Svi Mykhailiuk

Trade Breakdown: Josh Hart To The Knicks (Four-Team Deal)

This is the fifth entry in our series breaking down the significant trades of the 2022/23 season. As opposed to giving out grades, this series explores why the teams were motivated to make the moves. Let’s dive into a deal four-team deal involving the Knicks, Trail Blazers, Sixers and Hornets.

On February 9:

  • The Knicks acquired Josh Hart, the draft rights to Bojan Dubljevic, and the draft rights to Daniel Diez (all from Trail Blazers).
  • The Trail Blazers acquired Matisse Thybulle, Cam Reddish, Ryan Arcidiacono, the Knicks’ 2023 first-round pick (top-14 protected), and the draft rights to Ante Tomic (from Knicks).
  • The Sixers acquired Jalen McDaniels, the Knicks’ 2024 second-round pick (from Hornets), and the Trail Blazers’ 2029 second-round pick.
  • The Hornets acquired Svi Mykhailiuk, either the Hornets’, Hawks’, or Nets’ 2023 second-round pick (whichever is most favorable; from Sixers), and either the Pelicans’ or Trail Blazers’ 2027 second-round pick (whichever is most favorable; from Trail Blazers).
  • Note: The Hornets had traded away their 2023 second-round pick in a prior deal.

Note: The Blazers, Sixers and Hornets all generated traded player exceptions in this deal, which can be found here.

The Knicks’ perspective:

Any time you deal away a first-round pick, even if it’s lottery-protected, ideally you want to re-sign the player you’re acquiring, particularly a player who can become a free agent in the offseason like Hart. The Knicks almost certainly would not have made this deal for 25 games of Hart – you can bet that they intend to bring him back, and they have his Bird rights, meaning they won’t require cap room to sign him.

Hart has already said multiple times that he’s looking for a home, is tired of moving, and hopes to remain with New York. That would certainly suggest that there’s mutual interest in the veteran wing sticking with the Knicks, even if the they haven’t publicly said anything about it.

I liked Hart’s fit with the Knicks when the trade was announced, and he has played very well for New York — the team is undefeated in his eight games. He’s averaging 11.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.4 steals on .618/.600/.667 shooting in 27.0 MPG thus far.

Obviously, those shooting splits are unsustainable, but Hart has a lot of desirable qualities that mesh well with the players on the roster. One interesting wrinkle is that Hart has been closing games over RJ Barrett, which I think is smart from head coach Tom Thibodeau – Hart is a better defender and doesn’t need the ball on offense. We’ll see if it continues going forward.

Hart has always struck me as a player Thibodeau would love because he plays with maximum effort, chasing after loose balls all over the court. He is a hard-nosed, versatile defensive player. He also is a solid passer on offense, even if he’s fairly limited as a half-court scorer.

The 27-year-old (he turns 28 on Monday) compensates for his relative lack of half-court scoring by being an absolute bull in transition, often pulling down rebounds and going coast-to-coast. He is one of the best rebounders in the league for a wing, particularly for his size (6’5”, 215 pounds), averaging 7.7 boards per game over the past three seasons.

There are two primary knocks against Hart. One is his all-out playing style has led to a number of injuries. He has missed an average of about 19 games per season in his five years leading up to 2022/23, though he has only been sidelined for three this season, not counting the two games missed due to the trade.

The second is that teams are going to dare him to shoot threes, as he’s only at 34.7% for his career from downtown (the league average is 36.0% this season). He was weirdly reluctant to shoot threes with Portland, going through long stretches where he would pass up wide-open shots. That inhibits offensive spacing and can be problematic when paired with a non-shooting big.

Still, he is a valuable role player who does a solid job defending against tough competition, and his ability to make plays for himself and others — especially on fast breaks — is a nice addition to the Knicks. They’re 27th in pace, so he gives them some extra juice.

Reddish had not played in a game since December 3, and trading a protected first-rounder for him last year didn’t pan out. Arcidiacono and Mykhailiuk rarely saw the court, only playing a combined 66 minutes all season for New York. Trading away three players who weren’t contributing to the team’s on-court success for an impactful role player who almost immediately started closing games is a big deal, especially considering the Knicks have only made the playoffs once in the past nine years.

The Trail Blazers’ perspective:

Portland received a former first-round pick in Reddish and the Knicks’ lottery-protected first-rounder this season for a high-end role player in Hart. Arcidiacono was included for salary-matching purposes and is unlikely to have a role, but he’s not a bad fallback option as a third-string point guard – he takes care of the ball and is a decent shooter.

The Blazers also snagged Thybulle for a second-round pick (to Philly) and sent Charlotte another second-rounder to take a player they didn’t want (Mykhailiuk).

The primary reason the Blazers made this trade is that Hart has an odd contract and is expected to opt out of his player option in search of a long-term raise in free agency. Paying both Hart and Jerami Grant (UFA) would have pushed them into the luxury tax without other cost-cutting moves.

For as solid as Hart is, it’s not like Portland was going anywhere this season whether he was in the lineup or not. It’s a shame, because Damian Lillard has been phenomenal (he’s averaging a career-high 32.3 points with a 65.3 true shooting percentage — he’s at peak Stephen Curry levels of volume and efficiency), but the roster just isn’t good enough to do much beyond fighting for the back end of the play-in tournament.

As previously mentioned, Hart was oddly reluctant to shoot threes this season with the Blazers and I’m not really sure why. However, he will be missed for everything else he provides — most of their problems stem from rebounding and defense anyway, and he was one of their best players in both of those categories.

I like the Thybulle pickup and he looks like a good fit on the roster. He isn’t going to keep shooting 51.6% from beyond the arc like he has through seven games as a Blazer, but he was pigeonholed into a very narrow role with the Sixers and I believe he can provide more all-around value than he showed with them.

Thybulle is an absolute menace on defense and he knows that’s what he’s best at. A part-time wing player earning All-Defensive nods two seasons in a row is practically unheard of, but those awards were well deserved. The Blazers need all the help they can get on that end.

Reddish has now been dealt twice in a little over a year, with his value diminishing pretty drastically – the Knicks gave up a protected first-rounder to acquire him last year, but now moved him and a lottery-protected first to land Hart. The 23-year-old, who was the No. 10 overall pick in 2019, has yet to solidify himself as a solid NBA player.

Like Thybulle, Reddish has played well for Portland so far, averaging 14.1 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals on .470/.373/.941 shooting in eight games (27.7 minutes). Those numbers far exceed his career averages, which are pretty underwhelming (10.4 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.0 steal on .398/.327/.849 shooting in 161 games (24.7 minutes).

Both Thybulle and Reddish can be restricted free agents in the summer if the Blazers extend each of them a qualifying offer – I don’t think that’s a lock for either player, particularly Reddish.

The first-rounder Portland acquired from New York would currently land at No. 23 overall, which is decent. Definitely nothing to scoff at for a player on a pseudo-expiring contract whom the Blazers couldn’t reasonably afford to retain given the overall state of the team. If the Knicks go in a major slump to end the season and miss the playoffs — which seems extremely unlikely considering how hot they’ve been lately — the Blazers would instead receive four second-round picks.

Another aspect of this deal from Portland’s side is that it probably made them worse in the short term, which increases the odds of missing the playoffs and keeping their own lottery pick. The Blazers owe their pick to the Bulls if they make the postseason – if it doesn’t convey this year, the protections roll over to 2024 (it’s lottery-protected for several years, which makes it difficult for the team to trade future picks due to the Stepien rule).

The Hornets’ perspective:

Charlotte’s side of things is pretty straightforward. The Hornets were concerned about how much McDaniels would cost in unrestricted free agency and decided to move him and get something of value while they could.

I don’t think they necessarily wanted to trade McDaniels, especially after spending four years working with him on developing his game and seeing it start to pay off. Forwards who are 6’9″ with a bit of two-way versatility aren’t exactly common.

The problem is that Gordon Hayward is under contract through next season, the Miles Bridges situation still isn’t resolved, P.J. Washington will be a restricted free agent this summer, and Kelly Oubre is unrestricted. McDaniels is arguably the worst player of the group, making him relatively expendable.

The Hornets are almost certainly getting back their own 2023 second-rounder in the deal, which Philadelphia previously controlled and would currently land at No. 34 overall. Charlotte sent New York’s 2024 second-rounder to the Sixers as part of the multi-team agreement, which was slightly surprising, but if the Knicks are good again next year, that pick would land in the back half of the second round.

That No. 34 overall selection has real value and could be packaged with other seconds to move into the late first round this June. It could also be paired with Denver’s first-rounder (currently No. 28), which the Hornets control, to move up a little. Either way, it gives them more options in the upcoming draft and for trades.

The Hornets also picked up a 2027 second-rounder from Portland to take on Mykhailiuk’s salary. It’s reasonable to view that as a higher upside pick than the Knicks’ second-rounder they shipped to Philly. President of basketball operations Mitch Kupchak selected Mykhailiuk No. 47 overall back in 2016 when he was with the Lakers, so there is a connection there, but it seems unlikely that the veteran wing will have much of a role going forward.

The Sixers’ perspective:

The key takeaway from the Sixers’ side of things is they moved out of the luxury tax and arguably upgraded on the wing at the same time. I’m not sure I would take McDaniels over Thybulle in a vacuum, but it’s at worst debatable and he certainly provides length and positional size, which the team lacked.

Thybulle is a terrific defensive player, but he wasn’t consistently in the rotation this season due to his offensive limitations. He seemed to fall out of favor with the team after last year’s poor playoff showing, and the Sixers decided to trade him instead of letting him reach free agency.

McDaniels was averaging career highs in all the major counting stats for Charlotte, including points (10.6), rebounds (4.8), assists (2.0), steals (1.2) and minutes (26.7) per game. The 25-year old also hasn’t missed a game this season, which is impressive (he technically did miss one game due to the trade, but that was out of his control).

McDaniels doesn’t stand out in any one particular area, which is sort of a double-edged sword. It means he’s versatile enough to do a lot of different things on the court, but none at an elite level.

The big question mark with McDaniels is essentially the same as it was with Thybulle: can he make enough threes to stay on the court against top teams? With a roster loaded with talented scorers, other types of shots are hard to come by for role players like McDaniels. He is only at 34.1% for his career from deep, including 32.1% this season.

The Sixers picked up his Bird rights as part of the trade, giving them the ability to offer McDaniels more money and years than rival teams. For what they gave up, they likely aren’t committed to re-signing him though, nor should they be. They have the rest of the season to evaluate him and see how he does in the playoffs.

The 25-year-old’s minutes have been cut back pretty significantly since the trade, and his role is more in line with what it would be on a good team (which Philadelphia is). He was getting more run with the Hornets out of necessity due to injuries.

As previously mentioned, the Sixers basically swapped second-round picks with Charlotte, though the one they got back has far less upside. They also received Portland’s 2029 second-rounder for Thybulle — not much of a return, but he was only averaging 12.1 minutes per game with Philly this season and is on an expiring contract.

Southeast Notes: Bey, R. Jackson, Mykhailiuk, Bamba

The Hawks believe they improved their rotation at the deadline, assuming one of their deals goes through, writes Lauren Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The team is still waiting to find out if it will add Saddiq Bey, who was acquired from the Pistons in a four-team trade that’s still pending after Gary Payton II failed his physical with the Warriors. Golden State has until Sunday night to make a final decision.

Atlanta, which also added Bruno Fernando and Garrison Mathews in a separate trade with Houston, believes Bey can be part of its long-term future. The 23-year-old can play either forward spot and would add another dimension to the offense with his outside shooting.

“He was a starter for Detroit a couple years ago and this season, and some of last season he started to come off the bench,” Atlanta coach Nate McMillan said. “But he’s a guy who can put the ball in the basket, who can help spread the floor for you.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Reggie Jackson and the Hornets have reached an agreement that he doesn’t have to report to the team, tweets Rod Boone of The Charlotte Observer. Boone adds that buyout talks are ongoing with Jackson, who was acquired from the Clippers on Thursday. The Suns and Nuggets are believed to be among the teams with the greatest interest in Jackson once he hits the open market.
  • Svi Mykhailiuk, whom the Hornets landed from the Knicks in a four-team trade, told reporters before Saturday’s game that he originally believed he was heading to the Trail Blazers in the deal, Boone relays (via Twitter). Mykhailiuk’s agent informed him about an hour before the deadline that he was going to Charlotte.
  • The Magic have more roster and salary cap flexibility after sending center Mohamed Bamba to the Lakers on Thursday, notes Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. Orlando selected Bamba with the sixth pick in the 2018 draft, but he fell out of the rotation and didn’t appear to have a future with the team. Bamba began the season as the primary backup to Wendell Carter Jr., but Moritz Wagner has taken over that role. The Magic wanted to ship Bamba to a team where he’s likely to play more often and were happy to get a future second-round pick in return, according to Price, who hears from league sources that the Clippers, Raptors and Celtics also expressed interest.

Knicks, Blazers, Sixers, Hornets Officially Complete Four-Team Trade

The Knicks, Trail Blazers, Sixers, and Hornets have folded two separate trade agreements into a single four-team trade, with press releases from New York and Portland confirming that the deal is official.

The trade combines the Knicks’ acquisition of Josh Hart from Portland with the three-team trade agreement that sends Matisse Thybulle to the Blazers and Jalen McDaniels to the 76ers. Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice first reported (via Twitter) that the two deals would be combined into one.

Here are the full terms of the trade:

  • Knicks acquire Josh Hart, the draft rights to Bojan Dubljevic (from Trail Blazers), and the draft rights to Daniel Diez (from Trail Blazers).
  • Trail Blazers acquire Matisse Thybulle, Cam Reddish, Ryan Arcidiacono, the Knicks’ 2023 first-round pick (top-14 protected), and the draft rights to Ante Tomic (from Knicks).
  • Sixers acquire Jalen McDaniels, the Knicks’ 2024 second-round pick (from Hornets), and the Trail Blazers’ 2029 second-round pick.
  • Hornets acquire Svi Mykhailiuk, either the Hornets’, Hawks’, or Nets’ 2023 second-round pick (whichever is most favorable; from Sixers), and either the Pelicans’ or Trail Blazers’ 2027 second-round pick (whichever is most favorable; from Trail Blazers).

The deal expanded slightly to include the draft rights of three draft-and-stash players, but otherwise looks the same as what was previously reported.

As expected, Portland waived Greg Brown to help open up the necessary roster spots for their incoming players.

For more details on the deal, check out our full stories on the Knicks/Blazers half of the trade, as well as the Blazers/Sixers/Hornets portion.

Matisse Thybulle To Blazers, Jalen McDaniels To Sixers In Three-Team Trade

The Trail Blazers are in the process of finalizing a trade for Sixers defensive ace Matisse Thybulle, reports Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report (Twitter link).

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter links), it’ll be a three-team deal that also includes the Hornets, with forward Jalen McDaniels headed to Philadelphia and Charlotte acquiring multiple second-round picks. Veteran wing Svi Mykhailiuk, whom the Blazers agreed to acquire in the Josh Hart trade with New York, will be flipped to the Hornets in this deal, Woj adds (Twitter links).

Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter links) provides the full breakdown of the agreement:

  • Sixers to acquire McDaniels, the Knicks’ 2024 second-round pick (from Charlotte), and the Trail Blazers’ 2029 second-round pick.
  • Blazers to acquire Thybulle.
  • Hornets to acquire the most favorable of the Hornets’, Hawks’, and Nets’ 2023 second-round picks (from Philadelphia), the most favorable of the Pelicans’ and Blazers’ 2027 second-round picks (from Portland), and Mykhailiuk (from Portland).

In addition to adding a couple of second-round picks and a versatile forward in McDaniels, the Sixers will also dip under the luxury tax line with this move — they were previously $1.1MM over, but by swapping Thybulle ($4.38MM) for McDaniels ($1.93MM), they’ll now be about $1.35MM under.

McDaniels, 25, is having the most productive season of his four-year career. Through 56 games with Charlotte (21 starts, 26.7 MPG), he held averages of 10.6 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 2.0 APG and 1.2 SPG on .447/.332/.846 shooting. The former 52nd overall pick will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer, but the Sixers will hold his Bird rights if they want to re-sign him.

Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports reported last month that the Blazers were targeting players athletic players with size and 3-and-D wings. While Thybulle isn’t a great shooter, he is a terrific athlete and was named to the All-Defensive Second Team in two of his first three seasons, so he fulfills some of what they were looking for.

Like Cam Reddish, whom the Blazers acquired in the Josh Hart deal, Thybulle will be a restricted free agent in the summer if Portland extends him a qualifying offer. The defensive stalwart was the 20th overall pick back in 2019.

Evidently the Hornets decided they didn’t want to pay McDaniels in the offseason and instead chose to add a couple of second-round picks. While they did give up one (New York’s 2024 pick), they also received two in return, with their own pick almost certain to come back to them (the Sixers controlled it from a previous trade). That pick will land in the early 30s, so it has solid value.

Mykhaliuk was also sent to Portland in the Hart deal and will now be rerouted to Charlotte. He has hardly played this season, but the Hornets will get a cheap flyer on him if they want to keep him around — he was drafted by GM Mitch Kupchak back in 2016 when the two were with the Lakers.

Rory Maher contributed to this post.

Trail Blazers To Trade Josh Hart To Knicks

The Knicks have reached an agreement to acquire Josh Hart from the Trail Blazers, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Portland will receive Cam Reddish and a first-round pick as part of the return.

Hart has an expiring $12.96MM contract, while Reddish is earning $5.95MM in the final year of his rookie deal, so at least one more player has to be included to match salaries.

Sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype that Svi Mykhailiuk ($1.97MM) and Ryan Arcidiacono ($2.13MM) are also headed to the Blazers (Twitter link), which will satisfy the NBA’s matching rules.

The pick that New York is giving up is lottery protected for 2023, per Wojnarowski (Twitter link). If it doesn’t convey this year, it will turn into four future second-round picks. That’s presumably the Knicks’ own first-round pick, since the protection terms don’t match up with the other first-rounders they control.

New York appeared to be a late entry into the bidding for Hart, with the first rumors of a deal appearing earlier today. His toughness and tenacity on defense seem to make him a natural fit for coach Tom Thibodeau. The Cavaliers and Heat were among the other teams reported to have interest in trading for Hart.

The 27-year-old wing is expected to decline his $12.96MM option this summer and seek a long-term deal in free agency. He has been part of the starting lineup in Portland since the Blazers acquired him at last year’s trade deadline, and he’s averaging 9.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 51 games this season.

The Knicks gave up a protected first-round pick last February to acquire Reddish, but he has fallen out of favor and hasn’t played since December 3. The 10th selection in the 2019 draft has washed out in Atlanta and New York, but he will have two months to audition for the Blazers, who can make him a restricted free agent with a $7.7MM qualifying offer.

Mykhailiuk, who signed a non-guaranteed deal with New York shortly before the start of training camp, has seen minimal playing time in 13 games.

Arcidiacono has played even less than his teammate, appearing in just 11 games and logging 26 total minutes in 2022/23. Due to the terms of his contract, he had the ability to veto any trade that involves him, but he has signed off on this one, tweets Ian Begley of

The Trail Blazers will gain some cap relief as a result of the deal and will move well clear of the luxury tax line after flirting with it for much of the season. Assuming no players are added to the deal and it remains a three-for-one swap, Portland will have to cut a player from its 15-man roster to make room for the newcomers.

Knicks To Guarantee Salaries For Arcidiacono, Mykhailiuk

The Knicks will keep guards Ryan Arcidiacono and Svi Mykhailiuk on their roster through the NBA’s league-wide salary guarantee deadline, locking in their full cap hits for 2022/23, reports Steve Popper of Newsday (Twitter link).

This season’s salary guarantee date is January 10. A team wanting to avoid guaranteeing the salary for a player on a non-guaranteed contract must cut the player today so that he clears waivers before that deadline.

Arcidiacono, 28, has played a very limited role in just 10 games for the Knicks this season, logging only 25 total minutes. However, the sixth-year point guard is considered a Tom Thibodeau favorite — Arcidiacono also signed a pair of 10-day contracts and a rest-of-season deal with the Knicks last season despite not being part of the rotation.

Mykhailiuk has only played marginally more than Arcidiacono so far in 2022/23, logging 39 minutes across 12 games. The 25-year-old wing has made 6-of-10 three-pointers in his limited run, increasing his career rate from beyond the arc to 35.6%.

Both Arcidiacono and Mykhailiuk are on minimum-salary contracts and will count against the Knicks’ cap for $1,836,090 this season.

Although their salaries are now guaranteed for the rest of 2022/23, that doesn’t necessarily mean Arcidiacono and Mykhailiuk will finish the season with New York — they could be included in trades or could be cut if the club needs to open up a roster spot. The Knicks aren’t in any immediate danger of surpassing the luxury tax threshold and could afford to eat their modest full-season cap hits down the road if necessary.

Knicks Sign Svi Mykhailiuk To One-Year Deal

8:43pm: The Knicks have officially signed Mykhailiuk, the team announced on social media. He received a one-year, minimum deal with only $50K guaranteed, Fred Katz of The Athletic tweets.

12:59pm: Free agent swingman Svi Mykhailiuk is signing a one-year, partially guaranteed contract with the Knicks, Mykhailiuk’s agency SIG Sports informed Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

After being waived by the Raptors last month despite having a guaranteed salary for 2022/23, the Ukraine-born Mykhailiuk had indicated that he hoped to return to the NBA rather than pursuing a deal with a European club. That apparently included considering signing a G League contract if necessary.

Last season, the 6’7″ small forward averaged 4.6 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 0.8 APG, and 0.5 SPG across 56 games for Toronto. He posted shooting splits of .389/.306/.865. For his career, Mykhailiuk is a solid three-point shooter on volume, averaging 35.3% on 3.7 attempts.

The 25-year-old journeyman was first selected by the Lakers with the No. 47 pick after a four-year Kansas tenure in 2018. Prior to the Raptors last season, he has suited up for Los Angeles, the Pistons, and the Thunder.

New York has 13 players signed to its standard 15-man roster. Beyond Mykhailiuk’s non-guaranteed deal, the team also has DaQuan Jeffries and Ryan Arcidiacono signed to Exhibit 10 contracts, plus Feron Hunt and Trevor Keels on two-way contracts. The team also reportedly intends to sign two additional players, Jean Montero and Garrison Brooks, to Exhibit 10 deals.

Svi Mykhailiuk Reportedly Prioritizing NBA Return

Free agent wing Svi Mykhailiuk, whose guaranteed minimum-salary contract was waived by Toronto a couple of weeks ago, is prioritizing an NBA return over European opportunities, according to Christos Tsaltas of Greek outlet SDNA (translation via Google Translate).

The No. 47 overall pick of the 2018 draft, Mykhailiuk has bounced around a bit during his four-year NBA tenure, having played for the Lakers, Pistons, Thunder and Raptors. He had a down season in 2021/22 and didn’t receive much playing time for the Raptors, which is why they waived him, but he’s got good size at 6’7″ and 205 pounds, is only 25 years old, and is a career 35.3% three-point shooter — a decent mark.

Mykhailiuk just finished suiting up for Ukraine’s national team at EuroBasket, averaging 17.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.2 steals on .400/.341/.842 shooting in six games (29.2 minutes). Ukraine was eliminated by Poland in the round of 16, with Mykhailiuk saying afterward that he hoped the team gave the war-torn nation a welcome distraction despite the loss.

According to Tsaltas, Mykhailiuk’s top priority as a free agent is finding another NBA team. Mykhailiuk has spent many years stateside, having played four years of college at Kansas prior to his NBA career. If he’s unable to find a roster spot, Mykhailiuk hasn’t ruled out a G League stint with the goal of returning to the NBA, Tsaltas writes. Mykhailiuk scored 40 points on .478/.438/1.000 shooting in his lone G League game last season with the Raptors 905.

Mykhailiuk is drawing interest from European clubs, but is focused on the NBA and isn’t expected to consider a return to Europe until he exhausts all NBA possibilities, Tsaltas adds. In 220 career games (40 starts, 17.0 minutes), Mykhailiuk holds averages of 6.6 points and 1.8 rebounds on .398/.353/.785 shooting.

EuroBasket Notes: L. Brown, Antetokounmpo, Doncic, Ukraine

Former NBA point guard Lorenzo Brown is part of a controversy at the EuroBasket tournament, according to Eurohoops. Brown scored 28 points and handed out eight assists Saturday, leading Spain to an overtime win over Lithuania in an elimination game. At the post-game press conference, Lithuania’s Mindaugas Kuzminskas suggested the outcome would have been different if not for Brown, who was born in the United States but recently became a Spanish citizen.

“I am not sure how this team would look without Lorenzo Brown because you signed him only this summer,” Kuzminskas said to a Spanish reporter. “But it is how it is.”

Brown, 32, was a second-round pick in the 2013 draft and played for four teams in a five-year NBA career that ended after the 2018/19 season. He has been with several overseas teams since then and recently signed with Maccabi Tel Aviv.

“Even if I haven’t been here long, I feel like these guys … they have known each other so long and they brought me in as one of them,” Brown said in response to Kuzminskas’ comments. “So it’s just an amazing feeling to have that brotherhood, “la familia” as they call it. It’s really a family. I am coming in here and I am a regular American guy and those guys are talking in Spanish. And I am learning every single day, so it’s amazing what I have learned and how they treated me so far. The outside noise doesn’t bother me at all. I am just worried about what these guys feel about me. And it’s amazing. They love me and I love these guys.”

There’s more from EuroBasket:

  • Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo was able to take part in practice without any pain and is expected to play in today’s game against the Czech Republic, according to John Rammas of Eurohoops. Antetokounmpo suffered a mild ankle sprain in Thursday’s contest.
  • Although more than 30 NBA players are involved in this year’s tournament, Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic clearly stand above the rest, Slovenian forward Edo Muric told Rammas in a separate story. “They are both great players, they are next level. So if they want, they can score 50. In (Doncic’s 47-point) game against France, we played without our starting center, so Luka had to step up. That proves he is a very big player, beating France almost by himself, and Giannis is right there, too.”
  • Ukraine’s EuroBasket run ended today with a loss to Poland, but the team served as a source of pride for the war-torn nation, per The Associated Press. Players weren’t able to train in their own country in the wake of the Russian invasion, so they practiced wherever they could. “I hope it inspires and helps them a lot, just to get their thoughts off the war a little bit and just watch us play,” Svi Mykhailiuk said. “Obviously, today was not a great example of us playing, but this whole time, we did our best. I hope they enjoyed it. Obviously, it’s tough for everybody because all the guys’ families are still there and it’s tough having to be here. But I appreciate everyone being here. I appreciate everyone fighting.”

Raptors Waive Svi Mykhailiuk

1:00pm: The Raptors have officially waived Mykhailiuk, per’s transactions log.

11:06am: The Raptors are waiving Svi Mykhailiuk, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link), who says the veteran shooting guard will seek a “fresh start” with a new club.

Currently suiting up for Ukraine’s national team, Mykhailiuk spent the 2021/22 season with the Raptors after signing a two-year, minimum-salary deal with the team last almost exactly one year ago.

The 25-year-old, who previously spent time with the Lakers, Pistons, and Thunder, played a modest role in Toronto, averaging 4.6 PPG and 1.6 RPG on .389/.306/.865 shooting in 56 regular season appearances (12.8 MPG).

Following his down year, Mykhailiuk exercised his player option for 2022/23, but his spot on the Raptors’ roster for the coming season always appeared tenuous. Toronto has a number of viable candidates for back-end spots on its 15-man regular season squad and has enough breathing room below the luxury tax line to eat Mykhailiuk’s $1,878,720 guaranteed salary and carry another player without becoming a taxpayer.

Once Mykhailiuk is officially waived, the Raptors will have 13 players on guaranteed contracts, with Dalano Banton, D.J. Wilson, and Justin Champagnie also vying for roster spots on partially guaranteed deals.

Additionally, Toronto still has two-way qualifying offers out to David Johnson and Jalen Harris, despite having filled its two-way slots with Jeff Dowtin and Ron Harper Jr. — it remains possible that Johnson and/or Harris will factor into the 15-man roster competition. Gabe Brown is also in the picture, but he’s on an Exhibit 10 contract and would probably need to have a huge preseason to earn real consideration for a regular season roster spot.

If the Raptors officially cut Mykhailiuk this afternoon, he’ll clear waivers and become an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday, assuming he goes unclaimed.