The Milwaukee Bucks lost shooter Khris Middleton to a torn hamstring and he’s expected to be out for at least six months, according to NBA rumors. There is now a chance that the Bucks sign J.R. Smith to try to save their season and still contend for a playoff spot.
The Bucks’ official Twitter account confirmed the bad news for Middleton.
According to ESPN, J.R. Smith will not attend the Cleveland Cavaliers’ minicamp with their contract negotiation reportedly still not settled. The veteran shooter wants a $15 million per season contract, according to NBA rumors and it’s not clear if LeBron James’ team will give that to him since they are over the team salary cap.
Middleton is coming off a year when he averaged a career-high 18.2 points per game on 44.4% shooting from the field and 38.9% shooting from the three-point area. Last year, he was one of the few options for Milwaukee from the outside.
Without him, the Bucks will struggle from the perimeter and signing J.R. Smith could solve that problem.
The Bucks are over the salary cap as well but they have some trade offers for Cleveland if all sides agree to a sign-and-trade deal. J.R. Smith can sign the contract he wants and be traded to the Bucks for their big man Greg Monroe, who is on the trading block.
However, the Cavs value Smith and his contributions to the team the last two seasons. He was a vital part in the NBA Finals when his shooting helped the Cavs beat the Golden State Warriors last June.
For the Cavaliers, these NBA rumors make sense if they don’t want to give Smith a long-term deal. Smith will be paid about $17 million next season but has an expiring contract. He will add depth to the Cavs’ frontcourt and join Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love.
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