Javonte Green

Central Notes: Green, Bulls, Ball, Mitchell, Bucks, Flynn

In his first game after signing a rest-of-season contract that made him eligible for the postseason, Bulls swingman Javonte Green had the best performance of his career in Friday’s victory against the Knicks, writes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.

The 30-year-old finished with careers highs of 25 points and 13 rebounds, shooting 10-of-14 from the floor while contributing a pair of steals and a block in 33 minutes.

He’s one of those guys you want to have on your team,” DeMar DeRozan said of Green. “For him to bounce back in a tough year for him just trying to get back healthy and for him to be doing what he’s been doing since he came back is amazing. We all know what to expect from Woo. Every time he goes out there, he plays like he’s 6-9 and he does anything and whatever for the team. … He’s one of a kind. I’m glad to have him back.”

While Green provided a much-needed boost and a feel-good story, the win was marred due to ankle injuries to Coby White and Alex Caruso, who both left the game and were unable to return, Johnson adds. The two starters were able to walk on their own after the game and seemed to be in “good spirits,” though head coach Billy Donovan said the team would have to await further testing to learn the extent of the injuries.

Here’s more from the Central:

  • Appearing on 670 The Score (YouTube link), LaVar Ball — the father of injured Bulls guard Lonzo Ball — projected his son could start playing 5-on-5 with full contact in August or September, as Ryan Taylor of NBC Sports Chicago relays. “I’m thinking at least four or five months. Four or five months where he can really get dialed and do what he do,” LaVar said. That projection aligns with what Donovan said about Lonzo’s recovery last month, Taylor notes. Ball, who hasn’t played since January 2022, has undergone three knee surgeries over the past two-plus years, but the team is cautiously optimistic he could return next season.
  • If the Cavaliers fail to make a deep playoff run and Donovan Mitchell declines a contract extension, would they entertain the possibility of trading him this summer? Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report explores that topic, listing five potential landing spots for the All-Star guard if Cleveland goes that route.
  • The Bucks were expected to be a title contender, and they’re still (barely) clinging to the No. 2 seed in the East. However, they’ve been playing their worst basketball of the season at the absolute worst time, dropping five of their past six games, including three straight to Washington, Memphis and Toronto — three teams at the bottom of the standings — with only five regular season games remaining, per Eric Nehm of The Athletic. After Friday’s loss to the Raptors, who had dropped 15 straight games, Bucks players said they’re not panicking, but they’re frustrated, as is their head coach. “The last three were against three bad teams. To me, that’s inexcusable. For all of us,” said Doc Rivers, who is now just 15-16 with Milwaukee since taking over mid-season. “As I told them, this is on me. I gotta figure out what we gotta do to play at a higher pace.”
  • Pistons guard Malachi Flynn has averaged 5.4 points on .386/.337/.749 shooting in 208 career regular season games (14.2 MPG). He had one of the most unexpected 50-point games in NBA history on Wednesday, shooting 18-of-25 from the floor while being plus-14 in 34 minutes in an eight-point loss to Atlanta. In Friday’s loss to Memphis, the former 29th overall pick fell back to Earth, notes John Hollinger of The Athletic (Twitter link), going 0-of-12 from the field and scoring three points (all at the free throw line) while being minus-13 in 23 minutes. If Detroit issues him a qualifying offer, Flynn will be a restricted free agent this summer; otherwise, he’ll be unrestricted.

Bulls Sign Javonte Green, Waive Terry Taylor

The Bulls have signed swingman Javonte Green for the remainder of the season, the team announced today in a press release.

Chicago used a hardship exception to sign Green to a 10-day contract on March 23, but needs to clear a 15-man roster spot in order to sign him to a rest-of-season deal. To make room for him, the team has waived forward Terry Taylor.

By signing a standard contract, Green is now eligible for the postseason, including the play-in tournament. Chicago is currently tied for ninth place in the Eastern Conference with Atlanta.

Green has spent parts of three seasons with Chicago. He was limited to 32 games last season due to a knee injury, which required surgery.

Green signed a training camp deal with Golden State in October, but was waived a few days later. He also appeared in 10 regular season games with the Warriors’ G League affiliate in Santa Cruz this season.

In his first 10 days with the Bulls, the 30-year-old appeared in three games, averaging 5.0 points and 3.7 rebounds in 17.0 minutes per night.

Taylor has been out of the rotation most of the season. He has appeared in 31 games but only averaged 6.1 minutes in those outings. Terry had a $2MM salary this season and a $2.2MM non-guaranteed contract for next season.

Central Notes: Haliburton, Turner, Strus, Green

Assuming he remains healthy, Pacers All-Star point guard Tyrese Haliburton is on track to appear in 69 games this season. Haliburton has noted in the past that he felt he returned a bit soon from a hamstring injury, in part because he knows he needs to appear in 65 contests in order to qualify for postseason honors, writes Joe Vardon and Sam Amick of The Athletic.

Specifically, the Indiana phenom is hoping to land on an All-NBA team, which would increase the value of his five-year, maximum-salary contract extension worth roughly $245MM. Otherwise, he’ll make $204.5MM.

“It’s no secret what’s at stake for me personally this year, and for us [as] a group,” Haliburton told Vardon and Amick. “So I feel like I’m looking to help lead this group. And if I’m playing like this and we’re still winning, I don’t care. It doesn’t bother me. I’ll get over it because obviously I’m doing enough to help us win. But when we’re not winning and I’m doing this, then that’s when it can really get to me.”

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • Haliburton and Pacers center Myles Turner seem to have unlocked an elite pick-and-roll chemistry, writes Mark Medina of Sportskeeda. “They understand the attention that they bring to themselves,” power forward Obi Toppin said of the fearsome twosome’s tandem attack. “They understand the attention that they bring to themselves. They allow other people to play on the ball to get them open. That helps them tremendously.”
  • Cavaliers shooting guard Max Strus is back from a knee injury, but a playoff-bound Cleveland club is struggling down the home stretch of the regular season, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. To wit, the Cavaliers recently dropped a game to a banged-up, lottery-bound Hornets squad on Wednesday, 118-111. “We just didn’t play hard,” Strus said. “Nobody wanted to play defense tonight. That was our problem. Can’t lose to teams like this at this point in the season. Is what it is. Gotta take it on the chin and hopefully get back at it on Friday.” He scored 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the floor, which included 5-of-10 shooting from deep. He also chipped in four rebounds and two steals.
  • In a 125-99 blowout win over the Pacers on Wednesday, Bulls wing Javonte Green saw his first game action since rejoining Chicago on a 10-day deal. Players and fans alike seemed happy he was back in Bulls red, notes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. Green was tasked during his initial nine-minute stint with defending the much taller Indiana power forward Pascal Siakam, but he did his best to pester the two-time All-Star. The 6’4″ vet, who finished the night with a game-high +26 mark in 19 minutes, got an ovation from the United Center faithful when he first was subbed into the contest. “It means a lot,” Green said. “Especially coming from this city, the city that really gave me an opportunity to showcase my talent during the game.”

Bulls Notes: White, Green, Caruso, Terry

Coby White returned to the Bulls‘ lineup this week after missing three games with an injured right hip, but he hasn’t fully recovered from the brief absence, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. Coach Billy Donovan cited “timing” as an issue after White shot 3-of-11 from the field in Saturday’s loss to Boston, and the fifth-year guard agrees that he has work to do in that area.

“At this point of the season when you miss a week it feels like a lot longer than that,” White said. “So for me I don’t want to force it. Just let the game come to me. I’m just trying to go out there and contribute any way I can right now.”

The bigger picture for White is that he has likely changed the organization’s view of the roster with his performance this season, Cowley adds. After signing an extension last summer, White has enjoyed a breakout year, averaging 19.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists through 68 games and becoming a candidate for Most Improved Player honors.

“Obviously the summer, him signing a long-term deal, we made the commitment to him that we wanted him to be here,” Donovan said. “What Coby has done you would want to create organizationally a runway for him to continue to grow, continue to develop. But I haven’t necessarily had the discussion where it’s been, ‘Wow, we got this guy and now we’ve got to do this.’”

There’s more from Chicago:

  • The Bulls used the hardship exception to sign Javonte Green to a 10-day contract on Saturday, Cowley confirms in a separate story. Green, who has appeared in 113 games with Chicago over the past three seasons, hasn’t been promised any playing time in this latest opportunity, according to Cowley, and he understands what’s expected of him. “Just be myself,” he said. “Obviously, the Bulls know what I bring to the table.” Green also told K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago that he’s confident in his right knee after undergoing an arthroscopic debridement in January 2023. “Just tried to strengthen the quad and strengthen the area that I had discomfort in,” he said. “That was a long process, six months.”
  • Alex Caruso is hoping to be ready for Monday’s game against Washington after injuring his left ankle Saturday night, Johnson states in a separate story. Caruso walked to the locker room after getting tangled up with Boston’s Al Horford with 6:54 left in the second quarter, but he was able to return and played through discomfort in the second half.
  • Second-year guard Dalen Terry is taking on a larger role with an injury-filled roster, notes Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. Terry said he has taken inspiration from watching White develop into an accomplished player. “It’s all mental,” Terry said. “It’s all just blocking out the noise and trusting yourself. Just keep faith. Keep believing in what you’re going to achieve.”

Bulls Sign Javonte Green To 10-Day Deal

MARCH 23: Green has officially signed his 10-day contract with the Bulls, according to a press release from the team.

MARCH 22: The Bulls plan to sign free agent wing Javonte Green to a 10-day contract, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

It will be a reunion between the two sides, as Green spent parts of three seasons with Chicago, most recently in 2022/23. The 30-year-old was limited to 32 games last season due to a knee injury, which required surgery.

Green signed a training camp deal with Golden State in October, but was waived a few days later. He has appeared in 10 regular season games with the Warriors’ G League affiliate in Santa Cruz in ’23/24, averaging 12.8 PPG, 6.8 RPG and 1.3 SPG on .489/.355/.824 shooting in 22.2 MPG.

Green, who went undrafted in 2015 out of Radford and spent four years playing professionally in Europe before catching on with Boston in 2019, averaged 6.5 PPG, 3.8 RPG and 0.9 SPG on .547/.360/.780 shooting in 97 games with the Bulls from 2021-23 (46 starts, 20.6 MPG). He’s known as a strong athlete and defender who plays bigger than his size, somewhat similar to Gary Payton II.

The Bulls currently have a full 18-man roster, but Lonzo Ball, Zach LaVine and Patrick Williams have been ruled out for the season, and rookie Julian Phillips is expected to miss at least two weeks with a foot issue. That means Green will almost certainly be signed via the hardship exception.

As a four-year veteran, Green will earn $124,425 over the course of his 10 days with the Bulls.

Warriors Waive Javonte Green

The Warriors have waived Javonte Green, the team announced on Thursday (via Twitter).

Green, 30, has spent the past four seasons playing for Boston and Chicago. The 6’4″ guard/forward was limited to 32 games in 2022/23 due to a lingering right knee problem.

A strong athlete and defender who is limited offensively, Green holds career averages of 5.1 PPG and 2.8 RPG on .534/.342/.753 shooting in 186 regular season contests (15.8 MPG).

While it was previously reported that Green was expected to be waived and play for the Santa Cruz Warriors, Golden State’s NBA G League affiliate, we later learned that he had signed an Exhibit 9 contract, not an Exhibit 10 deal. That means he may not be headed to Santa Cruz after all, and it’s unclear what’s next for the former Radford Highlander, who played four seasons in Europe from 2015-19 after going undrafted.

Pacific Notes: D-Lo, Vanderbilt, Duarte, Huerter, J. Green

Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell is a talented scorer, shooter, and passer, but has been targeted on the defensive end of the court over the years, a fact that he’s aware of and is making an effort to remedy, as Jovan Buha and Jay King of The Athletic write.

“Last year they found a way to get me off the floor by not playing defense, I guess,” Russell said. “So, try to be a reason to eliminate that. Not give them a reason to not have me on the floor. Try to be as dangerous as I can on offense and try not to be a liability on defense. So, that’s what I’m working on. I’m trying to do it now before the season so I continue to practice those good habits.”

Interestingly, Russell named Derrick White as a role model, praising the Celtics guard for making “all the winning plays,” even if he doesn’t necessarily get credit for them. According to Russell, that’s the type of player he aspires to be.

“I woke up to it and I was shocked, really,” White said when asked by The Athletic about Russell’s endorsement. “Obviously D-Lo’s an All-Star, has done a lot of great things in this league, a highly talented player. So it’s cool to get recognized like that, especially by a guy who’s done so much in the league like he has.”

Here are a few more notes from around the Pacific:

  • Lakers forward Jarred Vanderbilt, who is battling left heel soreness, will be reevaluated on Friday, head coach Darvin Ham told reporters earlier this week (Twitter link via Khobi Price of The Southern California News Group). Vanderbilt hasn’t played since the team’s preseason opener on October 7.
  • The Kings still haven’t made a decision on whether to start Kevin Huerter or Chris Duarte on the wing in their regular season opener, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. However, a left knee injury for Duarte may give Huerter a leg up — Duarte has been diagnosed with a bone bruise and will miss the remainder of the preseason, as Anderson writes.
  • The non-guaranteed contract that swingman Javonte Green signed with the Warriors includes Exhibit 9 language, but not an Exhibit 10 clause, Hoops Rumors has learned. Green is one of three veterans on the roster – along with Rudy Gay and Rodney McGruder – whose camp contract isn’t an Exhibit 10 deal. That means those vets may not be candidates to join the Santa Cruz Warriors in the G League if they don’t make Golden State’s regular season roster.

Warriors Sign Javonte Green, Yuri Collins; Waive Three Players

5:10pm: The Warriors have officially signed Green and Collins, per the team (Twitter link).

12:37pm: The Warriors plan to sign free agents Javonte Green and Yuri Collins, sources tell Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link).

To create roster space, Golden State waived Donovan Williams, Javan Johnson and Kendric Davis, according to Slater. All three players were on non-guaranteed training camp deals. The Warriors confirmed (via Twitter) that Williams, Johnson and Davis have been released.

Slater says the plan is for Green and Collins to be waived as well, with all five players expected to play for the Warriors’ NBA G League affiliate in Santa Cruz. While the terms of the deals were not disclosed, Slater’s reporting strongly suggests that Green and Collins will be signing Exhibit 10 contracts, which would entitle both players to a bonus worth up to $75K if they spend at least 60 days with Santa Cruz.

Green, 30, holds four seasons of NBA experience with Boston and Chicago. The 6’4″ guard/forward was limited to 32 games in 2022/23 due to a lingering right knee problem. A strong athlete and defender who is limited offensively, Green holds career averages of 5.1 PPG and 2.8 RPG on .534/.342/.753 shooting in 186 regular season contests (15.8 MPG).

Collins, meanwhile, is a 6’0″ point guard who went undrafted in June out of Saint Louis. He averaged 11.2 PPG, 10.1 APG, 3.3 RPG and 1.3 SPG on .442/.319/.735 shooting in 32 games (35.1 MPG) as a senior last season. An All-Atlantic 10 First Team member each of the past two seasons, Collins suited up for the Warriors in Summer League action.

Once the signings of Green and Collins are official, the Warriors will have 20 players under contract, one shy of the preseason limit.

Celtics Notes: Bates-Diop, Green, Azubuike, Madar, G. Williams

Keita Bates-Diop and Javonte Green could be a couple of relatively low-cost options for the Celtics in free agency, according to Sean Deveney of Heavy.com.

Bates-Diop posted career highs in several categories with San Antonio in 2022/23, including points (9.7), assists (1.5), three-point percentage (39.4%), free throw percentage (79.3%), games played (67), starts (42) and minutes per game (21.7).

However, a league source tells Deveney that the Spurs might just re-sign Bates-Diop or possibly look to sign-and-trade the 27-year-old combo forward.

As for Green, he started his NBA career with the Celtics and “would welcome” a return to Boston, a source tells Deveney.

Although he’s undersized for a forward at 6’4″, Green is an explosive athlete and a tenacious defender. He played well for the Bulls the past few seasons, but unfortunately he struggled to return from knee surgery during ’22/23, which leaves his future up in the air.

Here’s more on the Celtics:

  • Free agent center Udoka Azubuike, a former first-round pick who spent the past three seasons with the Jazz, will be suiting up for Boston’s summer league squad, a team source tells Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Azubuike dealt with major ankle injuries during his tenure with Utah, but Weiss believes he could be a candidate for a two-way deal if he can improve in a couple areas.
  • Draft-and-stash prospect Yam Madar, an Israeli guard who has been playing overseas since he was a second-round pick in 2020, could be another option for a two-way contract, multiple league sources tell Weiss.
  • The Celtics are still actively involved in trade talks to improve their roster, Weiss adds.
  • A rival front office executive is skeptical Grant Williams will get more than the full mid-level exception in free agency, writes Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com. “There are definitely teams that like him, but I think no matter how it plays out and where he winds up, he’s probably going to come in for about mid-level exception money, around $12 million a year,” the executive said. “I don’t think he’s a cap-room offer — a guy you use room under the cap to sign. He’s more of an exception slot guy. I’m not sure you want to burn cap room on Grant Williams.” The Celtics recently issued Williams a qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent, but it will be tricky to keep him around if they want to avoid the second tax apron after trading for Kristaps Porzingis. Still, Williams recently said he was open to returning — assuming it works out financially for both sides.

Free Agent Stock Watch: Chicago Bulls

For the rest of the regular season and postseason, Hoops Rumors is taking a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents during the 2023 offseason. We consider whether their stock is rising or falling due to their performance and other factors. Today, we’re focusing on a handful of Bulls players.

Coby White, G

  • 2022/23: $7.4MM
  • 2023/24: RFA
  • Stock: Up

White is a tricky player to gauge because he’s playing fewer minutes and taking fewer shots, so on the surface his numbers look worse. If you actually watch him play though, it’s clear that he has improved in meaningful ways.

For example, when he entered the league he was basically a low-efficiency gunner who didn’t provide a whole lot else. His ball-handling, decision-making and defense have all improved, and he has a much better feel for making plays within the flow of the game.

White, who was recently praised by head coach Billy Donovan, has seen his name has pop up in trade rumors the past couple seasons, but the fact that the Bulls held onto him through the deadline leads me to believe they’ll give him a $7,744,600 qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent.

Lonzo Ball might miss all of next season following a third left knee surgery, making guard depth a priority. White just turned 23 years old last month – I think they’ll bring him back.

Nikola Vucevic, C

  • 2022/23: $22MM
  • 2023/24: UFA
  • Stock: Neutral

Vucevic’s counting stats in 2022/23 (17.5 PPG, 11.2 RPG, 3.3 APG) are virtually identical to last year’s (17.6 PPG, 11.0 RPG, 3.2 APG), but he’s scoring much more efficiently, mostly due to a career-high 58.7% on twos — he’s averaging about the same amount of points on 1.8 fewer shot attempts per game.

The veteran center has always been a quality defensive rebounder, but he is limited in other aspects defensively, particularly when it comes to protecting the paint – among centers who contest five-plus shots at the rim, he allows opponents to shoot 67.9% on those looks, which is the second-worst mark in the league, according to NBA.com. Chicago’s offense has been better when Vucevic is playing, but the team’s defense is significantly worse.

It’s hard to see Vucevic getting much more than his current $22MM salary from the Bulls or any other team. That said, he’s more or less the same player he was when he signed the deal, just four years older, and obviously the Bulls value him, otherwise they wouldn’t have traded for him a couple years ago. Maybe a short-term deal at a similar price could be in play – he will remain extension-eligible until June 30.

Patrick Beverley, G

  • 2022/23: $13MM + prorated minimum
  • 2023/24: UFA
  • Stock: Down

Beverley’s free agency situation is strange. On one hand, the Bulls have gone 10-5 with him in the starting lineup – a very good mark, particularly for a team that has been wildly inconsistent in 2022/23.

He is an above average rebounder for a player his size (he’s 6’1″), pulling down 5.9 boards in 28 minutes thus far with the Bulls, though that seems unsustainable (it would match his career high from ’16/17). He has also done a very good job taking care of the ball, recording a 4.07-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio with Chicago.

So why is Beverley’s stock down? He is only shooting 34% from deep in ‘22/23 – 31.5% with Chicago thus far – after shooting 34.3% last season. His career rate is 37.4%, but it’s a little concerning that he’s been below average two years in a row, because he isn’t much of a scoring threat otherwise (he’s averaging 6.3 points per game, his lowest total since his rookie year in ‘12/13).

Three other factors are working against him. One, he’s on his fifth team in under a year, having been traded three times before reaching a buyout agreement with Orlando. Second, he’ll turn 35 years old this summer, so it’s hard to see him getting more than a one- or two-year contract.

Finally, he lost his Bird rights when he was bought out, so the Bulls will be limited in what they can offer him – they could give him a 120% raise on his current minimum salary, which would be around $3.1MM, but otherwise they would have to dip into one of their exceptions (mid-level or bi-annual) to give him more than the minimum. I suspect they’ll pursue a younger target with the MLE.

Long story short, there’s no realistic way the Bulls can offer him anything close to the combined $13.8MM he made this season, and I definitely don’t see another team approaching that figure.

Javonte Green, F

  • 2022/23: Minimum salary
  • 2023/24: UFA
  • Stock: Neutral

If you had asked me earlier this season about Green’s stock, I would have said he was owed a raise on his minimum-salary contract – the Bulls have been better with him on the court each of the past two seasons. He brings a much-needed infusion of energy, toughness, and defensive versatility to a team that has been oddly apathetic at times.

The main reason his stock is neutral instead of up is his knee injury, which he has been slow to recover from. He underwent an arthroscopic debridement procedure in January, and it was initially reported that he was expected to miss about a month. Instead, he was out for about two-and-a-half months, and after playing two games last week, he’s on the shelf again.

Donovan said on Sunday that Green has been dealing with discomfort the day after playing, which is troubling. Green punches above his weight due to his explosive athleticism, but he’s only 6’4″ – hopefully this injury doesn’t affect that part of his game, because he’s a limited offensive player. Here’s to hoping he makes a full recovery.