Danilo Gallinari

And-Ones: Italy, Melli, Biggest Need, NBA, France, Paul

The Italian national team has trimmed its roster down to 13 players ahead of next month’s Olympic qualifying tournament in Puerto Rico, writes Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops. Italy will have to cut one more player to finalize its 12-man roster.

Veteran forward Danilo Gallinari, who spent last season with Wizards, Pistons and Bucks, is the only current NBA player on Italy’s roster. The 35-year-old’s contract with Milwaukee expires at the end of June, making him an unrestricted free agent. The current 13-man roster also features former NBA players Nico Mannion and Nicolo Melli. Pistons forward Simone Fontecchio, another Italian player, will not be participating with the national team after undergoing toe surgery last month.

In order to advance to the Olympics in late July, Italy will have to win the six-team tournament, which also features Bahrain, Puerto Rico, Ivory Coast, Lithuania and Mexico.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Melli, who played two seasons with New Orleans and Detroit from 2019-21, has spent most of his career with Olimpia Milano in Italy. However, the team decided to part ways with its captain, leaving his future unclear, as Eurohoops relays. “Two or three days ago, I received a 45-second phone call in which (coach) Ettore (Messina) told me the club decided to part ways with me. I repeat: it’s a legitimate choice, but I wasn’t told if the reason behind it was a technical matter or something else,” Melli said.
  • Zulfi Sheikh of Sportsnet.ca lists the biggest need for each of the NBA’s 30 teams ahead of free agency. According to Sheikh, the last-place Pistons need a wing who can space the floor, while the title-winning Celtics could use an eventual replacement for Al Horford. The 38-year-old, who is under contract through 2024/25, recently suggested he doesn’t plan to retire this summer.
  • The NBA and the LNB (France’s top basketball league) are working to finalize a development program to improve the domestic options of talented young players in France, per Théo Quintard of Le Monde (hat tip to Askounis of Eurohoops). “This program will allow a certain number of players to be supported and highlighted in order to magnify an already excellent French team,” Fabrice Jouhaud, the general director of the LNB, told Le Monde. According to Quintard, the NBA could pay the salaries of certain draft prospects to help the LNB remain competitive with other organizations, such as Australia’s NBL and the NCAA. “The clubs will also benefit from logistical and financial assistance to encourage them to trust young people,” Jouhaud said.
  • Rich Paul of Klutch Sports spoke to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer about his strategy of trying to steer draft-eligible clients to preferred destinations. Paul was candid last week about which teams he believes are interested in Bronny James.

International Notes: Germany, Italy, FAs, Carmelo, NBL, J. Parker

The German national team, winner of the 2023 FIBA World Cup, has officially announced a 16-man preliminary roster for the 2024 Olympics, as Eurohoops relays.

The 16-man group features all 12 players who were part of the World Cup roster, including veteran NBAers like Dennis Schröder, Franz Wagner, Moritz Wagner, and Daniel Theis. Four additional players will also be competing for spots on the 12-man Olympic squad: Oscar Da Silva (Barcelona), Leon Kratzer (Paris), Louis Olinde (ALBA Berlin), and Nick Weiler-Babb (Bayern Munich).

Meanwhile, the Italian national team has announced a far more expansive preliminary roster, identifying 30 players who will be in the mix for spots on the 12-man squad that will compete in an Olympic qualifying tournament in Puerto Rico this summer.

As previously reported, Pistons forward Simone Fontecchio won’t be part of Italy’s 2024 roster since he’s recovering from toe surgery. However, as Eurohoops notes, the 30-man group features a handful of names that will be familiar to NBA fans, including Bucks forward Danilo Gallinari and former NBA players such as Nico Mannion and Nicolo Melli.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the international basketball world:

  • Could Gallinari or Furkan Korkmaz end up signing with a European team when their NBA contracts expire this summer? Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops identifies 10 NBA free agents, including Gallinari and Korkmaz, who are potential candidates to make their way overseas in the coming weeks or months.
  • Carmelo Anthony has been named the Global Ambassador for the National Basketball League’s Next Stars program, Australia’s top basketball league announced on Monday in a press release. Like TNT analyst Kenny Smith, who was named the head of the Next Stars initiative back in April, Anthony will also join the ownership group of an NBL expansion team. The 10-time NBA All-Star spoke to Marc J. Spears of Andscape about his decision to get involved with the NBL and his goal of eventually owning a stake in an NBA franchise.
  • Former No. 2 overall pick Jabari Parker, who last played in the NBA in January 2022 and spent the 2023/24 season with FC Barcelona, teared up when asked in a media session about his first year playing outside of the U.S. (Twitter video link via BasketNews). As Marc Mundet relays (via Twitter), the former NBA forward explained later why he became overcome with emotion. “It was all happiness,” Parker said. “It was gratitude for this organization for giving me an opportunity. … Because of this place, I found my love for the game again. I wasn’t sure if I would play basketball again, but because of FC Barcelona, the fans, my teammates, my coaches, my friends here, I’ve found that love again and that passion.”

Bucks Notes: Giannis, Beverley, Portis, Gallinari, Galloway

Prior to Friday’s victory in Chicago, Bucks head coach Doc Rivers was asked why star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo hasn’t generated a ton of Most Valuable Player buzz this season despite putting up some of the best numbers of his career. As Eric Nehm of The Athletic writes, Rivers suggested that voter fatigue may be a factor, given that Antetokounmpo has already won a pair of MVP awards.

“I don’t even want to get into it, but there’s been guys that you get tired of voting for,” Rivers said. Michael (Jordan) may be the poster child of that. And Giannis seems to be in that category; where you’re so good, everything you do is taken for granted. When you just look at his numbers, they’re incredible, and yet, you never hear his name. It’s unbelievable, but that’s a sign of respect more than disrespect in some ways.”

Not long after his coach made those comments, Antetokounmpo submitted one of his best all-around performances of the season, racking up 46 points (on 16-of-22 shooting), 16 rebounds, and six assists. He’s now averaging 30.8 PPG and 11.3 RPG, with a career-best 61.9% field goal percentage. His 6.3 assists per contest would also be career high, and Giannis appreciates that he’s getting some recognition for his play-making skills this season.

“I’ve become a more willing passer this year because my teammates are pretty freaking good, but I think I always could pass,” he said on Friday. “Coming into the league, that was my thing that separated me, but we didn’t have a lot of TV games, and a lot of people didn’t pay attention to Milwaukee. So, people see me do a pass now, it’s like, ‘Oh, he can pass!’ I’ve been passing. I’m the all-time assist leader in Milwaukee. ‘Oh, he can pass!’ Of course, I can pass.”

Here’s more on the Bucks:

  • The Bulls took exception to chippy play from Patrick Beverley, Bobby Portis, and the Bucks on Friday, with DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic both growing frustrated by non-calls and earning flagrant fouls of their own by retaliating, writes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. Rivers praised his team after the game for playing physically and aggressively without crossing any lines. “We have instigators, for sure,” Rivers said, per Nehm. “But it’s only good if you can do that and you don’t get caught up into it. And I thought tonight was right on the edge, and then we backed off.”
  • Danilo Gallinari has made a limited impact in his first five games as a Buck, scoring 10 total points on 3-of-12 shooting in nearly 48 minutes. However, Antetokounmpo likes what he has seen from his new frontcourt mate, according to Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops. “It is easy to play with Gallo. He is so smart,” Giannis said. “He has been around a long time. He knows how to play the game. … We know that he is capable of doing a lot of things for us offensively. Defensively, such a big body helps his defense with his length.”
  • Jaylin Galloway, the 21-year-old wing who is joining the Bucks on a two-way contract, just completed the first season of a three-year deal with the Sydney Kings. According to Olgun Uluc of ESPN (Twitter links), if Galloway wants to return to Australia’s National Basketball League after his two-year, two-way contract with the Bucks expires (or earlier, if he’s cut), that contract will essentially pick up where it left off, with Sydney holding his NBL rights for two more seasons.

Central Notes: McConnell, Middleton, Gallinari, Bulls

T.J. McConnell was considered a possible trade candidate back in the fall when he began the season out of the Pacers‘ rotation, but the veteran point guard made himself indispensable in Indiana as a result of his play with the second unit, writes Dustin Dopirak of The Indianapolis Star.

Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton referred to McConnell as “the best backup point guard in the NBA” and suggested that his performance on defense sets an example for other players on the roster. Head coach Rick Carlisle, who said back in October that he was “almost in tears” telling McConnell that he wouldn’t be part of the rotation to open the season, lauded the veteran for the way he has responded.

“(McConnell’s) adaptability is the story of his career,” Carlisle said. “Undrafted, everybody’s betting against him. I remember the story that the first game he suited up here, Nate McMillan said, ‘Hey, you’re probably going to be in the rotation.’ Something happened the first game of the year and then he didn’t lose the job for the next three or four years. He’s special that way.”

“I just really was focused on whether if I’m in the lineup or I’m not, just remaining professional,” McConnell said. “One of those things where you’re not trying to do woe-is-me, it’s one of those things just to remain a great teammate, and whether I’m in the rotation or not, just be there for the guys and be a pro and be a good teammate. That’s really all I was focused on. When my number’s called, just be a professional at that point and go out and do your job. That’s really how I looked at it.”

McConnell is under contract for one more season beyond this one, with his $9.3MM salary for 2024/25 currently partially guaranteed for $5MM.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Bucks forward Khris Middleton isn’t ready to return from the left ankle sprain that sidelined him for the last five games before the All-Star break, writes Eric Nehm of The Athletic. Head coach Doc Rivers said that Middleton won’t be available on Friday or Sunday, even though he’s improving. “He’s getting better. He feels great. He just doesn’t feel 100 percent,” Rivers said. “A playoff game, he’d clearly play, but it’s too early. There’s no reason to worry about it or panic about it.”
  • Within the same Athletic story, Nehm explores Danilo Gallinari‘s decision to sign with the Bucks, noting that the veteran forward believes he’ll fit in well with Milwaukee’s frontcourt players. Gallinari added that he’s capable of playing more than he has this season in Washington and Detroit (14.8 minutes per game in 32 appearances), but that he’s not necessarily expecting that. “I don’t care about playing every night, not playing one night, play the other night, I’m here to help,” he said. “… I’m not looking for guaranteed minutes or this kind of stuff. I’m just here to help.”
  • A resounding loss to Boston on Thursday served as a reminder for the Bulls of the difference between being competitive and being a contending team, says K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. According to Johnson, in order to exit the organization’s “current cycle of mediocrity,” the Bulls‘ front office will have to show the same sort of creativity and aggressiveness this summer that it showed during the 2021 offseason, when the team landed DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, and Alex Caruso in free agency without using cap room.
  • Observing that DeRozan and Coby White lead the NBA in total minutes played this season, Annie Costabile of The Chicago Sun-Times wonders whether the two Bulls starters will be able to maintain their current rates of production while continuing to handle such a heavy workload.

Central Notes: Giannis, Gallinari, Pistons, Haliburton

Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo said former coach Adrian Griffin was “figuring things out” before the team fired him last month, but he’s enjoying the security of having Doc Rivers in charge, writes Eric Nehm of The Athletic. Antetokounmpo felt like he had to become a more vocal locker room leader earlier in the season with a first-time head coach running the team. That responsibility has eased, and Antetokounmpo expressed full confidence in Rivers’ ability to get the team ready for the postseason.

“We have to keep on evolving. We don’t have to change our identity,” he said. “Of course, we gotta be stronger. We gotta be tougher. I have to play better. I have to see the game better. But we have to keep on evolving. We have to add coach Doc’s philosophy with what has been working and hopefully can create a great mix for the next 25 games that we have and compete in the playoffs.”

Another major difference for Milwaukee will be the presence of Damian Lillard, a supreme scorer with the ability to take over playoff games. Antetokounmpo and Lillard had discussions about the direction of the season while they were in Indianapolis for All-Star Weekend, Nehm adds.

“I am his biggest fan,” Antetokounmpo said. “Good or bad, I ride with Dame until the f—ing end. I ride with Dame. Like I’ve been saying this over and over again. This. Is. His. Team. Down the stretch, he’s going to get the ball. There’s nothing else that we will do. I don’t know how else to put it. I don’t know what else to say. But at the end of the day, he has to believe it too.”

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Coach Billy Donovan talked to Danilo Gallinari about joining the Bulls before he opted to sign with Milwaukee, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. Donovan, who coached Gallinari during the 2019/20 season in Oklahoma City, said the veteran forward was looking for a situation with a greater opportunity for playing time.
  • Pistons coach Monty Williams said winning as many games as possible will be the priority for the rest of the season, tweets Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press. “I’m not going to be throwing certain combinations on the floor just to see how they look,” Williams said. “We’re done with that … we’ll be competing.”
  • Tyrese Haliburton had been listed as questionable with a hamstring issue for every game since January 30, but he’s not on the Pacers‘ injury report for Thursday’s contest with Detroit, tweets Dustin Dopirak of The Indianapolis Star. Aaron Nesmith will miss the game with a sprained right ankle, while Jalen Smith is questionable due to back spasms.

Danilo Gallinari Signs With Bucks

FEBRUARY 18: Gallinari’s deal with the Bucks is official, according to NBA.com’s transaction log.

FEBRUARY 15: Free agent forward Danilo Gallinari is signing with the Bucks, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports (via Twitter).

Gallinari chose Milwaukee over several other suitors because of the opportunity to play in coach Doc Rivers‘ frontline rotation, Wojnarowski adds. The veteran played for Rivers during his time with the Clippers in 2017-19.

Gallinari, who didn’t play at all last season due to a torn ACL, will be wearing his third different Eastern Conference uniform this season. The 35-year-old appeared in 26 games with the Wizards before he was traded last month to Detroit

Gallinari saw action in six games with the Pistons, who waived him after the trade deadline due to a roster crunch. In those combined 32 games, he has averaged 7.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 14.8 minutes per night, with a shooting line of .451/.355/.850. Gallinari was on an expiring $6,802,950 contract before the Pistons waived him.

Milwaukee is an apron team but is allowed to sign Gallinari since his prior salary was $6.8M– below the $12.4MM non-tax mid-level exception. He’ll get the prorated veteran’s minimum and there is no set-off from his remaining salary owed by the Pistons, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link).

The Bucks had a roster spot available after trading little-used backup center Robin Lopez last week to the Kings, who later waived him.

The Bulls were one of the other teams eyeing Gallinari, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago tweets. The Suns also reportedly showed interest in Gallinari, a career 38.2% 3-point shooter, as did the Clippers, according to Bucks guard Patrick Beverley, and the Cavaliers, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Pacific Notes: Suns’ Buyout Options, Durant, Booker, Harden, LeBron, Curry

The Suns have numerous options on the buyout market, but their preferred targets may not be available, writes Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports. Phoenix had two roster spots open after an active trade deadline, and one of those will be filled by Thaddeus Young, who is expected to finalize his reported deal with the team early this week, according to Bourguet.

The Suns are looking for help in several areas, and one of their top priorities was reportedly Delon Wright, who is expected to sign with Miami. Sources tell Bourguet that Phoenix also considered Danilo Gallinari, but he was crossed off the list after the agreement with Young and wound up signing with Milwaukee. Bourguet also cites mutual interest in a reunion with Bismack Biyombo before he reached a deal with Oklahoma City.

Bourguet identifies ideal targets as Spurs forward Cedi Osman and Jazz forward Otto Porter, who hasn’t played since being acquired from Toronto at the deadline. However, there hasn’t been a strong indication that either player will reach a buyout before the March 1 deadline to be eligible for the postseason with a new team. If they aren’t available, Bourguet looks at Danuel House as a potential signing, along with the possibility that Saben Lee could be promoted from his two-way contract.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Suns stars Kevin Durant and Devin Booker both talked Saturday about the connection they’ve formed after a full year as teammates, per Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. “We have the same likes in life,” Booker said. “We’re hoops junkies and that’s where it started. Now we spend a lot more time together, man. We like to kick it, chill. Talk basketball and play video games.”
  • Clippers coach Tyronn Lue believes the early-season trade for James Harden relaxed the burden on Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, enabling both stars to stay healthier, according to Janis Carr of The Orange County Register.“(Having Harden) makes it a lot easier on Kawhi and PG not to have to handle and make every play for themselves and for our team,” Lue said. “So, James has been great, just keeps everybody happy … takes a lot of grind off of PG and Kawhi.”
  • In the wake of a report that the Warriors contacted the Lakers about LeBron James before the deadline, Bruce Jenkins of The San Francisco Chronicle looks at what would have to happen if James and Stephen Curry decide they want to join forces with Golden State.

Central Notes: Cavaliers, Strus, Lillard, Haliburton

With an established rotation already in place, the chances of the Cavaliers adding help in the buyout market are “incredibly low,” according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com (subscription required). The recent returns from injury by Darius Garland and Evan Mobley have given the team a healthy roster, leaving no obvious role for a buyout player to fill. Sources tell Fedor that the front office is being honest with prospective additions about the shortage of available playing time.

Many of the top names on the market — such as Kyle Lowry, Spencer Dinwiddie and Delon Wright — have already committed to other teams. Fedor hears that Cleveland had interest in Danilo Gallinari, but the veteran forward chose Milwaukee, where he’ll have a better shot at regular minutes. Marcus Morris appears unlikely to land with the Cavs since he’s reportedly leaning toward the Timberwolves if the Spurs buy him out, according to former teammate Patrick Beverley (Twitter link).

Fedor says Cleveland would like to add one more shooter off its bench, which makes former Net Joe Harris and ex-Sixer Furkan Korkmaz intriguing names to watch. The Cavaliers have liked Korkmaz for a long time and made an effort to sign him in free agency in 2021, according to Fedor. He also mentions Davis Bertans and Seth Curry as options if they agree to buyouts with the Hornets and considers the PistonsEvan Fournier as a more remote possibility.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • The Cavaliers are committed to Max Strus as a starter and are unlikely to shake up their starting five before the end of the season, Fedor adds in the same piece. The team pursued Strus last summer to provide improved shooting and floor spacing, and Fedor notes that he requires constant attention from opposing defenses, even though his shooting numbers have declined. Fedor also points out that coach J.B. Bickerstaff wants a longer look at his current starting lineup, which has been limited to 239 total minutes together because of injuries.
  • Bucks guard Damian Lillard doesn’t bring much strategy to the Three-Point Contest, which he won for the second straight year Saturday night, writes Eric Nehm of The Athletic. “I didn’t prepare at all,” Lillard said. “I think that’s the key to it. I kept telling (teammate Malik Beasley) my first two times I did it, I was practicing, I had racks, I was trying to get ready for it and I just went out there and I didn’t win. And then last year, I never practiced. I never shot off a rack. I just showed up and won.”
  • Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton plans to keep trying for a three-point title after a close call on his home court, per Dustin Dopirak of The Indianapolis Star. Haliburton was in a four-way deadlock for the best score after the first round, but he lost in a tie-breaker and failed to reach the finals. “I think I’m going to just keep coming back until they don’t allow me to, and eventually I’m going to win one,” he said.

Buyout Market Rumors: Fournier, Wright, Bertans, Young, Gallinari

After spending the better part of the last two seasons on the bench in New York, Evan Fournier was traded from the Knicks to the Pistons as a salary-matching piece in the deadline-day deal that sent Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks out of Detroit. Given that Fournier isn’t owed any guaranteed money beyond this season and the Pistons have the NBA’s worst record, he has been viewed as a buyout candidate.

However, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, the Pistons have indicated that they plan to hang onto Fournier, so barring an unexpected development, he won’t reach the buyout market in the coming days or weeks.

Fournier, who appeared in just three games for the Knicks prior to last week’s trade, has logged over 25 minutes per night in his first two games as a Piston, averaging 11.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.5 steals.

Here are a few more notes and rumors on the buyout market from Scotto:

  • After averaging about 15 minutes per contest in his first 29 appearances in Washington this season, Delon Wright hasn’t played more than seven minutes in any of the four games since the trade deadline. A number of playoff contenders, including the Suns, are keeping on eye on the situation to see if the Wizards guard – who is on an expiring contact – will be bought out, Scotto writes.
  • Veteran sharpshooter Davis Bertans has played double-digit minutes off the bench in each of his first three games with the Hornets and appears unlikely to be let go in the immediate future, per Scotto. Bertans’ $16MM salary for 2024/25 is partially guaranteed for $5.25MM next season, which is one reason why Charlotte may wait until the summer to make any move involving him.
  • Thaddeus Young is expected to complete his deal with the Suns after the All-Star break next week, says Scotto, adding that the veteran forward also drew interest from the Sixers, Pelicans, and Celtics before agreeing to sign in Phoenix.
  • Although the Suns had interest in Danilo Gallinari, they were out of the mix for the forward after agreeing to sign Young, Scotto notes. Since the Cavaliers couldn’t guarantee Gallinari the kind of role he sought and the Bulls aren’t a legitimate title contender, Gallinari’s decision ultimately came down to the Clippers and Bucks. He chose Milwaukee after debating the two options for a few days, according to Scotto.

Clippers Notes: Leonard, Gallinari, Tucker, Hyland

Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard missed his fifth game of the season on Wednesday vs. Golden State due to a left adductor strain, but head coach Tyronn Lue said the injury isn’t significant, according to Kendra Andrews of ESPN.

I don’t think it’s that serious,” Lue said before Wednesday’s game. “He played through it last game (on Monday), was experiencing some soreness in the hip, so when the game got out of reach we didn’t bring him back in the fourth quarter to be smart about it.”

Leonard was named to his sixth All-Star team in 2023/24, but his status for this weekend’s exhibition game is to be determined. The 32-year-old is expected to travel to Indianapolis either way, a source told ESPN.

Here’s more on the Clippers, who are currently 36-17, the No. 3 seed in the West:

  • Bucks guard Patrick Beverley sent out a tweet through his podcast’s account saying veteran forward Danilo Gallinari will either sign with the Clippers or the Bucks. While he couldn’t corroborate Milwaukee’s interest, Law Murray of The Athletic confirms (Twitter link) the Clippers are open to a reunion with Gallinari, who spent two seasons with the Clips from 2017-19. However, as Murray observes, the Clippers currently have a full roster, and there isn’t an obvious candidate to be released. The 35-year-old became an unrestricted free agent after he was waived by Detroit last week. The Suns are reportedly among the teams interested in Gallinari’s services.
  • Forward P.J. Tucker claims that not playing leading up to the trade deadline was a “collaborative decision” with the Clippers, according to Shams Charania and Law Murray of The Athletic. Tucker hasn’t played in a game since November 27. “It was agreed upon that I would sit,” Tucker told The Athletic over the weekend. “I didn’t just sit, it was agreed upon. Until they moved me, I would sit. They didn’t do it. But (I) try to be professional, as professional as possible. But at the same time, if I don’t advocate for myself, who is? You know? But it is what it is, man.” Tucker was fined $75K on Thursday for publicly expressing a desire to be traded.
  • Tucker also told The Athletic it’s unrealistic to expect him to be productive in the postseason after not playing for so long in the regular season. “Becoming teammates, you’re building bonds,” Tucker said. “You have to take time when you have something built. Can’t just throw somebody out there, ‘Go play now.’ You know what I’m saying? It don’t work like that. So I don’t know where it goes from here. I don’t know. I know what they think is going to happen. But I don’t think it happens like that. Just throw somebody in the playoffs in the second round. ‘Alright, now go do what you do.’ Don’t work like that.”
  • Speaking to reporters on Wednesday morning about sending home Tucker and Bones Hyland, Lue suggested that Hyland may have submitted his own trade request prior to last week’s deadline after receiving scant playing time the past few months. The third-year guard has struggled in his limited garbage-time minutes, Charania and Murray note. “You want to have competitors on your team,” Lue said. “They want to play. So when you try to get traded, it doesn’t work out, and you want to go to a place (where you can) play, it doesn’t mean they’re not happy here. They are. But they want to play, they want to compete.” Tucker holds a $11.54MM player option for 2024/25, while Hyland is owed a guaranteed $4.16MM in the final season of his rookie scale contract.