Rumors surfaced on Friday that the Sacramento Kings and Milwaukee Bucks had discussed swapping Ben McLemore and Michael Carter-Williams, but the Kings declined the deal. The rumor was not a huge surprise: there have been murmurs all off-season that the Bucks were looking to part ways with Carter-Williams, who averaged a career-low 11.5 points per game last year.
Carter kind of addressed the McLemore rumor with a vague tweet.
I only ask one thing from all my haters and doubters.. just tune in please— Michael Carter-Willi (@MCW1) October 7, 2016
Bucks head coach Jason Kidd came to the defense of Carter-Williams in an interview with Sirius XM NBA Radio.
“Rumors are just part of this business," Kidd said. "We’re happy with Michael. He’s had a great summer and has worked extremely hard and it showed in the first game in Chicago. He came off the bench and I think he led us in rebounds. He can be one of the best wing defenders in this league. He helped us late in the game, running the team at the point guard position. There’s always speculation around different guys, but I think Michael is going to help us win.”
Though Kidd didn't place any radical guarantees on anything—it's not like he said "we are not shopping him"—he did express a commitment to the 24-year-old guard. That must be reassuring for Carter-Williams, whose stock in NBA circles has fallen since he claimed the 2014 NBA Rookie of the Year award.
We spoke to Carter-Williams about his career trajectory and the State of the Bucks in August, and he said he believes this year's squad can make the playoffs.
He is under contract for two more seasons, and his cap hit—$3.2 million—is minimal. It's not like Carter-Williams is a liability. Though he is not a franchise point guard, he could morph into an excellent perimeter defender in the Andre Iguodala mold.
Sound ridiculous? Hey, the Grizzlies want to use Chandler Parsons like LeBron James. No comparison is off the table.
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