Reggie Bullock

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Pacific Division

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

Klay Thompson, Warriors, 29, SG (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $69MM deal in 2015
The smart money has Kevin Durant signing elsewhere this summer, which makes it more imperative for Golden State to keep its dynamic backcourt intact. The Warriors would probably have to max out Thompson at $190MM over five years and ownership appears willing to do so. If not, rivals with ample cap space would certainly give him a four-year, $140MM deal, the max they could offer. In any case, Thompson won’t have to take a discount the way the market figures to play out. Even in a somewhat down year by his standards, he still had the sixth-most 3-point makes in the NBA.

Reggie Bullock, Lakers, 28, SG (Down) — Signed to a two-year, $5MM deal in 2017
The cap-strapped Pistons figured they couldn’t re-sign Bullock, so they traded him to the Lakers for a couple of assets. He was Detroit’s most reliable wing player but things didn’t go well for him in L.A. He never got into a shooting rhythm with the Lakers, as the career 39.2% long-range gunner made just 34.3% of his 3-point shots. Bullock’s price tag might have gone down somewhat, though he should still field some multi-year offers. He might even return to Detroit, where he played four seasons, if the Pistons can fit him into their budget.

Rodney McGruder, Clippers, 27, SF (Up) – Signed to a three-year, $3.4MM deal in 2016
McGruder finished his season in the Clippers organization, though he’s ineligible for the playoffs. Miami put him on waivers to get under the luxury tax and the Clippers claimed him. The Clippers gained control of his Early Bird rights and can make him a restricted free agent by extending a $3MM qualifying offer. It seems that McGruder might benefit from Miami’s surprising move, as he could claim a rotation role with his new club depending upon how well they do in free agency. If they choose not to give him a QO, he should be able to secure a contract on the open market befitting a second-unit player.

Jamal Crawford, Suns, 39, SG (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $2.39MM deal in 2018
How crazy is this? Crawford entered the league in 2000, the same year Zion Williamson was born. They could be teammates next season. That’s if Crawford decides re-sign with Phoenix. He wants to play at least another year and why not? This week, Crawford became the oldest player in NBA history to record a 50-point game. Crawford appeared in 64 games with Phoenix after playing a minimum of 79 the previous three years. He’ll be providing offense off the bench somewhere next season, a tribute to his preparation, perseverance and durability.

Willie Cauley-Stein, Kings, 25, C (Down)– Signed to a four-year, $15.35MM deal in 2015
Cauley-Stein said prior to the season he was “ready to get paid” after his walk year. He started all but one game this season for Sacramento but didn’t really enhance his value. He’s not a shot-blocker. He doesn’t rebound particularly well for his size. He can’t shoot free throws, nor does he pose much of an offensive threat. The Kings can make him a restricted free agent by extending a $6.25MM qualifying offer but even that’s not a given. Cauley-Stein will certainly get a raise compared to his rookie deal but it probably won’t be what he expected.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lakers Notes: Pelinka, LeBron, Walton, Bullock

Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka have been grouped together over the last two years as the top decision-makers in the Lakers‘ front office, but Pelinka won’t follow Johnson out the door following Magic’s resignation.

League sources tell ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that the Lakers’ general manager will keep his job — if anything, Pelinka’s power will grow, Shelburne adds. That doesn’t necessarily mean the the franchise won’t seek out a new president of basketball operations, but after being caught off guard by Johnson’s announcement, the Lakers sound prepared to enter the offseason with Pelinka running the show.

Johnson revealed during his impromptu press conference on Tuesday night that he hadn’t informed owner Jeanie Buss of his decision to resign before announcing it publicly, and Buss wasn’t the only one surprised by the news. Shelburne reports that Pelinka also didn’t know it was coming and that LeBron James was “stunned” by the decision. However, LeBron stands behind Buss and the Lakers’ front office, a source tells Shelburne.

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • Head coach Luke Walton participated in exit meetings with players on Wednesday, sources tell Shelburne. That doesn’t mean that Walton is safe, but all indications are that he has a better chance of retaining his job with Johnson out of the picture.
  • Asked today about his level of interest in returning to the Lakers in free agency this summer, Reggie Bullock responded, “Very high. I love this city” (Twitter link via Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times).
  • With little else to play for as the season neared an end, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was auditioning for his next NBA job down the stretch, writes Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. “Man, I’m just out there playing,” Caldwell-Pope said earlier this week. “Yes, I’ll be looking for a job for next season, but my job right now is to play my best basketball for the Lakers and then we’ll see where things stand.” KCP enjoyed his best stretch of the season in the final month, averaging 19.9 PPG in his last 16 games, including 23.3 PPG in the last seven.
  • While Lakers fans may have been frustrated by the deadline trade that saw Mike Muscala acquired for Ivica Zubac and Michael Beasley, Muscala hasn’t exactly had the time of his life since the deal either, writes Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register. “I guess these last few games have gone well for us, but I’m still kinda disappointed with how I played,” the veteran big man said. “…It’s kind of been a frustrating season for me, but there were still some opportunities. So I gotta focus on that. Injuries are a part of the game. You never want to use that as an excuse. I’ve always dealt with ankle injuries, and I know how to deal with them.”

Eastern Notes: Ellington, Wizards, Cavs

Detroit remains in the playoff race in large part due to the addition of Wayne Ellington. The shooting guard has made 38.1% of his looks from behind the arc on 7.8 attempts per game since coming to the franchise. Coach Dwane Casey sees Ellington’s use of his speed as a major reason why he’s able to succeed from 3-point land.

“If he was slow coming off, teams would chase him over and get there. He really comes off with speed and he knows how to change speeds to get open. [Luke Kennard] could really learn from him as far as watching him work out. It’s not just for games. He does it every day in practice,” Casey said (via Keith Langlois of NBA.com).

The Pistons were in need of outside shooting after shipping Reggie Bullock to the Lakers at the trade deadline and the team is glad it was able to nab Ellington after the veteran agreed to a buyout with the Suns. The sharpshooter will again be a free agent at the end of the season.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Wizards are working with prominent sports executive Mike Forde as the team looks to reset its front office, a source tells Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. Forde is the CEO of Sportsology and was previously the director of football operations for Chelsea in the Premier League.
  • Bradley Beal has been a mentor to Troy Brown Jr. and the All-NBA candidate sees a bright future for the Wizards‘ rookie, as Zach Rosen of NBA.com relays. “I told him in the beginning of the year, you are going to see a lot of stuff throughout this year, and one thing I always tell him is, it is easy to just get caught up in the negativity but the more positive you stay and the more ready you stay, your name will eventually be called and sure enough, it was called and he performed,” Beal said. “He did excellent. He has been constantly growing. It is just a matter of him just getting more minutes.”
  • The Cavaliers‘ home arena will see a name change from Quicken Loans Arena to Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, according to Tom Withers of The Associated Press. The venue is also undergoing “major” renovations.

Central Notes: Pistons, Bullock, Bucks, Pacers

Although the Pistons traded Reggie Bullock to the Lakers at last month’s trade deadline, Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press says he gets the impression that Bullock would be open to returning to Detroit as a free agent this offseason (Twitter link). The Pistons would likely reciprocate that interest, though it would depend on Bullock’s price tag, Ellis adds (via Twitter).

With the Pistons projected to be over the cap next season, they’ll be limited to a few modest exceptions, including the mid-level, as they attempt to upgrade their roster. Signing a three-point shooter like Bullock – or perhaps current Piston Wayne Ellington – will be a priority, but Detroit figures to commit part of its MLE to a point guard, Ellis notes. Reggie Jackson remains under contract for another season, but Ish Smith, a key part of the club’s rotation, will be a free agent.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • After officially signing Tim Frazier today, the Bucks are now only about $250K below the tax line, tweets cap expert Albert Nahmad. As Nahmad explains, Tony Snell can earn up to $400K in bonus money if Milwaukee wins the Finals, but the team should be on track to stay out of the tax if it falls short of a title — or if Christian Wood is claimed on waivers tomorrow.
  • In a pair of recent pieces by Sam Amick and Scott Agness of The Athletic, Indiana executives revisited the Paul George trade that turned into a rare win-win for both the Pacers and Thunder. “I think it worked out good for Paul, and I think it’s working out pretty well for us,” consultant Donnie Walsh said of the deal, per Amick.
  • In Agness’ story on that trade with the Thunder, Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard raves about Domantas Sabonis, who gets somewhat overlooked as the only non-All-Star (so far) involved in the swap. “When we looked at all the deals, once we heard ‘Sabonis’ is when I said, ‘I’m in. I want to do this,'” Pritchard said. “And I asked everybody around the room, ‘Is everybody on board?’ As soon as that happened, we got pretty excited about that.”
  • Dwane Casey‘s ability to respond to adversity, which has been on display throughout his first season with the Pistons, is one reason why owner Tom Gores hired him as the club’s head coach last spring, writes Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Despite a 9-22 stretch earlier in the season, Detroit currently holds the East’s No. 6 seed.

Lakers Notes: Ball, Trades, Walton

Before finding himself sidelined for the remainder of the season, Lonzo Ball showcased his ability on defense, something that’s winning over some of his doubters.

“He’s an impact player on that side of the ball,” a Western Conference executive tells Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. “I’m surprised he’s that good defensively. Coming out of UCLA, that was a question.”

Pincus notes that Ball and LeBron James shared the floor in 34 games this season, winning 20 of those contests. Over a full season, that pace would put the Lakers in the middle of the playoff picture instead of the gutter where Los Angeles currently resides.

The defense is there but the offense is still a work in progress for Ball. Pincus argues the point guard must add a reliable three-pointer to his arsenal in order to take the next step in the evolution in his game.

Here’s more from Los Angeles:

  • Ball seems destined to be included in an Anthony Davis-to the-Lakers trade, but if that deal never occurs, the point guard would fit well alongside a potential free agent signing such as Kyrie Irving, Pincus argues (in the same piece). Ball has the size to guard opposing shooting guards, which would take a burden off of someone like Irving.
  • Poor shooting is the Lakers‘ biggest issue, Bill Oram of The Athletic contends. The front office attempted to correct this deficiency at the trade deadline by acquiring Reggie Bullock and Mike Muscala in a pair of deals. Bullock has made just 39.2% of his shots from behind the arc since coming to the Lakers. Muscala has made just 26.3% while barely seeing the floor.
  • Luke Walton will likely take the fall for the Lakers‘ struggles this season but Oram (in the same piece) argues that the coach is putting players in position to be successful. The team is making just 35.5% of “wide open” three-pointers, which ranks last in the league.“ We’ve had so many 3s where it could be dagger [and force] timeouts,” Rondo said. “We haven’t capitalized on those yet.”

Lakers Notes: Bullock, Walton, LeBron, Wagner

The Lakers haven’t exactly played their best basketball since adding Reggie Bullock to their rotation at the trade deadline. The team is just 2-9 in games that Bullock has appeared in so far, and the veteran sharpshooter hasn’t been at his best during that stretch either — his .333 3PT% is well below his career rate (.394). Nonetheless, Bullock has conveyed a desire to remain in Los Angeles going forward, as Ron Gutterman of LakersNation.com relays.

“I would love to be back here with the Lakers,” said Bullock, who will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. “I was a fan of this organization pretty much my whole life, and the connection me and ‘Bron (LeBron James) are building, it’s continuing to build trust. We’ll see how it plays out in the summer.”

Although Bullock has only played 11 games as a Laker, the club will have his Bird rights as a result of his previous contract with the Pistons. To retain those Bird rights, the Lakers would have to keep Bullock’s $4.75MM cap hold on their books this summer until they work out a new deal.

If the Lakers need to renounce Bullock to create cap room for a marquee free agent, that wouldn’t necessary rule out a return, but the club would be limited to re-signing him using any leftover cap space, the room exception, or the minimum salary exception.

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • Head coach Luke Walton is considered likely to lose his job at season’s end, despite once being viewed as the sort of coach who could stick in L.A. for the next 10 or 15 years. Matt John of Basketball Insiders argues that Walton doesn’t deserve the blame for the Lakers’ disappointing season, while Bill Oram of The Athletic presents a case for how Walton has been undermined and betrayed by team management.
  • In order to move forward, the Lakers first need to take a long look in the mirror, ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz writes in a deep dive on the franchise. Arnovitz criticizes owner Jeanie Buss for her recent claim that the media is the biggest challenge facing the Lakers, suggesting that the statement makes the team appear incapable of self-reflection. The Lakers are “so infatuated with the glory of their brand that they forget about the essence of their product,” Arnovitz contends.
  • After a surprisingly unsuccessful first season in Los Angeles, it’s impossible for LeBron James to predict what will come next, says Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. However, his friends and former teammates expect him to bounce back from a disappointing 2018/19 season. “Just having that break, being able to reassess and come back really, really highly motivated, I think it’s going to be big for him,” Kevin Love said. “If you get ‘Bron highly motivated, anything can happen.” Dwyane Wade, meanwhile, offered the following assessment: “This is definitely going to make him hungrier for what he’s trying to accomplish next year.”
  • Lakers rookie Moritz Wagner, who racked up a career-high 22 points on Saturday, is hoping to take advantage of an increased role down the stretch, as Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register details.

Lakers Acquire Reggie Bullock From Pistons

FEBRUARY 6: The Lakers and Pistons have each issued a press release confirming that the Bullock trade is now official.

FEBRUARY 5: The Lakers have agreed in principle to acquire Reggie Bullock from the Pistons in exchange for Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and a second-round pick, Frank Isola and Shams Charania of The Athletic report (Twitter links).

Detroit will receive Los Angeles’ 2021 second-round pick, tweets James Edwards III of The Athletic. The deal is expected to be finalized on Wednesday.

We relayed over the weekend that Los Angeles was one of several teams to call Detroit about the swingman. Bullock, 27, has a $2.5MM expiring contract, so he does not impact the Lakers’ cap situation for free agency this summer.

By trading Bullock, the Pistons will create a $2.5MM trade exception, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks. The Lakers will inherit Bullock’s Bird Rights (with a cap hold of $4.75MM) entering free agency his summer.

In his sixth NBA season, Bullock is averaging a career-best 12.0 PPG through 43 games and gives the Lakers some much-needed outside shooting help. He is shooting the ball at a 38.4% clip from three-point range this season, which is slightly below his career average of 39.6%.

As for the Lakers, they are parting with one of their second-round picks (47th overall) from last year’s draft. The Ukraine native has appeared in 39 games this season, averaging a mere 3.2 PPG. Per Marks, the Pistons will have until July 5 to guarantee Mykhailiuk’s $1.4MM salary for the 2019/20 season. His third season is a team option worth $1.6MM.

Assuming the trade is completed, the Pistons will move $1.5MM below the luxury tax for the season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lakers Called Pistons About Reggie Bullock

The Lakers are among several teams that have contacted the Pistons about swingman Reggie Bullock, tweets Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times. Detroit is listening to offers for Bullock, but hasn’t been tempted by anything it has heard so far, according to Ganguli.

The 27-year-old has a $2.5MM expiring contract, so he wouldn’t impact the Lakers’ cap situation for free agency this summer. Ganguli doesn’t specify what L.A. was offering in return.

Bullock is averaging a career-best 11.8 points per night through 41 games and would give the Lakers some much-needed outside shooting help. He is hitting at a 37.1% clip from 3-point range this season, which is slightly below his career average of 39.2%.

Pistons Notes: Trade Deadline, Brown, Bullock

If the asset-strapped Pistons are going to make a splash at the NBA trade deadline they’ll have to get creative. As The Athletic’s James L. Edwards III writes, Detroit would presumably need to unload some sizable contracts if they brought back a significant package and the players currently making big money on their roster – outside of Blake Griffin – aren’t particularly desirable.

Edwards writes that Pistons senior adviser Ed Stefanski isn’t eager to give up a future first-round pick simply to alleviate the cap burden of its weighty contracts (Reggie Jackson‘s $17MM, Jon Leuer‘s $10MM, for example) but those picks could be in play if a solid star comes along. Edwards includes Bradley Beal as a hypothetical possibility that might warrant such a return.

The Pistons have some players that could be considered modest assets ahead of the deadline, including sophomore Luke Kennard and fourth-year forward Stanley Johnson. Ish Smith and Reggie Bullock, similarly, could draw interest from contending teams looking to shore up their rotations with veteran depth.

There’s more from Detroit:

  • While there are plenty of scenarios that could hypothetically jump-start a Pistons rebuild, Keith Langlois of the team’s official website writes in a weekly mailbag that he’d wager the team stands pat at the deadline. The club may look to shore up its second-unit but lack draft assets to offer in trades.
  • Scrappy first-year guard Bruce Brown has struggled to showcase his elite defensive skills lately, something head coach Dwane Casey‘s believes could be attributable to a famous foe in the basketball world. “I don’t know if it’s a rookie wall or whatever, but just the concentration, the attention to detail,” Casey told Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. “Those are mental things that young fellows usually make when they’re mentally fatigued a little bit.
  • In the same blog post, Langlois writes that Reggie Bullock practiced on Wednesday. The 27-year-old sharpshooter and potential trade chip missed Tuesday’s game with a sprained ankle that has plagued him and and off throughout the season. His status is uncertain for Thursday.

Central Notes: Burks, Hood, Bullock, Cavs, LaVine

Guards Alec Burks and Rodney Hood are the players most likely to be moved by the Cavaliers before the trade deadline, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Burks was acquired from Utah last month because of his movable $11.5MM expiring contract. He can provide scoring off the bench, defense and ball-handling for a playoff contender. Hood is a skilled player on an expiring $3.4MM contract, though he can’t be traded without his approval since he’s playing on a qualifying offer. Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson and Jordan Clarkson are other Cleveland players who could be moved at the right price. GM Koby Altman is seeking draft picks, multi-year contracts of expensive players who could be traded in the future, and young players with potential, Vardon adds.

We have more from around the Central Division:

  • Pistons shooting guard Reggie Bullock and backup point guard Ish Smith are garnering trade interest, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press reports. Detroit would like to re-sign both players, who are on expiring contracts, Ellis continues. Bullock is making $2.5MM this season and Smith is pulling in $6MM. An offer of a first-round pick could entice Detroit to move Bullock, Ellis adds.
  • The steady diet of losses is weighing on the Cavaliers, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes. The injury-riddled Cavs went 1-5 on their just concluded road trip. The Cavaliers don’t want to think that the rest of the season will be a slog to the finish line. “I don’t accept that,” Clarkson said. “I’m trying to compete in games. It’s tough. But we don’t even have a team. You’re playing Channing (Frye) right now and he wasn’t even getting no minutes this year. All these guys dealing with injuries and stuff like that. Sometimes coming into the game a little overmatched. But I’m not set on this is how we are.”
  • Bulls guard Zach LaVine took a veiled shot at coach Jim Boylen after the team’s loss to Miami over the weekend, Michael Walton of NBC Sports Chicago reports. LaVine expressed his frustration that the team is playing worse despite getting some key pieces back in the lineup in recent weeks. “Something is obviously wrong,” he said. “We weren’t losing by double digits earlier in the season.” Many of the team’s issues can be attributed to Boylen’s unimaginative offensive scheme, Walton adds.