TyTy Washington

Bucks Notes: Giannis, Middleton, Roster, Griffin, Beasley

Over the past couple months, Bucks superstar and franchise legend Giannis Antetokounmpo has dropped hints that he might leave Milwaukee if a better winning situation presented itself. In a recent mailbag, The Athletic’s Eric Nehm tackled that topic. Nehm writes that he believes Antetokounmpo’s comments aren’t news to the organization, and that it’s something they expected when he signed a super-max contract in 2020.

The Bucks know Antetokounmpo’s No. 1 priority is winning, Nehm writes, and they’ll continue to try building a contender around him. It makes sense that Giannis would be noncommittal about signing an extension with the Bucks because it would add just two years to his deal, limiting his ability to put pressure on the organization to win now.

If Antetokounmpo signs such an extension, he wouldn’t have the ability to threaten to hit free agency, and he wouldn’t make more money in the long run, as opposed to continuing to sign super-max extensions.

Additionally, Nehm doesn’t think Antetokounmpo was taking shots at his teammates when he said he wanted to make sure “everybody’s on the same page, everybody’s going for a championship, everybody’s going to sacrifice time away from their family like I do. Nehm says that his comments seemed to just be an explanation of his approach to the game rather than a shot at anyone in the organization.

According to Nehm, two years without a championship (the Bucks won in 2021) is two years too long for their superstar.

I thought we were going to win a championship, and it was going to be like a fairy tale and it’s done and we’re all going to be enjoying it,” Antetokounmpo told The Athletic, per Nehm. “We’re going to be partying for 15 years straight, but you win one and you’re like, ‘What’s next?’

We have more from the Bucks:

  • Bucks wing Khris Middleton has been a massive part of Milwaukee’s success since joining the team in 2013/14. Appearing on an episode of J.J. Redick‘s Old Man and The Three podcast (YouTube link), Middleton discussed the dynamics of the Bucks roster as an All-Star caliber player starting next to Antetokounmpo. “There’s never been a struggle about who is one and who is two [on the roster] between us,” Middleton said.
  • Addressing more questions in his mailbag, Nehm takes a look at the Bucks’ roster situation, focusing on an apparent lack of depth at the point guard spot. The Bucks have utilized their two-way contracts to address the position, with Lindell Wigginton and TyTy Washington Jr. among options to take on some rotational minutes. However, Milwaukee could look to simply have Antetokounmpo or Middleton bring the ball up the court, or even Andre Jackson Jr, according to Nehm. The Bucks would be in a bad position if starting point guard Jrue Holiday went down, though, and a trade to bring in a more reliable backup could be on the horizon.
  • While new head coach Adrian Griffin was with the Raptors, Toronto forced turnovers on 17.2% of their opponent’s offensive possessions, according to Nehm, which is an important factor to consider when looking to Milwaukee’s defense this year. This may affect Brook Lopez, the backbone of Milwaukee’s defense, with the Bucks potentially shifting to a more perimeter-oriented defensive style while Lopez acts as more of a traditional rim-protecting center.
  • Malik Beasley is going to be on his fifth team heading into his eighth NBA season. According to Nehm, while Beasley’s shooting and scoring numbers look great on paper, teams generally have concerns about his defense, leading to his current journeyman status.

Eastern Notes: Giles, Nets, Harden, Bucks Prospects

Harry Gilesone-year, non-guaranteed contract with the Nets includes an Exhibit 9 clause, but not an Exhibit 10, Hoops Rumors has learned. That means Giles likely won’t be a candidate to join the Long Island Nets in the G League if he’s waived by Brooklyn before the season, since he wouldn’t be eligible for an Exhibit 10 bonus (worth up to $75K). He also can’t have the deal converted into a two-way.

A former first-round pick (20th overall in 2017), Giles was once one of the highest-rated prospects in his class, but sustained a couple of serious knee injuries. The 25-year-old has been out of the league the past two seasons.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Trade talks involving Sixers guard James Harden are reportedly on ice. The team failed to gain traction in negotiations with the Clippers — Harden’s preferred landing spot — and then took him off the market. Still, given his comments about president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, it seems inevitable that Harden will eventually be moved. Which teams might be motivated to pursue Harden if things go awry during the season? Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype cites the Bulls, Rockets, Mavericks and Lakers as possible destinations that could make some sense.
  • Instead of prioritizing veterans like they have the past handful of seasons, the Bucks instead have filled out the back end of their roster with young players. Over at The Athletic, Eric Nehm spoke to draft expert Sam Vecenie to see how MarJon Beauchamp, Andre Jackson and Chris Livingston might fit with Milwaukee in 2023/24. Vecenie likes the defensive potential of second-year wing Beauchamp and 2023 second-rounder Jackson, but writes that both players will have to improve their jump shots to have a shot at regular minutes alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo. As for Livingston, who was the final pick of 2023, Vecenie believes the former Kentucky wing is a long-term developmental project who is unlikely to make much of an impact in the NBA, particularly early on.
  • In part two of their conversation about the Bucks‘ youngsters, Vecenie says he’s high on TyTy Washington‘s offensive upside and believes the 21-year-old guard has a legitimate shot at being converted to a standard contract. A first-round pick last year, Washington was released by Oklahoma City in August after spending his rookie season with the Rockets, later signing a two-way deal with Milwaukee. Nehm and Vecenie also discuss the potential of second-year sharpshooter A.J. Green, who is on a standard deal, and rookie Omari Moore, who is on a two-way contract.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Contract Details: Mykhailiuk, Harrison, Washington, More

The contract that Svi Mykhailiuk signed with the Celtics is a one-year, minimum-salary deal that is partially guaranteed for $200K, Hoops Rumors has learned. If Mykhailiuk remains under contract through at least the start of the regular season, his partial guarantee would increase to 50% of his $2,346,614 salary, which works out to $1,173,307. He’d be assured of his full salary for 2023/24 if he isn’t waived on or before January 7.

Here are more details on a few recently signed contracts:

  • Shaquille Harrison‘s contract with the Grizzlies is a non-guaranteed Exhibit 10 deal, Hoops Rumors has learned. While there has been some speculation that Harrison could fill the extra roster spot Memphis will create after the first five games of the season (when Ja Morant can be moved to the suspended list), he seems unlikely to make the opening-night roster. So if the Grizzlies want to have him fill that spot, Harrison would likely be waived and then re-signed.
  • As previously reported, P.J. Washington‘s contract with the Hornets is worth exactly $46.5MM, with $1.5MM in total incentives ($500K per year). It’s fully guaranteed with no options. Since his bonuses are considered unlikely, Washington’s first-year cap hit is $16,847,826; he’ll make a base salary of $15.5MM in year two and $14,152,174 in year three.
  • The two-way contracts recently signed by GG Jackson (Grizzlies) and TyTy Washington (Bucks) are each just for one year, so both players will be eligible for restricted free agency in 2024.

Bucks Sign TyTy Washington To Two-Way Deal

3:35pm: The signing is official, according to NBA.com’s transaction log.

2:29pm: The Bucks have agreed to sign free agent guard TyTy Washington Jr. to a two-way contract, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

The 29th overall pick in the 2022 draft, Washington spent his rookie year with the Rockets, then was included as a salary-matching piece in the five-team deal that landed Dillon Brooks in Houston via sign-and-trade in July. The 21-year-old was sent to Atlanta in that trade before being flipped to Oklahoma City in a salary-dump deal that made Patty Mills a Hawk. The Thunder, facing a roster crunch, waived Washington earlier this month.

Washington appeared in 31 games with the Rockets in his first NBA season, averaging 4.7 points, 1.5 assists, and 1.5 rebounds in 14.0 minutes per night. He put up an underwhelming shooting line of .363/.238/.556 in those 31 games.

The former Kentucky standout was more effective at the G League level, averaging 23.0 PPG, 6.0 APG, and 4.6 RPG in 18 Showcase Cup and regular season games for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. However, he still struggled to score efficiently, making 44.2% of his shot attempts from the field and just 31.7% from beyond the three-point line.

The Bucks, who don’t have much point guard depth behind starter Jrue Holiday, will give Washington a shot on a two-way deal that allows him to be active for up to 50 regular season games. Milwaukee would need to promote him to the standard roster in order to have him active for more than 50 games or for the postseason.

[RELATED: Hoops Rumors Glossary: Two-Way Contract]

Washington will earn $559,782 on his two-way pact, assuming he remains under contract through the league-wide guarantee date in January. No roster move will be necessary for the Bucks to sign him, since they’re only carrying two players (Omari Moore and Lindell Wigginton) on two-way deals, leaving one spot open.

Western Notes: Jones, Wembanyama, Washington, Jackson

Pelicans forward Herbert Jones admits he didn’t expect to sign a lucrative long-term contract at this stage of his career, he told Christian Clark of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Jones, the 35th pick of the 2021 draft, inked a four-year, $54MM deal in July.

“It was crazy, to say the least. It was just, like, crazy how quick it happens to be honest. … It just felt like the time had flown by almost,” the third-year Pelicans forward said. “When it happened, I was super shocked it had happened so quickly into my career, given where I was drafted.”

Jones, noted for his defense, averaged 9.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 66 starts for the Pelicans last season.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • Victor Wembanyama is working on his strength and toughness in an unconventional manner. He’s taking lessons from San Antonio boxing great “Jesse” James Leija, according to Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News. “I was shocked he was going to work out with us,” Leija said of the Spurs’ top pick. “I didn’t think he would ever do it because he is new and they want to make sure nothing happens to him. But, nah, he was ready. We wrapped him up and he took to it so fast. I was amazed at how fast he picked it up, his skill level.”
  • TyTy Washington has cleared waivers, leaving the Thunder with $2,320,440 in dead money on their salary cap, Spotrac contributor Keith Smith tweets. The 29th pick of the 2022 draft was waived on Friday. Washington played for the Rockets in his rookie season, then was dealt twice this summer. Oklahoma City is off the hook for the $2.43MM and $4.39MM team options on his contract for ’24/25 and ’25/26.
  • Reggie Jackson re-signed with the Nuggets last month and the veteran point guard expects to play a significant role as they look to defend their title. “This is a big season for me and for us in general,” Jackson told The Athletic’s Tony Jones“The understanding that we have to go into the season with is that we have a mark on our backs collectively as a team. But, also, I have to do my part and do everything I can to try and make us as successful as possible.”

And-Ones: Big3, Schedule, Washington, National Games

The basketball world never sleeps, even in the NBA’s offseason. While we’re between NBA seasons, several other leagues and competitions are coming down the stretch of their respective seasons. From the WNBA season to the 2023 FIBA World Cup, basketball is in no shortage. The Big3 is one such league that enjoys its seasons during the summer, a 3×3 league where numerous retired NBA players square off.

The Big3 has continued to grow since 2017, adding partnerships and viewers year after year. However, the league has had a rocky relationship with the NBA. As The Athletic’s Jason Jones writes, Ice Cube, the league’s CEO and founder, has said on multiple occasions that the NBA has little to no interest in investing in the product.

According to Cube, he and business partner Jeff Kwatinetz asked the NBA to become business partners in 2017.

We have been supportive of the Big3 since its inception, but we declined to invest,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said to The Athletic.

Cube sees several opportunities for the two leagues to coincide, with the Big3 offering a chance to help develop players according to Cube. The relationship between the two leagues isn’t completely shattered, with the Big3 playing games in NBA arenas, but Cube still wants to continue building a partnership with the NBA.

Jones writes that while the Big3 doesn’t see itself as a direct competitor to the NBA, the thought of any potential conflict between the two leagues has prevented some NBA investors in putting money into the Big3. Cube said that his league has historically performed better on CBS than more established sports leagues but is dismayed at the lack of media attention the league gets. He also said the NBA discourages such coverage and support for his league, according to Jones.

Those claims are not true,” Bass said.

Jones notes that Cube has experience working with other professional sports leagues, as he’s working with the NFL. The NFL partnered with Cube’s Contract With Black America Institute to increase economic equity and partnerships with Black-owned businesses.

According to Jones, Cube wants to continue expanding the Big3 to a point where it can put teams in cities and has teams controlled by their own ownership groups.

Cube has been encouraged by the support of some NBA players for his league, such as Kyrie Irving and Jaylen Brown. Still, Cube also wants to see more players continue to vocalize their support for the Big3.

I would love to see more of them on board, more current NBA players who already have a name in hoops,” Cube said. “But if not, we’ll be here when they want to play.

I recommend reading the piece by Jones in full. There are several interesting tidbits about the growth of the league that features retired NBA players such as Joe Johnson, Michael Beasley and Jason Richardson.

There are other notes from around the basketball world:

  • More planning goes into developing the NBA’s regular season schedule – released earlier this week – than meets the eye. The Athletic’s Mike Vorkunov interviewed Evan Wasch, the NBA’s executive VP of basketball strategy and analytics, about the making of the schedule (podcast link). Wasch discussed numerous aspects of the NBA’s game calendar including the new in-season tournament, calculating rest days and rotating opponent matchups. Wasch said that his team of schedule-makers started with the Christmas games as an anchor point and worked backward from there.
  • The Thunder waived TyTy Washington Jr. on Friday, but The Athletic’s John Hollinger believes some team should take a hard look at signing the 21-year-old point guard (Twitter link). Washington was the No. 29 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft and appeared in 31 games last year with Houston, averaging 4.7 points. However, Washington played well in the G League, averaging 23.1 points and 6.1 assists to lead Houston’s G League affiliate Rio Grande Valley Vipers to the 2023 NBA G League Finals. Hollinger doesn’t see a team placing a waiver claim on Washington, since clubs could get more favorable contract terms by signing him to a minimum deal. Still, Hollinger thinks Washington would be a good fit on a rebuilding team or a team with an extra roster spot that could afford to develop him.
  • The Athletic’s Mike Prada put out a list of every team’s national TV games for the ’23/24 schedule (Twitter link). Prada notes that the Warriors lead the way with 28 national TV games while the Hornets, Pistons, Rockets, Pacers, Magic, Trail Blazers, Raptors and Wizards all have just one apiece. The Lakers, Suns and Celtics join Golden State as teams with 25 or more national TV games. It’s important to note that Prada’s count doesn’t include NBA TV games.

Thunder Waive TyTy Washington Jr.

The Thunder have waived guard TyTy Washington Jr., the team announced today. Washington will clear waivers and become a free agent on Sunday, assuming he goes unclaimed.

The 29th overall pick in the 2022 draft, Washington appeared in 31 games as a rookie with the Rockets last season, averaging 4.7 points, 1.5 assists, and 1.5 rebounds in 14.0 minutes per night. He put up an underwhelming shooting line of .363/.238/.556 in those 31 games.

The former Kentucky standout was more effective at the G League level, averaging 23.0 PPG, 6.0 APG, and 4.6 RPG in 18 Showcase Cup and regular season games for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. However, he still struggled to score efficiently, making 44.2% of his shot attempts from the field and just 31.7% from beyond the three-point line.

The Rockets, apparently viewing Washington as expendable with so many other promising young players on their roster, included him as an outgoing salary-matching piece in the five-team trade that sent Dillon Brooks to Houston via sign-and-trade. The 21-year-old was sent to Atlanta in that deal, then was flipped to Oklahoma City in a salary-dump trade that made Patty Mills a Hawk.

Washington had been a long shot to make the Thunder’s roster, since the team was carrying 20 players on standard contracts and needed to trade or waive at least five of those players before opening night. The fact that OKC has already cut Washington – who was owed a guaranteed $2.32MM salary in 2023/24 – suggests there were no good options for him on the trade market.

While it’s not out of the question that a team will claim Washington on waivers, it seems unlikely, given his negative trade value this summer. A club interested in placing a claim would need to have cap room or a trade exception available to absorb his salary, which eliminates much of the league.

Assuming Washington becomes a free agent, the Thunder would owe him his 2023/24 salary but would be off the hook for the $2.43MM and $4.39MM team options on his contract for ’24/25 and ’25/26. Washington would be eligible for a standard contract with any team except Atlanta and a two-way deal with any team except the Hawks or Thunder.

Oklahoma City now has 20 players under contract — 16 on guaranteed salaries, three (Jack White, Aaron Wiggins, and Isaiah Joe) on non-guaranteed or partially guaranteed deals, and Keyontae Johnson on a two-way pact.

Northwest Notes: Yurtseven, Edwards, Thunder, Simons

Omer Yurtseven tells Semih Tuna of Eurohoops that he received interest from two Turkish teams before deciding to sign with the Jazz last month. The 25-year-old center, who spent his first two seasons with Miami, said he wants to try to establish himself in the NBA before giving consideration to playing in his native country.

Fenerbahce and Anadolu Efes were interested,” Yurtseven said. “Fenerbahce is my home, and I also love Erdem Can, my former coach, but even if I wanted to come here towards the end of my career, now is not the time.”

Yurtseven, who is spending this summer with the Turkish national team, became an unrestricted free agent when the Heat opted not to give him a qualifying offer. He had a promising rookie year, but was limited to nine games last season after undergoing ankle surgery. He’s happy to get a chance to start over in Utah.

Having coach Will Hardy at Utah Jazz, playing with Europeans in significant positions, and being a young team, I couldn’t see any negatives, so it was an easy choice among my top three preferences,” Yurtseven said.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Anthony Edwards believes the Timberwolves would been much better if not for a calf injury that forced Karl-Anthony Towns to miss most of the season, per Sam Yip of HoopsHype. “I think if we get KAT for a whole season, we’ll be all right,” Edwards said. He added that the trade for Mike Conley in February brought a much-needed veteran presence to the team and expressed delight that Minnesota was able to reach an extension with Naz Reid.
  • In a mailbag column, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman projects the Thunder‘s 15-man roster for opening night. Mussatto expects Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Jack White, TyTy Washington and Victor Oladipo to all be waived at some point.
  • Anfernee Simons expressed support for Trail Blazers teammate Damian Lillard to Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian (Twitter link). Asked what it would be like to lose his mentor in a potential trade, Simons responded, “A lot of people ask me that question all the time, obviously, like what’s going on with Dame. I say, ‘They say he asked for a trade, he asked for a trade.’ That was it. Obviously, me and Dame have a close relationship. I’m always going to support him no matter what.”

Western Notes: Jackson, Smart, Hughes, Pokusevski, Thunder

Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr., the NBA’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year, says he’s excited to team up with Marcus Smart, who won the award in 2022, writes Jerry Jiang of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Smart was acquired from the Celtics last month in a three-team trade, and Jackson reached out to him when the news broke.

That doesn’t happen pretty often or ever,” Jackson said, referring to a team having two DPOY winners at the same time. “I just know what he brings to Boston. I’ve seen it before I was in the league and it’s crazy.”

Here’s more from the West:

  • The Mavericks intend to hire Eric Hughes as an assistant coach, sources tell Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link). Hughes got his NBA start as an assistant with Toronto and previously worked under head coach Jason Kidd with the Nets and Bucks, MacMahon notes. He has been with the Sixers for the past four seasons.
  • Thunder big man Aleksej Pokusevski won’t be able to represent his native Serbia in the FIBA World Cup next month, according to Eurohoops.net. The 17th pick of the 2020 draft, Pokusevski suffered a broken arm during an offseason workout at the end of May and won’t receive medical clearance to train with a basketball until late August, the report states. The World Cup starts August 25 and runs through September 10. The 21-year-old was hoping to secure a spot on the Serbian national team’s 12-man roster.
  • In a mailbag for The Oklahoman, Joe Mussatto predicts that Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Victor Oladipo, Jack White, Usman Garuba and TyTy Washington are the the most likely players to be on the chopping block due to the Thunder‘s roster crunch. However, Mussatto notes that OKC has a few months to figure things out and more trades could be in order rather than outright waiving all five players.

Thunder Notes: Holmgren, Mann, Williams, Presti

No matter what else happened for the Thunder, the highlight of Summer League was seeing Chet Holmgren back on the court, writes Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman. After missing all of last season with a Lisfranc injury to his right foot, the No. 2 pick in the 2022 draft showed off his potential in Salt Lake City and Las Vegas, averaging 16.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists in four games.

While he looked rusty in some areas, such as committing 15 turnovers and shooting 1-of-9 from three-point range, Mussatto notes that the most encouraging part of Holmgren’s game was watching him protect the basket. He averaged 3.5 blocks per game and used his 7’1″ frame to alter numerous other shots.

“Conditioning wise, there’s millions of hurdles you have to go through in the process of returning to play,” Holmgren said after his Summer League return. “Not being able to play a game for a year, it’s really hard to test and see where you are. … It’s definitely something I have to continue to work on, and I’ll be ready by the time training camp starts. I feel like I’ll have myself prepared to be in in-season shape.”

There’s more on the Thunder:

  • Tre Mann was shut down in Las Vegas due to an avulsion fracture in his right middle finger, but it’s not believed to be a long-term concern, Mussatto adds. The Thunder expect the backup point guard to resume basketball activities by the end of July.
  • The selection of Jaylin Williams in the second round of last year’s draft will allow Holmgren to spend more time at power forward and avoid the physical contact that comes with playing center, notes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Williams is a rugged 6’10” big man who led the NBA in drawing charges last season and shot 40.7% from beyond the arc. “It’s good because it allows my length to be found in the game in different ways,” Holmgren said of playing alongside Williams. “When he’s at the five, he’s in (screen) coverage more, and I’m able to kind of move around and roam the court a little more on defense, be the low man in help and be able to come over for blocks if somebody gets beat or use my length in the passing lanes and as an on-ball defender.”
  • General manager Sam Presti didn’t add anyone this summer who projects as a long-term keeper, Slater observes in the same piece. Presti opted to use his cap room to collect more draft assets while taking on the contracts of Davis Bertans, Victor Oladipo and Rudy Gay. Slater views Oladipo and Gay as buyout options, while Bertans may reach that status eventually with just $5MM guaranteed for 2024/25. Presti also traded for former first-round picks Usman Garuba and TyTy Washington, but Slater doubts that they’ll see much playing time considering the talent that’s already in place.