The Bucks’ decision to fire head coach Adrian Griffin after just 43 games had plenty to do with the players, including star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, per Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“While there were games, or moments, to point to as improvement since that time, the overall tenor of the season was not a strong baritone but rather a trembling treble that became impossible to ignore. Bucks ownership and the front office heard and observed it all, and ultimately decided a new conductor was needed to get the team to its ultimate goal of a championship,” Owczarski wrote.
“One of those voices belonged to Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was part of the offseason interview process that culminated with Griffin’s hiring. He has been visibly – and vocally – frustrated at various points from the very beginning of the season through this past weekend. After losing to Atlanta by 17 points on Oct. 29, he was animated in discussing plays with teammates and a coach.”
- As widely rumored, the Bucks are hiring Doc Rivers as Griffin’s replacement, as we relayed here. Rivers had been serving as a consultant to Griffin., along with his full-time job as an ESPN analyst.
“I can’t discount the fact that we’re a team that is trying to build something that can sustain something going forward, and … we will look for opportunities,” GM Mitch Kupchak said, via the Associated Press. “And if there is something out there we will look to do it. It’s as simple as that.”
- Asked specifically about forwards Gordon Hayward and Miles Bridges, Kucphcak responded that “when your record is like our record (10-31), nobody is untradable.”
- Kupchak avoided saying the trade was the start of a major rebuild. “A rebuild is when you start with a bunch of veterans and a team that is not going anywhere and you decide to scrap it all and start from scratch,” he said. “But clearly we are further down the road from that, So I don’t know what the word would be, but I would not use the word rebuild.”
- The Hornets aren’t expected to keep Lowry, who could either be traded or bought out, as we relayed here. The New York Knicks are a potential landing spot in the event of a buyout, sources said.
The Heat have been in the market for another point guard for some time, dating back to the summer when they were front and center in the Damian Lillard trade rumors with the Trail Blazers.
They believe they found a nice answer in Rozier, who is averaging career highs in points (23.2) and assists (6.6) this season.
“It was clearly time for them to make a move that would shake things up,” wrote Shams Charania and Will Guillory of The Athletic. “For Rozier, he gets to bring his outside shooting and shot-creation skills to a team that will almost certainly lean on him immediately in a big role. He also goes from a Charlotte team that’s been a bottom-feeder in the East to the team that’s been in the Eastern Conference Finals three of the last four seasons.”
- For the record, Rozier hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2019. We have the full trade story right here.