Robert Johnson

Bucks Waive James Young, Two Others

After releasing Travis Trice, Jordan Barnett, and Brandon McCoy earlier this week to make room on their roster for James Young, Ike Nwamu, and Robert Johnson, the Bucks have now waived Young, Nwamu, and Johnson as well, per NBA.com’s transactions log.

The back of Milwaukee’s roster has been undergoing significant turnover this month as the team secures certain players’ G League rights for the Wisconsin Herd. There’s a good chance that at least three or four players from that group – Young, Nwamu, Johnson, Trice, Barnett, and McCoy – end up with the Herd to start the 2018/19 season.

With three openings having been created on their 20-man offseason roster, the Bucks appear likely to finally complete a series of long-rumored signings. The team has reportedly agreed to terms with NBA free agents Shabazz Muhammad, Christian Wood, and Tim Frazier. Officially signing the trio would bring Milwaukee’s roster back up to 20 players for next week’s camp.

As for the three players just waived by the Bucks, Young is probably the best bet to get another shot from an NBA team. The 23-year-old has logged 95 career regular season games in four seasons for the Celtics and Sixers since being drafted 17th overall in 2014.

Bucks Cut Two Players, Sign James Young

The Bucks continue to tweak their offseason roster, officially waiving two players and signing two more today. Jordan Barnett and Brandon McCoy have been released by Milwaukee, with James Young and Robert Johnson taking their spots on the roster, per RealGM’s transactions log. Johnson’s deal was reported on Monday.

Like other teams around the NBA, the Bucks will be rotating players on and off their roster leading up to the start of the regular season as they secure players’ rights for their G League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd. Barnett and McCoy apparently won’t come to camp with the NBA squad, but they’re candidates to end up with Milwaukee’s NBAGL team once the season gets underway.

Of the four players involved in today’s transactions, Young is the most notable. The former first-round pick, selected 17th overall in 2014, has yet to make much of an impact at the NBA level, but has put up big numbers in the G League (19.8 PPG and 5.2 RPG in 70 games) and is still just 23 years old. He was in camp with the Bucks last fall, then spent part of the 2017/18 season on a two-way contract with the Sixers.

Today’s moves leave Milwaukee’s 20-man offseason roster full, but more transactions figure to come soon. The club has reached reported agreements with Shabazz Muhammad and Christian Wood, and ESPN’s Bobby Marks and RealGM’s Keith Smith (Twitter links) both indicate that veteran guard Tim Frazier is likely to join the roster at some point too. In order to accommodate those signings, the Bucks will need to open up three roster spots.

Rookie Guard Robert Johnson Joins Bucks In Camp

Former Indiana University guard Robert Johnson has agreed to a training camp deal with the Bucks, Nicola Lupo of Sportando tweets. The news was confirmed by Ben Stinar of Amico Hoops.

The undrafted Johnson played with the Hawks’ summer league team, appearing in seven games and averaging 7.1 PPG in 15.6 MPG. Johnson averaged 14.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG and 2.7 APG in his final season with the Hoosiers. Johnson made 38.9% of his 3-point tries during his college career.

While it’s highly unlikely the 6’3” Johnson will make the 15-man roster, it increases the chances that he’ll develop his game with Milwaukee’s G League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd.

The Bucks currently have a full 20-man roster and have reportedly reached agreements with Shabazz Muhammad and Christian Wood as well, so they’ll have to make a series of roster moves at some point to accommodate all their deals.

Draft Notes: Sixers, Z. Smith, Pacers, Suns, Wolves

The Sixerspreviously-reported workout with Villanova wing Mikal Bridges is taking place today, but Bridges isn’t the only prospect in town to get a look from the club. According to a press release, the 76ers also hosted a group workout today, with Marcus Derrickson (Georgetown), Marcus Foster (Creighton), Donte Ingram (Loyola Chicago), Nick King (Middle Tennessee State), MiKyle McIntosh), and Zhaire Smith (Texas Tech) taking part.

Speaking of Smith, his busy workout schedule will continue, with an audition for the Hornets still on tap, as Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia tweets. We previously heard that Smith also has a workout lined up with Phoenix.

Let’s round up a few more draft-related notes…

Draft Notes: Johnson, King, Thompson, Pasecniks

Junior guard Robert Johnson will withdraw from the draft and return to Indiana, according to Jon Rothstein of Fanrag Sports. Players who entered the draft but did not hire an agent have until May 24th to pull out and remain in school. Johnson averaged 12.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game with the Hoosiers this season. He was not listed among the top 100 prospects by DraftExpress and would have been a long shot to be taken this year.

There’s more draft news on lottery day:

  • Colorado’s George King will also return to school next season, Rothstein reports. He averaged 11.1 points and 6.8 rebounds as a junior. Stephen Thompson Jr. is heading back to Oregon State, Rothstein adds. The sophomore guard put up 16.3 points and 3.0 assists this season. Both were outside the DraftExpress top 100.
  • Anzejs Pasecniks could be the next young Latvian star in New York, writes Brian Lewis of the New York Post. The Nets reportedly have interest in the 21-year-old, who was considered to be a similar prospect to Kristaps Porzingis when they were growing up. At 7’2″, Pasecniks would fill a need at backup center for Brooklyn, which holds the 22nd and 27th picks in next month’s draft. “I don’t want to say he’s Porzingis, but he’s a reasonable facsimile,” said international draft expert Fran Fraschilla of ESPN. “I don’t want to give the impression he’s unathletic, because he’s not. He gives you length, he gives you shooting, he can protect the rim a little bit.”
  • The Bucks will work out six players today, according to a tweet from the team. Scheduled to participate are Kentucky’s Hamidou Diallo, Georgetown’s L.J. Peak, SMU’s Sterling Brown, Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes, Utah State’s Jalen Moore and Louisville’s Deng Adel.
  • North Carolina center Tony Bradley will participate in a workout with the Knicks on Wednesday, tweets Ian Begley of ESPN.com.
  • The Lakers have four players coming in for a workout on Thursday, tweets Baxter Holmes of ESPN.com. Participants will be Xavier’s Trevon Bluiett, UCLA’s Isaac Hamilton, Michigan’s Zak Irvin and Miami’s Davon Reed.
  • The Ringer has issued a draft guide ranking the top 60 players available. Markelle Fultz is the site’s top pick, followed by Josh Jackson, Lonzo Ball and Malik Monk as a surprise in the No. 4 slot. Seven guards are likely to be taken in the lottery, writes Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer in a separate piece.

Draft Notes: Blackmon, Ford, Fox, Colette

Indiana guard James Blackmon has decided to remain in the draft, Jon Rothstein of FanRagSports.com reports. Blackmon confirmed on his Twitter feed that he will sign with an agent. Blackmon, who averaged 17.3 PPG and shot 42.3% on 3-point attempts, is essentially betting on himself and could wind up overseas if not in the D-League. He is not ranked among the Top 100 by DraftExpress or ESPN Insider Chad Ford. Blackmon joins two other Hoosiers who have declared for the draft — forward OG Anunoby, a potential lottery pick, and center Thomas Bryant. Indiana junior guard Robert Johnson will decide this week whether to remain in the draft, Rothstein adds.

In other draft-related nuggets:

  • Washington guard Markelle Fultz remains atop Ford’s latest Big Board with UCLA’s Lonzo Ball holding the second spot. Gonzaga center Zach Collins moved from No. 11 to No. 9 and Duke guard Luke Kennard advanced from No. 17 to No. 15. Previously unranked Louisville guard Donovan Mitchell, who recently hired an agent, moved into the first round at No. 22.
  • Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox believes he’s the top defensive guard in the draft, as he told ESPN’s Chris B. Haynes in a Q&A session. “For me, it’s not about offensive scoring, I want to shut the other guy down,” Fox boasted to Haynes. Fox is considered a sure-fire Top 10 pick, ranked No. 5 by both DraftExpress and Ford.
  • A handful of NBA scouts and executives polled by Gery Woelfel of WoelfelsPressBox.com believe there are nine impact players in the draft. That front-office group named 21 potential lottery picks and generally view this draft as much deeper in quality than the 2016 version.
  • Utah forward David Collette is expected to return to school, Rothstein tweets. The junior forward averaged 13.6 PPG and 5.1 RPG last season. Collette, a Utah State transfer, did not make the Top 100 lists.

Draft Updates: Bryant, Humphries, Blakeney

Four members of the Indiana Hoosiers announced on Tuesday that they’ll be entering their names in the 2017 NBA draft, and at least one – OG Anunoby – will hire an agent, forgoing his remaining NCAA eligibility. Anunoby’s decision was previously reported, as was James Blackmon Jr.‘s decision to test the draft waters.

Of the two other Indiana prospects entering the draft, sophomore center Thomas Bryant is the more intriguing prospect. He ranks 43rd on Jonathan Givony’s big board at DraftExpress.com and 50th on Chad Ford’s list at ESPN.com, with Ford suggesting that Bryant would likely come off the board in the 25-50 range despite a somewhat disappointing sophomore season. The other Hoosier testing the draft waters is junior guard Robert Johnson, ranked 47th among NCAA juniors by DraftExpress.

Here are a few more of the latest early entrant decisions:

  • Kentucky sophomore center Isaac Humphries has decided to turn pro and will sign with an agent, the school announced today in a press release. Humphries is definitely no lock to be drafted, but Kentucky’s announcement notes that he may explore international opportunities, with Evan Daniels of Scout.com tweeting that Europe and Australia are possibilities for the young big man.
  • LSU sophomore Antonio Blakeney will enter the draft, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports relays (Twitter link). A source tells Rothstein that the shooting guard has not yet decided whether he will hire an agent.
  • USC junior guard Elijah Stewart will test the draft waters without hiring an agent, according to Jonathan Givony (Twitter link). DraftExpress ranks Stewart 16th among juniors, but he’s not currently on the site’s top-100 list.