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Free agency update: Options and qualifying offers

HANG TIME, N.J. — Before free agency officially tipped off at midnight ET on Friday morning, players and teams had to make decisions on contract options, qualifying offers, and contracts that were either partially or non-guaranteed. Here’s the low down on who’s staying and who could be going.

Player options

These players had an option in the final year of their contract. If they exercised it, they were in for one more year. If they declined it, they became free agents Friday morning.

Exercised (under contract for one more year)
Caron Butler (SAC)
Tim Duncan (SAS)
Mo Williams (CLE)

Declined (free agents)
Quincy Acy (SAC)
Arron Afflalo (NYK)
Cole Aldrich (LAC)
James Anderson (SAC)
Darrell Arthur (DEN)
Brandon Bass (LAL)
Bismack Biyombo (TOR)
Seth Curry (SAC) – Restricted
DeMar DeRozan (TOR)
Wayne Ellington (BKN)
Pau Gasol (CHI)
Alonzo Gee (NOP)
Manu Ginobili (SAS)
Dwight Howard (HOU)
LeBron James (CLE)
Wesley Johnson (LAC)
Shane Larkin (BKN)
Jeremy Lin (CHA)
Dirk Nowitzki (DAL)
Chandler Parsons (DAL)
Austin Rivers (LAC)
Thomas Robinson (BKN)
J.R. Smith (CLE)
David West (SAS)
Deron Williams (DAL)
Derrick Williams (NYK)

Team options

Here, the decision lies with the team. If they exercised the team option, they keep the player for another year. If the team declined it, they allowed the player to become a free agent.

Exercised (under contract for one more year)
Jordan McRae (CLE)
Mike Muscala (ATL)
Hollis Thompson (PHI)

Declined (free agents)
Xavier Munford (MEM)
Damjan Rudez (MIN)
Lance Stephenson (MEM)

Note: Munford and Rudez could have been restricted free agents, but their teams didn’t issue them qualifying offers either (see below). They’re unrestricted.

Qualifying offers

Some players were eligible for restricted free agency. This group includes 2012 first round Draft picks who had their third-and fourth-year options picked up and just completed their rookie contract, as well as other players who have played three or fewer seasons in the league.

Restricted free agency allows the team to match any offer the player receives from another team. But in order to have that right, the team must have issued the player a qualifying offer by Thursday night. If a qualifying offer wasn’t issued, that player is an unrestricted free agent instead.

The qualifying offer is binding as a one-year contract. If the player signs it, he’s under contract for next season. He could also sign an offer sheet from another team (which his team would have the ability to match), and he and his team could agree on a new, multi-year contract. The team also has the ability to rescind the qualifying offer going forward.

Issued (restricted free agents)
Harrison Barnes (GSW)
Bradley Beal (WAS)
Tarik Black (LAL)
Markel Brown (BKN)
Jordan Clarkson (LAL)
Allen Crabbe (POR)
Troy Daniels (CHA)
Dewayne Dedmon (ORL)
Matthew Dellavedova (CLE)
Andre Drummond (DET)
Festus Ezeli (GSW)
Evan Fournier (ORL)
Tim Frazier (NOP)
Langston Galloway (NYK)
Maurice Harkless (POR)
Marcelo Huertas (LAL)
Tyler Johnson (MIA)
Meyers Leonard (POR)
Boban Marjanovic (SAS)
Donatas Motiejunas (HOU)
Miles Plumlee (MIL)
Dwight Powell (DAL)
Jared Sullinger (BOS)
Dion Waiters (OKC)
Tyler Zeller (BOS)

Not issued (unrestricted free agents)
Isaiah Canaan (PHI)
Ian Clark (GSW)
Cleanthony Early (NYK)
James Ennis (NOP)
Jorge Gutierrez (CHA)
Terrence Jones (HOU)
Ryan Kelly (LAL)
James Michael McAdoo (GSW)
Eric Moreland (SAC)
Andrew Nicholson (ORL)
Willie Reed (BKN)
Christian Wood (PHI)

Waived

The following players were waived by their team before Friday night so that their contracts didn’t become guaranteed. They will become free agents at 5 p.m. ET on the dates listed if no other team claims them off waivers before then.

Damien Ingles (MIL) – July 1
Jarrett Jack (BKN) – July 2
Johnny O’Bryant (MIL) – July 1
Greg Smith (MIN) – July 2

NBA, Hornets do not endorse revised HB2

The NBA and the Hornets on Thursday came out against the proposed changes to a controversial bill before the North Carolina legislature, although the league reiterated that no decision has been made on the fate of the 2017 All-Star weekend scheduled for Charlotte.

Lawmakers in the state are debating revisions to House Bill 2, the so-called Bathroom Bill that ignited a national firestorm of debate after being passed in March. The NBA has been vocal in its opposition to the law for hurting the LGBT community and said it is working behind the scenes to get aspects of HB2 changed.

The joint statement from the the league and the Hornets said:

“We have been engaged in dialogue with numerous groups at the city and state levels, but we do not endorse the version of the bill that we understand is currently before the legislature.  We remain committed to our guiding principles of inclusion, mutual respect and equal protections for all.  We continue to believe that constructive engagement with all sides is the right path forward.  There has been no new decision made regarding the 2017 NBA All-Star Game.”

Commissioner Adam Silver said earlier in the month that the league has started to look into alternative sites. He purposely avoided announcing a drop-dead date for a decision, but did say at a press conference before Game 1 of the Finals in Oakland that “I don’t see us getting past this summer without knowing definitely where we stand.”

“We’ve been, I think, crystal clear a change in the law is necessary for us to play in the kind of environment that we think is appropriate for a celebratory NBA event,” Silver said in April during a meeting with The Associated Press Sports Editors.

The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, citing economic impact studies of past All-Star weekends, said the event could be worth up to $100 million, the Charlotte Observer reported.

 

NBA reacts to the death of Pat Summitt

NEW YORK — The basketball world lost a giant last night with the passing of Pat Summitt, the legendary former women’s coach at the University of Tennessee. In nearly four decades with the Vols, Summitt collected 1,098 wins, more than any other Division I coach, and was named NCAA Coach of the Year seven times. Summit’s teams won eight National Championships, and in her 38 seasons her teams never finished with a losing record. Summit retired in 2012 after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, and dedicated herself to raising funds and awareness in the fight against Alzheimer’s. Summitt was 64 years old.

Many from the NBA and WNBA family reacted on social media to Summitt’s passing…

(more…)

Hoiberg confident he, Butler are on solid ground

From NBA.com staff reports

The Chicago Bulls are picking up the pieces from a 2015-16 season that saw them miss the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons. Before last season began, the Bulls changed coaches, bringing in Fred Hoiberg in an effort pump up the team’s offensive output in hopes of furthering Chicago’s championship hopes.

That didn’t exactly happen, though, as the Bulls’ offensive rating actually fell from 104.7 to 102.1 last season. Aside from those scoring woes, a problem that crept into the mix around Christmas was when star swingman Jimmy Butler called Hoiberg’s coaching into question, saying Hoiberg needed to “coach better.”

As the Bulls introduced their new rookie, Denzel Valentine, to the media yesterday, Hoiberg said he and Butler are not on shaky ground and that he is confident in his relationship with the All-Star. K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune has more:

Fred Hoiberg didn’t need to fly four hours to come up with his three-word answer to the question of whether he can coach Jimmy Butler.

“Absolutely I can,” Hoiberg said Monday.

But Hoiberg’s trip two weeks ago to meet with Butler and other players using Los Angeles as their offseason base — Tony Snell and Taj Gibson — continued to develop a relationship that was called into question last season. That’s when Butler claimed Hoiberg needed to “coach harder.”

At last month’s draft lottery, Butler said his relationship with Hoiberg had grown.

“Jimmy and I have pretty much been in constant communication since the season’s been over,” Hoiberg said. “He’s in a great frame of mind right now.”

“The biggest thing with our group is we need to play more consistent basketball next year,” Hoiberg said. “You go 7-1 against Toronto and Cleveland and 17-13 against the West and find ourselves out of the playoffs. That can’t happen. That’s what I talked about to Jimmy and all of our players.”

Hoiberg said Butler plans to visit with the Bulls’ summer-league team in Las Vegas when he’s there to train with Team USA, which officially named Butler an Olympian on Monday.

For his part, first-round pick Denzel Valentine said he is excited to play with Butler. Valentine said Butler texted him congratulations after the draft.

“He’s tough,” Valentine said. “He’s not afraid to compete and get after that. I really like that. He’s really developed his offensive game. If you pass him the ball, he’s going to get a bucket. Playing with players like that, I get more assists.”

Pat Summitt dead at age 64

Mar 21, 2015; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Lady Volunteers head coach emeritus Pat Summitt in the first round of the women's NCAA Tournament against the Boise State Broncos at Thompson-Boling Arena. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Pat Summitt watches Tennessee’s women’s NCAA Tournament game against Boise State in 2015.

From NBA.com staff reports

Former University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt, who amassed more than 1,000 career wins at the school and won eight nationl championships there, has died at age 64. The news was first announced via the Pat Summit Foundation’s Twitter account.

Summitt stepped down as coach of the Lady Vols in 2012 after she was diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type. Even after stepping down, though, Summitt remained involved with the program, holding the title of head coach emeritus.

Summitt’s son, Ross “Tyler” Summitt, issued the following statement Tuesday morning:

“It is with tremendous sadness that I announce the passing of my mother, Patricia Sue Head Summitt.

She died peacefully this morning at Sherrill Hill Senior Living in Knoxville surrounded by those who loved her most.

Since 2011, my mother has battled her toughest opponent, early onset dementia, ‘Alzheimer’s Type,’ and she did so with bravely fierce determination just as she did with every opponent she ever faced. Even though it’s incredibly difficult to come to terms that she is no longer with us, we can all find peace in knowing she no longer carries the heavy burden of this disease.

She’ll be remembered as the all-time winningest D-1 basketball coach in NCAA history, but she was more than a coach to so many – she was a hero and a mentor, especially to me, her family, her friends, her Tennessee Lady Volunteer staff and the 161 Lady Vol student-athletes she coached during her 38-year tenure.

We will all miss her immensely.”

She had coached the team for 38 seasons, amassing 1,098 wins — which is more than any other Division I coach. She was the NCAA’s coach of the year seven times, played for the U.S. Olympic team in 1976 in the first year of Olympic women’s basketball as the team took home a silver medal.

She also sent 39 players to the WNBA, 15 of whom were first-round picks and produced three No. 1 overall picks as well. Two of her former players, Candace Parker and Tamika Catchings, have won WNBA MVPs.

At the time of her retirement, 78 individuals who were mentored in the UT program by Summitt occupied basketball coaching or administrative positions. Among them is Tennessee’s current coach, Holly Warlick, who played for Summitt from 1976-80 and coached beside her from 1985-2012.

In 2012, Summit was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY Awards.

Born to the late-Richard and Hazel Albright Head on June 14, 1952, in Clarksville, Tenn., Pat was the fourth of five children. After graduating from Cheatham County High in Ashland City in 1970, she went on to the University of Tennessee-Martin, earning a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1974 and leading the women’s basketball team to two national championship tournaments. At 22, she was named coach of the Lady Vols and success soon followed for her at the school.

After playing in the 1976 Olympics, Summitt went on to coach the U.S. Junior National and U.S. National teams to multiple championships and medals. The crowning moment there came in 1984 when Summitt, as coach of the 1984 U.S. Women’s Olympic team, lead them to the gold medal during the XXIII Olympiad in Los Angeles.

Summitt is survived by her mother, Hazel Albright Head; son, Ross “Tyler” Summitt (AnDe); sister, Linda; brothers, Tommy (Deloris), Charles (Mitzi) and Kenneth (Debbie).

A private service and burial for family and friends will be held in Middle Tennessee. A public service to celebrate her life will take place at Thompson-Boling Arena, on the campus of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Details for the celebration of life will be shared at a later date.

Memorial gifts may be made to The Pat Summitt Foundation by visiting www.patsummitt.org/donate.

Morning Shootaround — June 26

NEWS OF THE MORNING
Jazz seek depth | More straight talk, less Bull, please | Reputations sway Orlando-OKC trade reax

No. 1: Jazz seek depth  — The reported addition of George Hill allows the Utah Jazz to turn their focus to role players, according to Jody Genessy of the Deseret News, after a 2015-16 season in which injuries pulled back a curtain on a roster lacking depth:

Though Utah brass like their young core — including rehabbing Dante Exum and Alec Burks, both expected to be healthy by training camp — the organization has an offseason objective of fortifying the roster.

That means, if possible, acquiring more talent via free agency and/or trades.
Securing veteran playmaker George Hill — whom ESPN’s Zach Lowe described as “a really good point guard” — was a good start for this playoff-hungry franchise.

But Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey has even more in mind. He’s used words like “active” and “aggressive” in describing how his staff will approach the upcoming free-agency period.

In retrospect, Lindsey took responsibility for not having enough depth on the Jazz roster in 2015-16 to help Quin Snyder deal with the unexpected rash of injuries that the team experienced, including to Exum, Burks, Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors.

“We’re not going to sit here and alibi. Every single sports team has injuries,” Lindsey said the day after the team’s 40-42 season ended a couple of wins shy of a playoff spot. “Ultimately, I’m the most responsible up here on the dais — not Quin, not the coaches, not the players — about roster construction.”

The Jazz’s plan last offseason seemed to make sense. The team had finished the 2014-15 season on a tear, winning 21 of their final 32 games led by a dominating defensive surge.

Instead of rolling the dice on acquiring experienced free agents to bolster the up-and-comers, Lindsey & Co. opted to gamble on youth. Injuries — and a late-season collapse — made that plan backfire on a team that came oh-so-close but not close enough.

“If we do this the right way with the right character — and Quin’s such a good communicator — we’ll be able to manage the season better,” Lindsey said. “The players are like everybody else. They saw what happened last season and they know that we know that we need some reinforcements. Come early July, we plan on being very active in the free-agent market.”

***

No. 2: More straight talk, less Bull, please — A year ago, it was the coach’s fault. This season, it was the players’ fault. At some point, it’s going to be management’s fault, even if the Chicago Bulls’ top-heavy down management style doesn’t acknowledge that. Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf has a reputation for backing the suits in his front-office, be it with the Bulls or the MLB White Sox. But sooner or later, general manager Gar Forman and VP of basketball operations John Paxson are going to face some measure of scrutiny and have to ‘fess up for the team’s underperformance the same way former coach Tom Thibodeau did in 2015 and the way Derrick Rose did with his trade last week to New York. David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune looked at the Bulls’ monolithic approach and the growing distrust from many of the teams’ fans:

The bigger issue that emerged is this: Will Bulls fans trust a rebuilding plan designed and executed by a man so many find hard to believe?

With Rose gone, Forman instantly becomes the most polarizing member of the organization, lacking Butler’s popularity while eliciting the most emotional reaction. Lately, it’s Grrrrrrr, Forman. Chicagoans can detect BS as easily as they can spot red-light cameras, and they dislike both.

Forman first sounded disingenuous when he insisted on saying the Bulls are retooling, not rebuilding. Then consider Forman’s muddled confirmation of the Bulls’ interest in Providence point guard Kris Dunn, selected fifth by the Timberwolves

“We liked him. … We had talks like we do about moving up,” Forman said.

Of course the Bulls did. On draft day, teams in flux as much as the Bulls weigh a variety of options, which is what made Forman’s flat denial of [Jimmy] Butler trade talks so implausible. How did the Bulls admittedly explore trading up for Dunn with the Celtics and Timberwolves without dangling Butler — whom both teams wanted?

Forman comes across to those of us who know him as likable and funny, but you never will hear the words candid or transparent used to describe the Bulls GM. With a return to respectability the most realistic goal for 2016-17, the Bulls could use a little candor and a lot of transparency. Anything less threatens to turn people off. A team likely to struggle on the court need not give fans another reason to look away.

The Bulls have no worries related to attendance — the United Center regularly sells out — but the Rose deal reminds us that this is the wrong week to ignore how perception can shape reality in Chicago sports. No metric accurately measures civic confidence, but experience tells me the Bulls rank lower in that category than any other professional sports team in town, at least rivaling the lack of faith in the White Sox. Since the day the Bulls replaced coach Tom Thibodeau with Fred Hoiberg — Forman’s hand-picked candidate — skepticism has surrounded a team whose dysfunctional decline only intensified the scrutiny

Everybody understood how badly Rose needed a change of scenery because of his incompatibility with Butler. But isn’t it fair to wonder how Hoiberg’s arrival exacerbated the problems that hastened Rose’s departure? And who is most responsible for Hoiberg coaching the Bulls? The same executive who just added “I Traded Derrick Rose” to his legacy.

Yet the Bulls have left no doubt whom they want associated most with their latest plan to get past LeBron James. To articulate the Bulls’ biggest transaction of the post-Jordan era, Forman appeared alone to face questions. To discuss drafting Michigan State guard Denzel Valentine, an excellent pick that created a positive ripple, Forman again sat solo behind the microphone.

***

No. 3: Reputations sway Orlando-OKC trade reax — Reputations matter. So do resumes. So when a successful team completes a trade with an unsuccessful team, there might be some bias involved when folks on the outside evaluate the deal, tilting its apparent merits ever so slightly. That’s what Orlando Sentinel columnist Brian Schmitz sees in the reactions to the Magic-Thunder trade in which veteran power forward Serge Ibaka was shipped to central Florida in exchange for Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and the draft pick that became Domantas Sabonis. What allegedly looks so lopsided to some doesn’t appear that way to Schmitz:

This is what happens when you lose as much as Orlando has the past four seasons: You lose credibility locally and nationally.

A lot of what you do will be panned by the public – no matter if essentially trading Victor Oladipo for Serge Ibaka makes sense for the Magic.

The Magic had, as [GM Rob] Hennigan called it, a “logjam” of wing players, thus making Oladipo expendable. The Thunder had a stable of big men, thus making Ibaka expendable. The underlying theme in both scenarios is that Oladipo and Ibaka will be looking for new contracts after next season. Neither player was particularly happy at times with their role last season.

So instead of the trade being portrayed more as good for both teams – ESPN’s Chad Ford did call it that — it is being hailed as a win for the Thunder.

“We need to call the cops — OKC robbed Orlando,” tweeted HBO Sports’ Bill Simmons.

“I don’t bet against [Thunder GM] Sam Presti when it comes to picking players. Trading Ibaka for Sabonis/Oladipo/Ilyasova? Advantage, OKC,” tweeted Skip Bayless of Fox Sports.

After I lauded Hennigan’s move, I received an-email from a ticked-off Magic fan that echoed others: “That’s a bad trade and a bad column. Let’s face it. This Magic GM is just as bad as the last one.”

Perception is a funny thing.

The trade made by the Thunder is largely considered genius because they’re contenders. The deal made by the Magic is largely considered wrong-headed because they’re bottom-dwellers.

Orlando also is perceived as a somewhat dysfunctional franchise, and it’s not without merit. They couldn’t keep Dwight Howard or — most recently — Scott Skiles from walking out.

I get it: OKC earns the benefit of the doubt.

But when you have All Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, any move the Thunder make tends to look brilliant. They skew the evaluation system.

Why, all of a sudden, Oladipo has morphed into Dwyane Wade and Ibaka is viewed as a spare part. An ESPN.com article even suggests that this trade moves OKC ahead of Golden State in the West. Wow, if Oladipo had that kind of impact, the Magic should have won more games.

***

SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: With Kyrie Irving and Harrison Barnes on board, Team USA’s roster finally looks set. … There is a Minnesota media crush on Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio that might not be shared by new coach Tom Thibodeau and it has some in the Twin Cities fretting. … What is life like for Knicks’ prospect Kristaps Porzingis back home in Latvia? Esquire magazine with the answer to everyone’s most pressing question.

Morning Shootaround — June 25

NEWS OF THE MORNING
Is Ingram the next big star in LA? | Bucks big on Maker | Rose sounds off

No. 1: Is Ingram the next big star in LA? — These are enthusiastic times in Los Angeles regarding the Lakers. They have Luke Walton as head coach, they no longer need to deal with the Kobe retirement tour, and the draft fetched Brandon Ingram, the promising forward from Duke who should pay immediately, or at least the Lakers hope. He’s the most anticipated rookie since Kobe if only because the Lakers are awaiting the next star and also coming off a poor season that led to the draft lottery. Here’s Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times going full cuddle on Ingram:

In his first and only season at Duke, the kid shot 46% on two-pointers, 41% on three-pointers, both figures which would have led all Lakers playmakers last season. Throw in the kind of defensive havoc that a 7-foot-3 wingspan can cause and you’ll understand how even cool hand Luke Walton got excited.

“We got the player I wanted in the draft,” said Walton at a buzzing Lakers training facility. “I don’t know if he’s the best or not, but we got the player I wanted, for sure.”

Oh, he’s the best. The majority of scouts who follow these things agreed. The sly smile on General Manager Mitch Kupchak’s face agreed. The perception was even shared by the crowd of Lakers season-ticket holders sitting on folding chairs watching a giant TV on the facility’s gym floor, as they cheered loudly before Ingram was even picked.

They were cheering because the Philadelphia 76ers, picking first, went for the glitz selection of Louisiana State’s Ben Simmons. Many of them then erupted in a standing ovation when the obvious pick of Ingram was next.

“We felt we’d be very lucky to get Brandon into this organization,” said Kupchak.

The celebratory mood was in contrast to the defensiveness that permeated the organization last June when the Lakers shrugged off the natural No. 2 pick of Jahlil Okafor and instead reached for D’Angelo Russell. In some ways, they’re still reaching for Russell, trying to connect with him, and this pick of Ingram may lead them to eventually trade him for a stabilizing veteran if they feel a core of Ingram, Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle is their future.

“We’re going to stress competition here, and we’re going to compete,” said Walton. “And if that means a young guy we’re developing isn’t playing the way he should be, then he’s got to come out of the game.”

Or out of the organization? Stay tuned. For now, the Lakers are thrilled to add a player who, unlike Russell last year, played bigger as the games became bigger, growing from an early benching to playing 119 out of a possible 120 minutes in three NCAA tournament games, averaging 23 points, six rebounds and three assists.

“We’re picking a player that played at, some might say, a very established college basketball program,” said Kupchak with a grin, the former North Carolina star taking his usual draft-day shot at Duke. “And he played big minutes in an excellent league with excellent competition

The Lakers love Ingram’s maturity, which was in evidence from the first answer he gave as a Laker, saying on national TV that he wanted to bring leadership to the team. The young Lakers could certainly use some of that, and while it’s unlikely an 18-year-old kid can lead anyone right now, it’s revealing that he aspires to do so.

“You need leadership, you need cohesiveness, you need energy, and everything I’ve heard about this kid, he brings all those to the table along with his skill set,” said Walton.

The biggest hindrance is his weight, which is officially 190 pounds, which unofficially makes him look downright reed-like even though he’s reportedly gained nearly 30 pounds in the last year. He’s always been thin, and the target of jokes because of it. When he was growing up in Kinston, a town of about 22,000 in eastern North Carolina, he was so thin he could barely wear his souvenir Duke jersey. Even today, he hears it all the time, including immediately after being drafted when his first interviewer called him “Skinny.”

“I think it just gives me motivation to show these guys that the skinny part doesn’t matter,” said the quiet Ingram in a conference call with Los Angeles reporters. “It got me here today … and being skinny didn’t mean nothing when I was battling with each and every guy, each and every night.”

***

No. 2: Bucks still defending Maker decision — The Milwaukee Bucks rolled the biggest pair of dice on draft night when they used the 10th pick to select seven-footer Thon Maker, a human question mark, as far as the average NBA fan is concerned. Bucks coach Jason Kidd and GM John Hammond believe Maker, in time, will become a solid player if not a star with the Bucks, even though his name wasn’t a prominent one prior to the draft. He grew upin South Sundan and then Australian before coming to the States and impressed the Bucks during his workout. Here’s Charles Gardner of the Journal Sentinel with more clues:

Maker wasn’t even in ESPN international expert Fran Fraschilla’s top five international players.

“The reason why is he’s neither fish nor fowl,” Hammond said. “He wasn’t an international player; he wasn’t a college player. He was the only high school player in this year’s draft.”

Hammond said when Maker worked out for the Bucks a few weeks ago, he stayed around after the six-man session and went through drills with some of the Bucks coaches for another hour and 45 minutes.

“I didn’t know if we were going to be able to draft him, but we got in the car and I said, ‘Thon, if you get drafted, you just got a taste of what’s going to happen with you.’

“The blueprint is real simple. It’s called hard work and it’s going to happen here in this gym. He’s willing to do it; that’s the most important thing.”

Hammond said the Bucks explored moving up in the draft but decided they had to give up too much to do that. Published reports said Boston was seeking deals with multiple teams, trying to get shooters or scorers, and Khris Middleton and Jabari Parker were Bucks players named as sought by the Celtics.

Maker played for two schools in Ontario, spending last season at the Athlete Institute Academy in Mono. Earlier he played for Orangeville Prep and was a teammate of Kentucky recruit Jamal Murray, who was selected seventh overall by Denver on Thursday.

“He’s really multifaceted,” Hammond said. “At 7 feet tall, he has the ability to handle the ball more effectively than you realize. He has good vision with the ball.

“The fact he shoots it makes it extra exciting. His experience is limited but I think he does have a pretty good feel for the game.”

Hammond said the age controversy did not affect the Bucks’ interest at all.

“Look, he’s 19 years old,” Hammond said. “We’ve been through this before with international players at times. Sometimes guys are questioned on age. It’s tough. You look at Thon Maker coming from the South Sudan and there are difficult situations.

“But we’re comfortable with who he is and what he is.”

In the evolving NBA, what position will he play?

“We’re going to figure it out,” Hammond said. “I don’t know. You have a vision.

“Could you ever imagine, three years down the line when we’re moving toward becoming a championship-caliber team, could you see having Giannis and Jabari and Thon at the floor at one time?

“I think it has a chance to be pretty dynamic and I don’t know who is playing what position, but hopefully we’re going to be pretty good doing it.”

***

No. 3: Rose sounds off — The biggest trade of the summer so far is Derrick Rose going to the Knicks, and in a hard-to-please city, the news was met with mostly positive reviews. So Rose has conquered one demand, at least for the short term. But what does he think about the Knicks, especially after leaving his hometown Bulls? KC Johnson of the Chicago Tribune found out:

“It still don’t feel real,” Rose said in New York. “Driving in and seeing my picture on a billboard or a screen outside the building, it kind of blew me away a little bit. It probably won’t hit me until I step on the floor and put a uniform on.”

“Chicago is more than just like a home. It grew me into the man I am today,” Rose said. “All my family and friends are back there. It’s one of the reasons why I changed my number to 25.”

That’s Rose’s number from Simeon Career Academy, the high school that officially retired it in 2009 to honor the late Ben Wilson. Previously, Simeon’s best player, including Rose, wore it to honor Wilson.

Now, the Knicks, who acquired Rose in Wednesday’s stunning, five-player trade, hope Rose becomes one of their best players.

“I feel like I’m great right now,” Rose said. “I felt like the only thing I was missing was my rhythm. … Last year, I feel I had a hell of a year coming off three injuries. And I think it’s only going to get better.”

Rose, who once famously said he’d roll with Keith Bogans as his running mate at shooting guard, served as a tepid participant in the Bulls’ recruiting pitch to Carmelo Anthony in 2014. After his first trade and fresh start with a new franchise, Rose said he likely would change his approach to recruiting players. And he started with a passionate pitch to Joakim Noah, with whom he partied Thursday night in New York.

“I want him,” Rose said. “He knows that. I think his family knows that. I think everyone knows that.”

Rose raised eyebrows last fall when, in unsolicited fashion, he raised his 2017 free agency on the first day of Bulls training camp. Though he often has been linked to returning to Los Angeles, where he makes his offseason home, Rose sounded committed to the Knicks.

“I hope I’ll be able to play the rest of my career here,” he said.

Rose clearly sounded like someone who had moved from cherishing the ability to play in his hometown to getting worn down by the burden. Now, looking odd in Knicks blue, he has a fresh start.

“I don’t hold any grudges with the front office or anybody in Chicago,” he said. “I loved all the teammates I had there. … I don’t know why I was traded. But I would like to tell them, ‘Thank you.’ For real. Giving me another start, I’m grateful to be where I’m at.”

***

SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: The Suns are big on Dragan Bender and suspect he can get big minutes right away on a front court that’s as thin as he is … The Nuggets are telling third-year pro Gary Harris not to worry, he’s the starting two-guard this season … Remember, the Jazz are still a developing team, so it’s small steps for them until a franchise player arrives, and no such player is coming from the draft … Remember when the Pistons drew a few scattered thousand fans per game and routinely missed the playoffs, like a few years ago? Well, incoming Pistons rookies have nothing but good things to say about the franchise.

Beal turns down Olympic invitation

USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo and head coach Mike Krzyzewski will have to keep digging deeper to fill out the roster for the Rio Olympics.

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal is the latest to turn down an invitation to play for a gold medal in August, saying he is dedicating the summer to getting in shape for the 2016-17 season.

According to multiple reports, Carmelo Anthony, Jimmy Butler, DeMarcus Cousins, DeMar DeRozan, Kevin Durant, Paul George, Draymond Green, DeAndre Jordan, Kyle Lowry and Klay Thompson have all committed to play and there is hope that Kyrie Irving will join in.

Colangelo is expected to name the 12-man roster sometime next week.

USA Basketball will begin training camp in Las Vegas from July 18-21, followed by a five-game exhibition tour beginning July 22 against Argentina and concluding Aug. 1 versus Nigeria.

Team USA will begin defense of its two consecutive Olympic gold medals on Aug. 6.

Morning shootaround — June 24

NEWS OF THE MORNING

Reports: Trade talks for Butler fizzle out | Celtics stand pat on Draft night | Magic, Thunder both benefit from trade

No. 1: Reports: Trade talks for Butler fizzle on Draft night — On Wednesday, the Chicago Bulls dealt former MVP and hometown hero Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks. On Thursday night, the Bulls held the No. 14 pick in the NBA Draft and as the night unfolded, rumors began to circulate that the Bulls were looking to trade their lone remaining star, Jimmy Butler, to perhaps the Minnesota Timberwolves. Ultimately, Butler wasn’t dealt and remains in Chicago, but K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune details why that’s the case (and some of the deals Chicago was offered):

The Bulls held advanced discussions with the Celtics centered on Butler and the No. 3 pick. One proposal featured Avery Bradley, a source said. Another involved Jae Crowder, a second source said. Other pieces would have been included.

But the Celtics have a reputation around the league of trying to win trades, and the overall package kept changing and never met the Bulls’ liking, sources said. Management understands the talent and value of Butler. And the Bulls ultimately liked the package they received from the Knicks for Rose more than the package offered for Butler.

Butler is on a favorable deal in the age of the rising salary cap. And the Bulls appreciate his two-way talents and hard work ethic, which is why the internal debate proved so engaging. Talks with the Timberwolves, who selected Dunn at No. 5 after the Celtics passed on him, stalled when they offered Ricky Rubio and the No. 5 pick, sources said.

“We like Jimmy Butler,” Forman said. “We didn’t shop Jimmy Butler.”

In a scene reminiscent of Elton Brand visiting the Berto Center in 2001 after Jerry Krause traded him to the Clippers for the draft rights to Tyson Chandler, Butler stopped by the Advocate Center for a workout. He was in an area off limits to reporters.

Timberwolves coach and President Tom Thibodeau told reporters in Minnesota he drafted Dunn to keep him.

ESPN.com’s Marc Stein has more on how the Wolves angle of the trade sputtered out and how Forman tried to recover after it:

Sources told ESPN.com that the Timberwolves drafted Dunn, after the Providence guard unexpectedly lasted until the fifth pick, then pushed hard to see whether they could hammer out a trade with the Bulls, who are also known to be big fans of Dunn.

But the Bulls, sources say, ultimately decided not to go ahead with a deal in which they’d be forced to surrender Butler just one day after completing a blockbuster trade with New York that sent Derrick Rose to the Knicks.

Butler was actually spotted at the Bulls’ facility Thursday evening, a source told ESPN.com, but Bulls general manager Gar Forman said after the draft that he didn’t even know Butler was in the building and tried to cool off trade speculation regarding the two-time All-Star.

“Jimmy’s in and out of the building all the time when he’s in town,” Forman said, “During the draft, we started getting some texts and saw something on TV that we were in heated talks with somebody. I don’t know what it was saying. We were in no talks with anybody. There was no discussion during the entire draft this evening as far as Jimmy Butler was concerned.”

Butler rubbed teammates and front-office personnel the wrong way last season when he tried to take a more vocal leadership role within the locker room. But Forman, in a display of semantic gymnastics, held to the fact that the Bulls weren’t actively shopping Butler.

“We have never made a call in regards to Jimmy Butler,” Forman said. “We’ve talked about, we value Jimmy Butler, we’re very happy to have Jimmy Butler. We’ve got a phenomenal basketball player who was an All-Star and All-NBA defender, is still young. Obviously we’ve got him under contract long-term, those are all positive. He, again, is what we want to be. We’ve said this all along. We like Jimmy Butler, we did not shop Jimmy Butler. Did we receive calls? Of course we did, and that’s our job to listen to calls. We get calls on a lot of our players, and that’s stuff that happens all throughout the league.”

“You’ve got to keep an open mind,” Forman said in regard to a potential future Butler deal. “I think [Bulls executive vice president] John Paxson said it best when we met [with the media] in [April]. He was only around one guy in an 11-year career that was untradable, and that was Michael Jordan. I mean, you’re always going to listen, but we value — and I’ve said this — we value Jimmy. We appreciate Jimmy. We think Jimmy is a heck of a basketball player. We love his work ethic. And for us to ever consider anything, it would have to be something that just absolutely knocked our socks off.”

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Thunder trade Ibaka to Magic in four-player deal

VIDEO: Proposed Thunder-Magic deal

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — In something of a Draft-night stunner, the Oklahoma City Thunder will part ways with Serge Ibaka in a trade with the Orlando Magic that will send Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and Domantas Sabonis, the 11th pick in Thursday night’s Draft.

The deal was first reported by The Vertical.

Ibaka was a core member of a Thunder team headlined by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Ibaka served as the defensive anchor for the Thunder early on in his career before ceding that role to Steven Adams in the past two seasons. Moving Ibaka comes at an odd time, with Durant set to become a free agent July 1.

Ibaka immediately joins Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon in a Orlando frontcourt that should be a team strength under new coach Frank Vogel.

Oladipo gives the Thunder another young wing player to add to their rotation, a shooting guard who can play both ends of the floor at a high level. Ilyasova is a veteran floor spacing forward and Sabonis, the son of Hall of Famer Arvydas Sabonis, is a rugged big man who starred in college at Gonzaga.