Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk

Central Notes: Pistons, Pacers, Bulls, Knight

When they explored the market for Reggie Bullock prior to last week’s trade deadline, the Pistons had options beyond the Lakers’ offer of a second-round pick and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, writes Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. According to president of basketball operations Ed Stefanski, the Pistons could have instead had two second-round picks in exchange for Bullock, but liked Mykhailiuk enough to take him in place one of those picks.

“Instead of getting two seconds, we got Svi and a second,” Stefanski said. “We know he’s a prospect. We know he can flat-out shoot the basketball and we’re excited about seeing if we can develop him. The idea of putting a name to a player and getting a second-round pick was intriguing to us as opposed to bringing in two second-round picks.”

As Langlois relays, one of the Pistons’ goals has been to acquire controllable – and cheap – players on rookie contracts, since the team’s cap is otherwise loaded with pricey veteran deals. The club achieved that goal at the deadline by landing Mykhailiuk and Thon Maker, who is one more year left on his rookie contract after this season.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders shares some details on the cash changing hands in a pair of Central trades. According to Pincus (Twitter links), the Pacers sent $110K to the Rockets in the Nik Stauskas/Wade Baldwin trade, and the Bulls received $2,610,464 from the Thunder in their trade involving Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot. Chicago, which has now maxed out the cash it can receive in 2018/19 trades, will receive that money from OKC in three installments worth about $870K apiece on the first of March, April, and May, Pincus notes (via Twitter).
  • In a podcast discussion with ESPN’s Zach Lowe, Bobby Marks mentioned in passing that Khris Middleton‘s name is one the Pacers have “circled” as a potential offseason target (Twitter link via Eric Nehm of The Athletic). Re-signing Middleton will be a top priority for the Bucks, who will also see Eric Bledsoe, Malcolm Brogdon, Brook Lopez, and Nikola Mirotic reach free agency.
  • The Pacers‘ style of play and the promise of a starting job were key factors in luring Wesley Matthews to Indiana, as the veteran swingman confirms to J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star.
  • Brandon Knight has barely played over the last two seasons, and has seemingly become known more for his contract than his play on the court, after the Rockets dangled him in trade talks for much of the season. Now a member of the Cavaliers, Knight tells Ben Stinar of AmicoHoops that he remains confident he can recapture his previous form. “I had a full year off, but I’m still the same player,” said Knight, who averaged 19.6 PPG as recently as 2015/16.

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.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 11/28/18

Here are Wednesday’s G League assignments and recalls from across the NBA:

  • The Wizards have assigned forward Okaro White to the Capital City Go-Go, per an update from the team’s official Twitter account. This will be his first assignment this season, but he averaged 18.4 PPG and 8.7 RPG in 23 G League contests last season.
  • Both Moritz Wagner and Svi Mykhailiuk have been assigned to the Lakers’ G League affiliate, the South Bay Lakers, for tonight’s game against the Texas Legends (link). Mykhailiuk scored 21 points in his lone G League appearance this season, while Wagner has averaged 16.5 points and 4.0 rebounds in his two appearances with South Bay.

Lakers Notes: Ball, Kuzma, LeBron, Mykhailiuk

Lonzo Ball isn’t showing any effects of the knee injury that sidelined him for most of the summer, writes Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. Bell had surgery in July to fix a torn left meniscus, but he has been operating at full speed in training camp, impressing new teammate LeBron James.

“I didn’t know he was gonna be full go so fast,” James said. “He’s been going through live drills the last 2½ days. His bounce is there. His speed is there.”

Ball tried to address his knee problem with platelet-rich plasma injections early in the offseason before deciding surgery was necessary. His summer was filled with weight training and film sessions, and he wasn’t cleared for a full-contact practice until Thursday. Coach Luke Walton said he was “shocked” by Ball’s progress, but still plans to be careful with the second-year point guard.

“We’re gonna be patient,” Walton said. “No need to rush it right now. We’ll put minutes restrictions on him as he starts coming back in the preseason. And everything will be, ‘How do you feel?’ the next day, ‘How do you feel?’ that night. As long we keep checking those off and he’s fine, the minutes restrictions will go up and up until we decide to get rid of it altogether.”

There’s more news from L.A.:

  • Kyle Kuzma added weight over the summer and will be used at center occasionally in small-ball lineups, Youngmisuk adds in a separate story. Kuzma hasn’t played center since high school, but he’s confident he can make it work. “You got to be the anchor of the defense, that five position calls out pick-and-rolls, screens,” Kuzma said. “The five is usually around the rim so you see, you know, everything in that backcourt, everything. So watching film has really helped in that area of trying to be that type of anchor when I am playing the five.”
  • The plan to keep James on a limited schedule during the preseason may be a mistake, suggests Martin Rogers of USA Today. At 33, James may want to conserve his energy for the regular season, Rogers writes, but he also needs game conditions to create chemistry with his new teammates.
  • The Lakers feel like they might have gotten another “steal of the draft” in second-rounder Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, relays Mike Trudell of NBA.com. Those were the words used at media day by veteran teammate Alex Caruso, who said the Lakers may have found another gem, just as they did with Kuzma last year.

Pacific Rumors: Lakers, Mykhailiuk, Kings’ Hires, Teodosic

The Lakers can improve their 3-point shooting in a variety of ways during the upcoming season, as Mark Trudell of the Lakers’ website details. While the Lakers didn’t add quality shooters in free agency to compliment LeBron James, they have some other options who can help them greatly improve upon their second-to-last showing from long range, Trudell continues. Brandon IngramKentavious Caldwell-PopeJosh Hart and Kyle Kuzma shot 38.5% or better on threes after the All-Star break last season, Trudell notes. Rookies Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and Moe Wagner can help in that area, and the playmaking of  James and Rajon Rondo can also facilitate more open looks from deep, Trudell adds.

We have more from around the Pacific Division:

  • Mykhailiuk will play for the Ukranian national team in the FIBA World Cup qualifying tournament next month, according to the Ukranian Federation, Oleksandr Proshuta tweets. Mykhailiuk is paying for his own insurance in case he’s injured during the event, Proshuta adds.
  • The Kings announced a number of hires to the front office staff in a team press releaseTeena Murray has been named Senior Director of Athlete Health and Performance. Other hires to the training staff include Mike Roncarati as Head of Prevention and Reconditioning; Joe Resendez as Head Athletic Trainer; Jesse Green as Performance Analyst. Other additions and promotions include Elizabeth Ramsey as Director of Basketball Operations and Intelligence; Gene Cross as Director of Amateur Scouting; Chris Alpert and Acie Law as regional scouts; and Robbie Lemons as Scouting Coordinator.
  • A decision on whether Clippers guard Milos Teodosic and center Boban Marjanovic will play for Serbia’s national team during the FIBA World Cup qualifying tournament in September will be made this week, according to a Sportando report. Serbia plays Greece and Estonia in the event.

Pacific Notes: Mykhailiuk, Warriors, Gallinari, Kings

The Lakers were “terrified” that Kansas sharpshooter Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk would be gone before they could draft him in the second round, owner Jeanie Buss tells Mike Trudell of NBA.com. L.A. acquired the 39th pick from the Sixers, but opted for German guard Isaac Bonga at that spot. Mykhailiuk was still on the board when they picked again at No. 47.

“We felt like he was basically a first-round talent,” Buss said. “We were surprised he was there at 39, and much more surprised he was there at 47.”

Mykhailiuk showed why the Lakers value him so highly with his performance in the Las Vegas Summer League, averaging 16.6 PPG in seven games and earning second team all-league honors. The Lakers signed him to a three-year deal last month worth about $4.6MM.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Warriors have several options if they can’t reach a deal with restricted free agent Patrick McCaw, writes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. Golden State made a $1.74MM qualifying offer in June that now can’t be pulled without McCaw’s consent. If the second-year shooting guard finds a better deal elsewhere and the Warriors choose not to match, Poole outlines the team’s alternatives, which include re-signing veteran guard Nick Young. Other possibilities are Corey Brewer, Jamal Crawford, Josh Huestis or if he can get medical clearance, Chris Bosh.
  • Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari looked good in the NBA Africa Game, but he won’t be playing for Italy in a pair of upcoming FIBA qualifying contests, tweets Italian journalist Davide Chinellato. “After consulting with the Clippers, medical staff and my agent, the conclusion has been made that it is best to stay in the U.S. in preparation for the upcoming NBA season, rather than participate in these international games,” said Gallinari, who finished last season with a fractured right hand. “I am excited to take on a leadership role with this team and to have a strong start going into training camp.”
  • Harry Giles and Marvin Bagley III could give the Kings a pair of contenders for Rookie of the Year honors, notes Noel Harris of The Sacramento Bee. No Sacramento rookie has claimed the trophy since Tyreke Evans in 2010.

Contract Details: Jokic, Payton, Craig, Bradley

While Nikola Jokic‘s new five-year deal with the Nuggets was reported as a maximum-salary contract, that’s not technically accurate. According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe (via Twitter), the base value of Jokic’s new deal falls just short of the max, since it includes about $1MM per year in bonuses linked to team success.

As Lowe explains, about half of those annual bonuses can be earned if the Nuggets make the playoffs, while the other half can be earned if the club advances to the second round. Because Denver didn’t achieve either of those benchmarks in 2017/18, those bonuses are currently considered “unlikely” incentives and don’t count against the Nuggets’ cap.

In 2018/19, for instance, Jokic’s cap hit will be about $24.6MM rather than the maximum $25.5MM, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. However, if the Nuggets were to win a playoff series in 2019, Jokic would earn his first-year bonus and his second-year bonuses would subsequently be considered “likely,” causing his future cap hit to increase.

Here are several more specific details on newly-signed contracts from around the NBA, all via Pincus unless otherwise indicated:

  • Elfrid Payton, who was signed using most of the Pelicans‘ bi-annual exception, got a flat $3MM salary for 2018/19 (Twitter link).
  • As expected, the Nuggets used a portion of their mid-level exception to sign Torrey Craig to his new two-year deal. Craig will earn a flat $2MM salary in each season, for a $4MM total (Twitter link).
  • Avery Bradley has a fully guaranteed $12MM salary in the first season of his two-year contract with the Clippers, but only $2MM of his $12.96MM salary for 2019/20 is guaranteed (Twitter link). The Clips will have to make a decision on Bradley’s second-year guarantee by July 3, 2019.
  • The Knicks gave second-round pick Mitchell Robinson guaranteed salaries of $1.5MM and $1.6MM in his first two years, with non-guaranteed minimum salaries in years three and four (Twitter link). The four-year deal, which has a team option in year four, should be worth just shy of $6.6MM in total.
  • Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk‘s three-year contract with the Lakers has a guaranteed first-year salary of $1,487,694, followed by non-guaranteed minimum salaries for years two and three (Twitter link). The third year is a team option.

Lakers Rumors: LeBron, Lineup, Ball, Randle

While LeBron James is – of course – a lock to open the season in the Lakers‘ starting lineup, the team isn’t ready to pencil in the rest of its starting five quite yet, general manager Rob Pelinka said today. As Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com (Twitter link) relays, Pelinka told reporters that the other four spots in the Lakers’ lineup will be up for grabs. That includes the point guard position, where Rajon Rondo and Lonzo Ball are expected to engage in open competition.

Here are a few more Lakers-related notes and updates:

  • Lonzo Ball and his management group are evaluating options for his injured knee, according to Pelinka (Twitter link via Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum SportsNet). None of the options being considered would involve a long-term recovery though, so Pelinka expects the second-year point guard to be “100% available for training camp.”
  • Asked if the Lakers considered signing Julius Randle to a long-term deal this offseason, Pelinka pointed out that the team didn’t give multiple years to anyone except LeBron, tweets Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times. “We did identify going into this offseason to keep cap flexibility going into 2019,” Pelinka said.
  • ESPN’s Zach Lowe and Ohm Youngmisuk pass along some Lakers contract details, with Lowe tweeting that James’ new four-year contract includes a 15% trade kicker, while Youngmisuk writes that Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk‘s 2018/19 salary of $1.5MM is guaranteed, but his second and third years are non-guaranteed. It looks like L.A. gave Mykhailiuk a larger-than-usual first-year salary in exchange for allowing the team to maximize its 2019 flexibility.
  • Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com and Lee Jenkins of SI.com both published excellent, in-depth looks at LeBron’s free agent decision. Each piece is packed with interesting tidbits and is worth checking out in full.

Lakers Sign Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk To Three-Year Deal

1:18pm: The Lakers have officially signed Mykhailiuk, the team announced today in a press release.

12:27pm: The Lakers are in the process of finalizing a contract for second-round pick Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, reports Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). According to Charania, it’ll be a three-year deal worth approximately $4.6MM, and will include a team option.

Mykhailiuk, the 47th overall pick of this year’s draft, is coming off a successful senior year at Kansas in which he averaged 14.6 PPG, 3.9 RPG, and 2.7 APG while shooting 44.4% on three-pointers. The 21-year-old shooting guard has looked good in Las Vegas so far, averaging 16.0 PPG on 52.2% shooting in two Summer League contests.

If the terms Charania reported are accurate, it’s an impressive deal for Mykhailiuk. Fellow second-rounder Isaac Bonga only received about $4.1MM on his new three-year deal with the Lakers, and Bonga was selected eight spots earlier at No. 39 overall.

The Lakers still have cap room available, so they’ll use some of that space to finalize Mykhailiuk’s contract.

Draft Workouts: T. Young, Cavs, Blazers, Warriors

Potential top-10 pick Trae Young conducted a “secret” workout for the Cavaliers on Saturday, reports Jonathan Givony of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Givony, echoing what Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com wrote earlier today, suggests that Michael Porter Jr. may be Cleveland’s top target at No. 8.

However, if Porter is no longer available, the Cavaliers’ decision could come down to Young vs. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, according to Givony, who notes that he has the team taking Gilgeous-Alexander in his latest mock draft.

Here are a few more updates on pre-draft workouts from around the NBA: