Xavier Munford

Bucks Rumors: Brogdon, Lopez, Hill, Mirotic

After entering the exclusive 50/40/90 shooting club in 2018/19, Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon will be a sought-after target this offseason. Sources tell Gery Woelfel of WoelfelsPressBox.com that the Sixers and Pacers are among the teams considering making a play for the restricted free agent.

Four NBA sources who spoke to Woelfel predicted that Brogdon would receive an offer in the range of $16-21MM per year. And while most of those sources have heard that the Bucks plan to match any offer on Brogdon, they’re not all entirely convinced that will happen.

“They can say that now, but I’m sure the Bucks, just like any team, have a cutoff point where they won’t go over to keep him,” an Eastern Conference executive said to Woelfel. “I still think he (Brogdon) is the odd guy out in Milwaukee.”

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe expressed a similar sentiment during the network’s free agency special on Tuesday night. As relayed by Sagar Trika (via Twitter), the two ESPN insiders discussed whether Milwaukee would be able to retain all three of Brogdon, Khris Middleton, and Brook Lopez, and agreed that Brogdon might be the trickiest to bring back.

Here’s more on the Bucks:

  • The Bucks and Brook Lopez are both motivated to get a deal done, a source tell Chris Mannix of SI.com. Woelfel’s sources believe Lopez will get an annual salary in the range of $10-13MM in free agency, and view Los Angeles as a potential fit for the big man if he doesn’t stick with the Bucks. “I’ve been hearing a quite a bit about the Lakers and Lopez,” one executive told Woelfel.
  • Executives who spoke to Woelfel view George Hill as a candidate to receive an offer in the neighborhood of $7-10MM if and when he’s released by the Bucks. That would make him a target for teams with the full mid-level exception available.
  • One NBA executive predicted a salary in the $13-15MM range for Nikola Mirotic, while another league official split the difference and projected $14MM, Woelfel writes. Mirotic is considered more likely to leave the Bucks than to re-sign, given the club’s cap limitations.
  • Veteran guard Xavier Munford, who has previously appeared in NBA games for Memphis and Milwaukee, will suit up for the Bucks’ Summer League squad in July, tweets Malika Andrews of ESPN.com.

Northwest Notes: Jazz, Wolves, Forcier, Vanterpool, Thunder

With Ricky Rubio set to become an unrestricted free agent on June 30, the Jazz could be in the market for a new starting point guard moving forward, Kincade Upstill of the Deseret News writes.

Rubio made a rather interesting comment this weekend, sharing that Utah won’t be aggressively trying to re-sign him when he reaches the open market. “Utah has already let me know I’m not a priority for them,” he said, according to Ernest Macia of Catalunya Radio.

The Jazz could pursue other available point guards in free agency such as Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, Malcolm Brogdon, D’Angelo Russell or Derrick Rose if the franchise mutually agrees to part ways with Rubio, who has served as the team’s starting point guard over the last two seasons. However, Jazz vice president of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey went on the record to state that Ricky could still re-sign on a new contract.

“He’s got a decision to make on his end and we’ve got a decision to make on our end, but there’s a lot of scenarios I can see Ricky back. … We really appreciate who he is and we think we can get him better from a health perspective and skill standpoint,” Lindsey said, according to Upstill. “We know who he is — he has Jazz DNA. So he’ll have options, we’ll have options and we’ll talk to him and his agent.”

Rubio’s name surfaced in rumors around this season’s February 7 trade deadline, likely causing some trust issues between him and the organization. He holds career-averages of 11.1 points, 7.7 assists and 30.9 minutes across his eight NBA seasons.

There’s more out of the Northwest Division tonight:

Northwest Notes: Jokic, MPJ, Exum, Wolves

Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, who earned All-NBA First Team honors this season, expects to play for Serbia this summer in the 2019 FIBA World Cup and is confident the club can win a medal, as he tells Serbian outlet Tanjug (translation via Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). Jokic wasn’t on Serbia’s roster for the 2014 World Cup, but he did join the squad for the 2016 Olympics. In both instances, Serbia lost the championship game to Team USA and took home silver medals.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • The Nuggets are attempting to balance optimism and caution when it comes to 2018 first-rounder Michael Porter Jr., who is expected to make his professional debut in Summer League play this July, writes Alex Labidou of Nuggets.com.
  • Injured Jazz point guard Dante Exum is trying to focus on the positives as he goes through another rehab process, per Aaron Falk of UtahJazz.com. “It’s frustrating to go into an offseason injured,” said Exum, who underwent knee surgery in March. “But I’ve thrown a lot of my energy and time into planning what my offseason will look like so I can be the best player I can be coming out of it.”
  • After participating in Houston’s free agent minicamp this week, veteran guard Xavier Munford will attend a similar camp hosted by the Timberwolves during the first week of June, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. Munford last played in the NBA in 2017/18, when he appeared in six games for Milwaukee.
  • Sid Hartman of Star Tribune examines the Timberwolves‘ decision to retain head coach Ryan Saunders, including how big a factor Glen Taylor‘s support of Saunders was.

Southwest Notes: Rockets, Pelicans, Grizzlies

As the Rockets prepare for a pivotal offseason, the team will have to make sure all of its most prominent figures are on the same page. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, there was “something of a clash of styles” brewing during the season in Houston, as some members of the team – including Chris Paul – pushed Mike D’Antoni to include more movement in his offense.

D’Antoni and the Rockets, of course, relied heavily on James Harden‘s isolation-centric style, and those iso possessions became less efficient in the postseason.

There were some “tense moments” between Harden and Paul throughout Game 6, according to Charania, who hears from sources that the two Rockets guards had a verbal back-and-forth about ball distribution in the locker room after the game.

Charania cautions that occasional heated moments like that aren’t uncommon around the NBA, and emotions run particularly high after season-ending losses. Still, it will be interesting to see if an apparent difference in philosophies will result in any tweaks to the Rockets’ offense next season.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • The Rockets hosted a free agent minicamp this week, and veteran guard Xavier Munford was among the participants, tweets Michael Scotto of The Athletic. Former Spurs guard Brandon Paul also attended that minicamp, per Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype (Twitter link).
  • With Pelicans head of basketball operations talking about the possibility of retaining Anthony Davis, Will Guillory of The Athletic makes the case for Davis staying in New Orleans, even as he acknowledges that a trade is still the most likely outcome.
  • Bobby Marks of ESPN.com takes an in-depth look at the Grizzlies‘ upcoming offseason, exploring the team’s plans for Mike Conley and Chandler Parsons, along with key dates and deadlines worth monitoring.

And-Ones: Team USA, Walton, J. Crawford, Draft

USA Basketball has announced its 13-man roster for the upcoming 2019 World Cup qualifiers, with the squad once again made up of NBA G League players. Of the 13 players on the roster, Reggie Hearn, Xavier Munford, Cameron Reynolds, and Travis Trice have suited up for previous World Cup qualifiers.

They’ll be joined by nine newcomers, including players with a little NBA experience like Chinanu Onuaku and Emanuel Terry.

Josh Adams, Kyle Casey, Chris Chiozza, Charles Cooke, Michael Frazier II, D.J. Hogg, and Tanner McGrew round out the roster.

Team USA, having gone 8-2 in previous qualifiers, has already earned its spot in the 2019 World Cup, so there won’t be as much pressure on this group for the games taking place in Greensboro, North Carolina on February 22 (vs. Panama) and February 25 (vs. Argentina).

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former Michigan and Heat point guard Derrick Walton, who recently left his team in Lithuania, has signed with ALBA Berlin in Germany, according to the club (Twitter link; hat tip to Sportando). Walton was on a two-way contract with Miami last season and was in training camp with the Bulls in the fall before heading overseas.
  • Veteran NBA guard Jordan Crawford saw his one-month contract with Israeli club Ironi Nahariya expire and is once again a free agent, as Nicola Lupo of Sportando relays.
  • ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Insider link) has released an updated 2019 mock draft at ESPN.com, with Murray State’s Ja Morant moving up to No. 3 to break up a run of Duke prospects at the top of the draft.
  • In an entertaining piece for SI.com, Jake Fischer spoke to a number of role players who have been traded along with stars to find out what it’s like to be an afterthought at an introductory press conference.

And-Ones: Munford, Stokes, Davis, Perkins, Brown

Former NBA guard Xavier Munford has left the Chinese Basketball Association to join the Wisconsin Herd, G League affiliate of the Bucks, the team announced this week.

Munford appeared in 34 games with the Herd last season, holding per-game averages of 24.4 points, five rebounds and 5.2 assists. He shot 50.9% from the floor and 44.4% from 3-point range during that stint, earning a two-way contract with the Bucks in January of 2018.

Munford went unsigned in free agency and agreed to a deal with the Fuijan Sturgeons this past December. He holds NBA experience with the Grizzlies and multiple summer league stints over the past few seasons, going undrafted in 2014 out of Rhode Island. NBA teams could look to Munford for a potential 10-day contract in the coming weeks.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Free agent Jarnell Stokes has registered interest from teams in China, a source told Hoops Rumors. The Sioux Falls Skyforce announced that Stokes, 25, left the team this week to pursue other opportunities. Stokes was waived from his two-way contract with the Grizzlies in early January after the team was faced with injuries to Dillon Brooks, Kyle Anderson and other wing players.
  • The Maine Red Claws have re-acquired Trey Davis, the team announced in a press release. Davis is expected to be in uniform on Friday when Maine takes on the Greensboro Swarm. Davis, a 6-foot point guard, originally made the team out of open tryouts as an undrafted guard in 2017.
  • Kendrick Perkins and Shannon Brown have become the latest ex-NBA players to sign with Ice Cube’s BIG3 league this summer, the association announced (Twitter links). Perkins, a bruising center who spent 15 seasons in the NBA, played a key role in helping the Celtics win a championship in 2008. Brown, a high-flying guard who held stints with several different teams, won two NBA championships as a member of the Lakers in 2009 and 2010.

Xavier Munford, Bobby Brown Expected To Play In China

A pair of players who logged NBA minutes last season are expected to sign with teams in China, reports Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. According to Carchia, former Bucks guard Xavier Munford is set to sign with Fujian to replace Eugene “Pooh” Jeter, while Bobby Brown will likely sign with Shanxi to replace Josh Adams.

Munford, 26, was a two-way player for Milwaukee last season, but only appeared in six games for the Bucks. He was impressive in the G League, averaging 24.4 PPG and 5.2 APG on .509/.444/.747 shooting in 34 games for the Wisconsin Herd. That performance earned him a two-way qualifying offer in June, but the Bucks withdrew that QO in September, making him an unrestricted free agent.

As for Brown, he signed a deal earlier this month with KK Mornar Bar to play in Montenegro. However, as Carchia notes, that agreement included an exit clause, which Brown is expected to take advantage of to make the move to China.

Brown, a former Cal State Fullerton standout, appeared in 25 games for the Rockets in 2016/17 and 20 more in 2017/18. The 34-year-old played a limited role for the club, averaging 2.5 PPG and 0.6 APG in just 5.3 minutes per contest. He finished last season playing for Olympiacos in Greece after being cut by Houston in February.

Bucks Withdraw QO For Xavier Munford

The last of the two-way restricted free agents is now an unrestricted free agent. According to RealGM’s transactions log, the Bucks have withdrawn their qualifying offer to two-way player Xavier Munford. The club has also renounced its rights to Munford, freeing him up to sign elsewhere with no roadblocks.

Like Tyrone Wallace and a handful of other two-way players from last season, Munford received a qualifying offer at season’s end, meaning Milwaukee would have had a chance to match any offer sheet he signed with another NBA team. Wallace was ultimately the only two-way RFA who signed an offer sheet this offseason — the Clippers matched the deal he signed with New Orleans.

The Bucks’ decision on Munford comes as no surprise, since the club had already filled its two-way contract slots with Trevon Duval and Jaylen Morris and has 14 players on guaranteed standard contracts. While it was possible Munford could have slotted into the 15th spot on the roster, Milwaukee has plenty of viable candidates for that opening already, including Christian Wood, Shabazz Muhammad, and Tim Frazier.

Munford, 26, appeared sparingly in just six games for Milwaukee last season. However, the Bucks presumably liked what they saw from the 6’2″ guard in the G League, where he averaged 24.4 PPG and 5.2 APG on .509/.444/.747 shooting in 34 games for the Wisconsin Herd.

Patrick McCaw of the Warriors is now the only two-way or standard RFA left on the market.

And-Ones: Bazley, Garnett, Two-Way Players, Munford

Darius Bazley’s curious summer decisions have hurt his draft stock, according to Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated. The 6’9” Bazley backed out of a commitment with Syracuse in order to play in the G League. He then announced he would simply train on his own until next year’s draft. Other than Bazley’s length and defensive effort, there are a lot of question marks about his game, Woo continues. He’s unpolished with a thin build and needs plenty of work on his offensive game, so he would be better off playing competitively for the next nine months. He now has the look of a second-round flier, Woo adds. Woo takes a closer look at several risers and droppers among 2019 draft prospects.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Kevin Garnett is filing a federal malpractice lawsuit against accountant Michael Wertheim and his firm, alleging they helped a wealth manager steal $77MM from him, according to Associated Press report. The suit claims the accountant and his firm enabled Charles Banks IV of Atlanta to defraud Garnett through businesses in which Garnett and Banks shared an interest. Banks, who was sentenced last year to four years in federal prison for defrauding retired Spurs star Tim Duncan, was not named in Garnett’s suit.
  • The maximum amount a two-way player can earn in training camp with an NBA team is $50K. The G League salary of a two-way player is $77,250, a mild increase from $75K last season. Those are some of the nuggets offered by Adam Johnson of 2Ways10Days in an examination of maximum earning power for players on two-way contracts during the upcoming season.
  • Free-agent guard Xavier Munford is mulling a move to the Chinese Basketball Association, according to Amico Hoops. The 6’4” Munford played on a two-way contract with the Bucks last season and appeared in six NBA contests. Munford, who also played 14 games with the Grizzlies during the 2015/16 season, is a restricted free agent within the NBA after receiving a qualifying offer from Milwaukee early this summer.

Jabari Parker Receives Qualifying Offer From Bucks

JUNE 30th, 8:09am: The qualifying offers to Parker, Plumlee and Munford have officially been made, according to the RealGM transactions log.

JUNE 29th, 4:37pm: The Bucks have extended a qualifying offer to forward Jabari Parker, making him a restricted free agent, Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets.

The qualifying offer of $4,333,932 comes as no surprise despite Parker’s star-crossed career in which he’s suffered two major knee injuries. He returned from his latest one to play in 31 games last season, including three starts. He averaged 12.6 PPG, 4.9 RPG and 1.9 APG in 24.0 MPG and should be poised to contribute more with a full training camp under his best this fall.

Parker posted averaged of 20.1 PPG, 6.2 RPG and 2.8 APG in 51 games during the 2016/17 season before he tore his left ACL in early February.

It will be interesting to see if the No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 draft received a substantial offer sheet despite his injury history. Parker is still just 23 years old after completing four seasons in the league.

The Bucks also extended qualifying offers to their two-way players from last season, center Marshall Plumlee and point guard Xavier Munford, making them restricted free agents.