward, respectively. As Fedor explains, undrafted rookie Craig Porter Jr. isn’t considered quite ready for a starting job and the Cavs seem committed to keeping Caris LeVert in a sixth man role.
  • When Joe Vardon of The Athletic tried to ask Mitchell on Saturday about his contract situation and his long-term future in Cleveland in light of the Garland and Mobley injuries (and the Cavs’ up-and-down play this season), the star guard cut him off. “My job is to focus on this,” Mitchell said. “We have two guys that are out, so I’m not answering anything. And no disrespect. I appreciate that you have to ask the question, but I’m not going there with any of those questions. My focus is on these guys being out, us trying to find a way to get wins.”
  • Mitchell thrived in his first game in place of Garland at point guard, handing out a career-high 13 assists. Mitchell also scored a career-high 71 points last season in a game Garland missed, but the former Jazz star said it’s “damn sure not easier” to play without his usual backcourt mate. “I have to pick up the slack that’s there,” Mitchell said. “When he’s not there, it’s my job to go out there and fill that void. He’s an All-Star guard. We came here and made this for us to be together. It’s definitely not an, ‘Oh, it’s me versus him.’ That’s my brother. That’s my dog. … The only way we make this push is as a group. I can’t do everything. It doesn’t happen with just one of us.”
  • Keith Smith of Spotrac takes a look at some options out there for the Cavaliers if the team decides it wants to add roster reinforcements via free agency or trade. As Smith notes, adding a free agent would push Cleveland’s team salary over the luxury tax line, but if that player receives a non-guaranteed contract and is waived on or before January 7, the club could sneak back out of the tax.

Central Notes: Giannis, Griffin, Bogdanovic, Hield, Cavs

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Adrian Griffin appeared to have a “heated” disagreement during the third quarter of Milwaukee’s loss to Boston on Wednesday, but the Bucks‘ head coach downplayed the incident after the game, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN.

Antetokounmpo didn’t want to be subbed out midway through the period after being called for a carrying violation and sat on the scorer’s table talking to Griffin, eventually checking back in at the next dead ball.

He wanted to stay in, I wanted to give him a breather. That’s all it was,” Griffin said. “And then I told him to stay at the table for one possession, and he got right back out there.”

Antetokounmpo simply said “no” when he was asked what transpired.

As Bontemps writes, the matchup between the East’s top two seeds was lopsided for most of the contest, with Boston reeling off 10 straight points to open the game and never trailing. The Bucks made things interesting late, but the Celtics prevailed by a final score of 119-116.

Here’s more from the Central:

  • Sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic is nearing his 2023/24 season debut for the Pistons, writes Mike Curtis of The Detroit News (subscriber link). Bogdanovic, who has been battling a right calf strain, was recently cleared for contact work and was a full practice participant on Wednesday. Getting their top scorer from last season back in the near future is certainly welcome news for the injury-ravaged Pistons, who have lost a league-worst 12 straight games and once again hold the worst record in the NBA at 2-13.
  • Pacers wing Buddy Hield got his second straight start on Wednesday in place of Bennedict Mathurin, tweets Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files. Head coach Rick Carlisle was noncommittal when asked if the lineup change he implemented for Tuesday’s contest would be permanent or temporary. Aaron Nesmith, who replaced Obi Toppin at power forward on Tuesday, was sidelined with a sprained wrist, so Toppin was back in the starting lineup yesterday. Hield, who had been in a shooting slump, has been scorching hot the past two games, averaging 27.5 points while shooting 75.0% from the floor and 72.2% from three-point range.
  • Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell missed his fourth straight game on Wednesday due to a hamstring strain, notes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald (via Twitter). While there weren’t many positives from the Cavs’ blowout loss to the Heat, rookie guard Craig Porter Jr. got his first career start and continued his streak of strong performances, per Chris Fedor of (subscriber link). Porter, who went undrafted in June and is on a two-way contract, recorded 16 points (on 6-of-12 shooting), five assists, two rebounds, two blocks and a steal in 35 minutes.

Central Notes: C. Porter, Giannis, Dame, Pacers, Pistons

Of the three players on two-way contracts with the Cavaliers, Evan Mobley‘s brother Isaiah Mobley and former five-star recruit Emoni Bates are the bigger names. However, it has been Cleveland’s third two-way player – point guard Craig Porter Jr. – who has been emerging as the one with the most important role in the short term.

As Chris Fedor of writes, Porter earned the game ball from Sunday’s upset win over the Nuggets by scoring 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting in 25 minutes of action. It was an impressive showing for an undrafted rookie who was expected to spend most of his first season in the G League getting acclimated to the pro game. Porter has received an opportunity to play because Ricky Rubio is absent for personal reasons and Ty Jerome is out with an ankle injury.

That’s just one of the things they told me early in the year after training camp and stuff like that. ‘Just be ready, you never know when your number’s gonna be called,'” Porter said. “I took that to heart and it’s been working for me. … As the games go on and as some guys fall down with injuries and stuff, I’m going to keep getting my opportunity. Each game, the confidence just builds and builds. The coaches believe in me, and the guys are just pushing me to be better. I’m ready for it.”

According to Fedor, the Cavaliers had a verbal two-way offer on the table for Porter in the event he went undrafted, but the team wanted him badly enough to try to acquire an additional second-round pick after drafting Bates at No. 49. Cleveland ultimately didn’t find a trade partner, so the front office was relieved when Porter went undrafted. He reached an agreement with the Cavs on a two-year, two-way deal shortly after the draft ended.

“He’s mature,” head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said of the 23-year-old. “He’s an older rookie, so to speak. You just feel like you can trust him and you don’t feel like he gets rattled in the moment. It makes it easy to put him on the floor. You know what he’s going to do. … A lot of guys come into the league as young rookies and they’re still searching for their game. Craig knows what his game is. Never over his skis. That’s how Craig has been for us since he’s gotten here.”

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • The chemistry between Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard in Saturday’s win over Dallas looked like what the Bucks envisioned when they traded for Lillard, writes Eric Nehm of The Athletic. The star duo combined for 67 points, 19 assists, and 18 rebounds in the victory, with Antetokounmpo racking up 40 of those points. Lillard said after the game that he’s happy to cede center stage to his two-time MVP teammate. “I think tonight, he’s the horse,” Lillard said. “I wanna see him be four-time MVP or five-time MVP and have those type of games.”
  • Sunday’s blowout home loss to Orlando was Tyrese Haliburton‘s worst game of the season and a reminder of how dependent the Pacers‘ success is on their star point guard, according to Dustin Dopirak of The Indianapolis Star, who suggests that the club will probably need a second star on its roster to establish itself as a consistent winner.
  • Due to a sprained left shoulder, Killian Hayes missed Sunday’s game for the Pistons, who started second-year guard Jaden Ivey for the first time this season. As Mike Curtis of The Detroit News (subscription required) writes, head coach Monty Williams said before the game that he has been considered bringing Hayes off the bench to add his play-making to the second unit, so Ivey may see more starts going forward. However, Detroit’s lineup remains in flux with so many players affected by injuries — it could continue to change in the coming days and weeks, Curtis notes.

And-Ones: Summer League, McClung, Motiejunas, NBAGL Showcase

The Hornets‘ poor play was one of the worst parts of Las Vegas Summer League, writes John Hollinger of The Athletic.

Despite having eight players on the roster attending (and a ninth, James Nnaji, as one of a handful of remaining unsigned draft picks), Charlotte went 1-6 and was minus-55 overall. No one played particularly well, with Hollinger noting that the team may end up regretting not taking Scoot Henderson instead of Brandon Miller, if their brief Summer League performances were any indication.

Of more immediate concern for the Hornets are the fourth-year team option decisions on 2021 first-round picks James Bouknight and Kai Jones, which are due by late October. Neither looks like a sure bet to have his option picked up, as both players struggled in Vegas despite entering their third seasons, Hollinger adds. Bouknight’s option in 2024/25 is worth $6.1MM, while Jones’ is worth $4.7MM — not exactly team-friendly rates given they haven’t contributed much thus far.

Nnaji showed some defensive promise, but may be a draft-and-stash prospect while he develops his offensive game, says Hollinger.

Among the other players who struggled in Summer League were Pistons center James Wiseman (poor screening and defense), Nets first-rounder Noah Clowney (looked overmatched) and Lakers draft picks Jalen Hood-Schifino and Maxwell Lewis, according to Hollinger.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • On the other end of the spectrum, Hollinger also revealed his under-the-radar Summer League standouts for The Athletic, including Javon Freeman-Liberty, who just agreed to a two-way deal with the Raptors, and Cavaliers guards Sam Merrill and Craig Porter Jr., the latter of whom went undrafted and signed a two-way contract with Cleveland. Hollinger says he would have given Merrill, whose contract for next season is non-guaranteed, the Summer League MVP award over Cam Whitmore.
  • Free agent guard Mac McClung, who finished last season on a two-way deal with the Sixers, tells Sean Deveney of he’s focused on making another NBA team, but he’s open to going to Europe if he can’t find a roster spot. “We’ll see,” McClung said. “I am in free agency right now, my agent is talking to some teams, back and forth. We’re just trying to evaluate what is the best situation for me. Hopefully, I will be in the NBA next year and finding my way.”
  • Former NBA big man Donatas Motiejunas has signed a two-year extension with AS Monaco Basket, the team announced (via Twitter). Donatas Urbonas of had the scoop on Motiejunas’ extension (Twitter link). The 32-year-old spent six seasons in the NBA, ending with a brief stint with San Antonio back in 2018/19. He was productive on a per-minute basis for Monaco, which won France’s LNB Pro A and finished third in the EuroLeague playoffs.
  • In 2023/24, the NBA G League’s Winter Showcase event will be held in Orlando instead of Las Vegas, league sources tell Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). The Showcase has been held Vegas for several years, but will be moving due to the NBA’s new in-season tournament, as the semifinals and final will be held in early December in Vegas.

Contract/Cap Notes: Middleton, Lopez, C. Johnson, Watanabe, More

The three-year contract Khris Middleton signed with the Bucks only has a base value of about $93MM, well below the reported figure of $102MM, reports ESPN’s Bobby Marks (via Twitter).

As Marks explains, the deal features approximately $9MM in total incentives — $2MM are currently considered likely to be earned, while the other $7MM are unlikely (meaning Middleton and/or the Bucks didn’t achieve the criteria last season). For now, the forward’s annual cap hits, which take into account his base salaries and likely incentives, will be $29.3MM, $31.7MM, and $34MM.

Meanwhile, Brook Lopez‘s two-year, $48MM contract with the Bucks has a declining structure, according to Marks. The veteran center will earn $25MM in 2023/24 and $23MM in ’24/25.

Here are a few more contract and cap details from around the NBA:

  • Marks also has the specifics (via Twitter) on Cameron Johnson‘s four-year contract with the Nets, which includes several incentives and declines in years two and three before rising again in year four. Johnson has base salaries of $24.5MM, $22.5MM, $20.5MM, and $22.5MM, with annual bonuses of $4.9MM, $4.5MM, $4.1MM, and $4.5MM. Currently, a total of $4.4MM of those incentives are considered likely, while the other $13.6MM are unlikely.
  • The Sunsdeal with Yuta Watanabe is a two-year, minimum-salary agreement with a second-year player option, confirms Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). That was the common structure on the contracts Phoenix offered to free agents — Eric Gordon, Keita Bates-Diop, and Drew Eubanks received similar deals.
  • A pair of two-way contracts that have been signed early in the 2023/24 league year will cover two seasons instead of just one. Craig Porter‘s deal with the Cavaliers and Jaylen Martin‘s agreement with the Knicks are each for two years, per Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter links).
  • A handful of teams using cap room this season have renounced their free agent rights to one or more players in order to maximize their space. According to RealGM’s transaction log, the Pacers (George Hill), Kings (Terence Davis, Jeremy Lamb, Corey Brewer), Pistons (Hamidou Diallo, Rodney McGruder, and Buddy Boeheim), and Thunder (eight players, including Dario Saric, Jared Butler, and Nick Collison) all renounced players. In some cases, those cap holds had been on teams’ books for multiple seasons — they won’t be there going forward.