Report: Knicks sign former Wisconsin forward Nigel Hayes

There is another former Wisconsin player with an NBA contract.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted Thursday night that forward Nigel Hayes had agreed to a partially guaranteed deal with the New York Knicks.

Hayes went undrafted in June, but played with the Knicks during their summer league games in Orlando. He told a Toledo, Ohio, TV station in July that he would be going to training camp with the team.

The deal doesn’t guarantee him a roster spot, but as of now he is the sixth former Wisconsin player currently under contract in the NBA, joining Sam Dekker (LA Clippers), Frank Kaminsky (Charlotte), Bronson Koenig (Milwaukee), Jon Leuer (Detroit) and Devin Harris (Dallas).

A three-year starter for the Badgers, Hayes averaged 14 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists during his senior year, earning All-Big Ten third-team honors.

Jordan Brady hired to coach the Bucks’ G League affiliate

The Wisconsin Herd has its first head coach.

The G League affiliate of the Milwaukee Bucks named Jordan Brady as coach for its first ever season.

“My family and I couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity to be a part of the Milwaukee Bucks and Wisconsin Herd family as well as the Oshkosh community,” Brady said in statement on the team’s website. “I look forward to working with (general manager) Dave (Dean) and the entire organization to build a successful team that is committed to developing young, talented players on and off the court.”

Brady has a lot of minor league basketball experience, including spending time with five different organizations in recent years as an assistant coach. He also played three years in what was then the D League.

“The Wisconsin Herd is an important component in building a championship-caliber team in Milwaukee, and Jordan brings the grit, leadership and vision necessary to spark that process in Oshkosh,” Dean said. “Jordan has the right experience and tools to develop young talent and build the foundation for a successful NBA G League team. We are excited to have him at the helm for the Herd in our inaugural season.”

The Herd will get its first year underway in November. Among the players on the team, which will play its games in a new 3,500-seat arena in Oshkosh, is former Wisconsin guard Bronson Koenig.

Koenig and Hayes finish up their Summer League Schedule

Bronson Koenig and Nigel Hayes have officially finished up their individual Summer Leagues. Both Koenig and Hayes played in five games, the minimum number of guaranteed games in the Summer League format. Hayes and the New York Knicks participated in the Orlando Summer League while Koenig and the Milwaukee Bucks played in the Las Vegas Summer League. Both teams finished this summer with a 1-4 record.

Nigel Hayes

Hayes finished up his summer games much earlier than Koenig. The Orlando Summer League went from July 1st through July 6th. The Knicks struggled as a team overall, but Hayes played well enough to earn an invitation to the Knicks mini-camp. An invitation to the mini-camp is a good sign for Hayes, who still hopes to make the team.

Though his numbers might not show it, he played really well this summer. Hayes only averaged 15 minutes a game, but was still able to average 5.2 points, 5 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game. He also shot the ball 41.4%  from the field. Shooting was one area that Hayes has tried to work on in his latter seasons at Wisconsin in the hopes of making it in the NBA. What stood out more than anything were things that Hayes did that  doesn’t show up in the box score.

Hayes played really good defense and showed the ability to guard the three and the four position. He also showed good rebounding positioning and passing abilities. He hardly turned the ball over in the five games he played this summer. Like his time at Wisconsin, he showed that he could pass the ball well, especially in the paint. Hayes will start his rookie mini-camp in the next few weeks.

Bronson Koenig

Koenig and the Milwaukee Bucks finished up their Summer League action on Friday night with a loss to the Utah Jazz. Throughout the summer, Koenig showed that he can still shoot and hit big shots. That being said, Koenig did struggle at times for the Bucks. Koenig averaged 16 minutes a game, in which he averaged 5.2 points, 1 rebound, and no assists. He only shot 29% from the floor (10-34) and an even worse 26% (5-19) from behind the arc.

(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Koenig really didn’t show off any of his passing skill for which he was known for coming out of high school. He didn’t have any assists in the five games he played. He was primarily used as a two guard coming off screens , but also played some point guard. Koenig seemed to struggle  guarding in the open floor especially against the pick and roll.

Koenig will need to show that he can play better defense this season in the G-League. He will also need toshoot the ball better than he did this summer. Five games is a small sample size especially when you aren’t getting consistent minutes.  Koenig signed a two-way contract with the Bucks, so he will be playing for the teams new G-League team, the Wisconsin Herd. He will also have the opportunity to potentially play for the Bucks during the upcoming season.

 

Bucks to play final Summer League game tonight

The Milwaukee Bucks will play their last game of NBA Summer League action tonight against the Utah Jazz. Tonight’s tip is scheduled for 5 p.m. CST and can be seen on ESPNU. Both teams have struggled in their NBA Summer League games, both losing their first game in the league’s tournament. The Bucks are currently 1-3, while the Jazz are 0-4. This will be the last opportunity that players will have to make an impression on why they deserve a roster spot either with the Bucks, or their G-League team, The Wisconsin Herd.

Rashad Vaughn has dazzled once again. This is Vaughn’s third Summer League and he is leading the Bucks in minutes, points, field goals made, and field goal percentage. He is also third on the team in steals and assists this summer. Vaughn is averaging 19 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists on 50.9% shooting. Another familiar face playing on the squad this summer is Gary Payton II. Payton has averaged 7.7 points per game, 3.7 rebounds, 2 assists on 41.7% shooting. He has also really shown a defensive intensity leading the team  with an average of 3.3 steals per game.

First round draft pick D.J. Wilson has also shown why the Bucks organization was so high on his draft value. Wilson has been able to play the stretch four position that is becoming more and more important in today’s NBA. He has shown the ability to be a versatile as well as lanky defender who can block shots and rebound. Wilson still has inconsistencies in his game and that’s been seen this summer as well. His three-point shooting is going to need to improve if he plans on getting more minutes this regular season.  Wilson is averaging 12.8 points, 6 rebounds, and 1.8 assists on 40% shooting.

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Sterling Brown has been a nice surprise for the Bucks this summer. The Bucks just acquired the rights to Sterling Brown, the 76ers second round pick, days before the NBA Summer League started. He has drawn some comparisons to Malcolm Brogdon because he is a bigger guard (6’6″) who is athletic and explosive. Brown is also long and lanky, which should give him the ability to guard one through three. Brown is averaging 10.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.8 assists on 41% shooting.

The only other Bucks to have guaranteed roster spots within the organization are Bronson Koenig and Jalen Moore. Both Koenig and Moore signed two-way contracts, which allows for the Bucks to move them back and forth from the G-League to the NBA.

Bucks fall to Kings in Summer League playoff opener

LAS VEGAS — Despite three Milwaukee Bucks players finishing in double digit scoring, a lack of rebounding contributed to a 69-65 loss to the Sacramento Kings to open the tournament portion of Las Vegas Summer League play.

The 14th-seeded Bucks grabbed just 27 rebounds as a team, while the 19th-seeded Kings had 22 rebounds between two of their players alone (Skal Labissiere and Georgios Papagiannis). Rebounding wasn’t the only issue for Milwaukee, as the defense wore down in the final quarter, allowing Sacramento to take a 21-16 scoring advantage.

Milwaukee was paced by rookie Sterling Brown and Rashad Vaughn, who each finished with 12 points. But for Vaughn, 4-of-18 from the field and 1-of-7 from beyond the arc were far below the standard he set during league play. In addition, the leading rebounder was Reggie Upshaw, Jr., who grabbed all seven boards off the bench. Former Wisconsin standout Bronson Koenig played 14 minutes, finishing with six points.

The Bucks will play at least one more game, however, heading to the loser’s bracket to meet the Utah Jazz on Friday at 5:00 p.m. CT.

Vaughn solid as Bucks fall to Clippers in Summer League

LAS VEGAS — Rashad Vaughn had 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field, but the Milwaukee Bucks still fell to the Los Angeles Clippers in Monday night’s Las Vegas Summer League regular season finale.

The 100-93 loss also saw rookie D.J. Wilson continue his emergence, finishing with 17 points on 7-of-13 from the field. He was hottest in the first half, where he scored 15 of his points, including 3-for-4 from beyond the arc.

“I was just taking what they were giving me,” Wilson said. “They were sagging off and whatnot, so I was just trying to make the most of that opportunity.”

Milwaukee built up a 13-point lead by late third quarter, ultimately allowing Los Angeles back in the game by closing the quarter on 2-of-7 shooting from the field. The loss drops the Bucks to 1-2 in Summer League action, with their Wednesday night tournament time and opponent still up in the air. They’ll learn that information at the conclusion of Tuesday night’s games.

Neither Jackie Carmichael, Achille Polonara, nor Tyler Roberson saw any playing time for Milwaukee (coach’s decision). Wisconsin product Bronson Koenig played 21 minutes, finishing with nine points on 3-of-7 shooting (3-5 3FG).

Vaughn scores 31 in Milwaukee’s 88-83 win against Brooklyn

After a brutal start to their summer league schedule, the Milwaukee Bucks bounced back on Sunday night with an 88-83 win against Brooklyn in Las Vegas.

Milwaukee was abysmal on the offensive end against Cleveland on Friday, but against the Nets they found more success, especially 2015 first-round pick Rashad Vaughn. Playing in the town he called home for college, the former UNLV star scored a game-high 31 points.

“I was just trying to come in, be patient and take what they gave me,” Vaughn said afterwards. “[Once I got comfortable], I just kept attacking [the rim].”

This year’s first-round pick, D.J. Wilson, scored 16 points, including a pair of late buckets to help Milwaukee get the win. He also added six rebounds as the Bucks improved to 1-1.

Rookie Sterling Brown, who was acquired in a trade with Philadelphia, put up 16 points after going 0 of 4 in the game against the Cavaliers.

“I felt comfortable out there,” Brown said. “I just had to get my rhythm back.”

Former Badgers guard Bronson Koenig played just 10 minutes and scored three points, going 1 of 3 from the field.

Milwaukee will take on the Los Angeles Clippers tonight with tip in Las Vegas set for 9 p.m.

Cleveland throttles the Bucks in summer league opener

Milwaukee got its summer league schedule underway in Las Vegas on Friday night, and it wasn’t pretty, as the Bucks got smacked 82-53 by Cleveland.

First-round pick D.J. Wilson scored 11 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out a pair of assists in his first action.

“It felt good,” Wilson said of debut. “The first few minutes I was pretty anxious, but once I got those out of the way I felt fine out there.”

Fellow rookie, Bronson Koenig, struggled to get much going on the offensive end. The former Badgers guard made just one of the six shots he took, including going 0 of 5 from beyond the arc.

But he was far from alone in that respect. Milwaukee hit just 15.4-percent of its 3-pointers, with Thon Maker connecting on the team’s first attempt before they missed the next 14 from the outside.

Rashad Vaughn scored a team-high 12 points, with Gary Payton II chipping in 10 and Travis Trice adding seven.

The Cavs were led by Edy Tavares with 12 points, while former Syracuse guard Andrew White scored 11.

Milwaukee will not play on Saturday, but will be back in action on Sunday night against Brooklyn.

Bucks Summer League action kicks off tonight

The NBA draft has come and gone and NBA Summer Leagues are underway. The Milwaukee Bucks will start their Summer League season tonight at 5:30 CST against the Cleveland Cavaliers and the game can be seen on ESPN 2. The Bucks will play in the Las Vegas Summer League that goes from July 7th-17th. The Bucks have put together an interesting roster for this exhibition season.

Fans should recognize a number of players on the Bucks roster this summer. Thon Maker will be playing in his second Summer League after playing well down the stretch last season. Maker earned valuable minutes and showed great potential in the playoffs last season for the Bucks. He will be joined by Rashad Vaughn, who will be making his third appearance on the Milwaukee summer team. This should be a make or break season for Vaughn as his contract has a club option after this up-coming season. Vaughn was seen as a boom or bust talent after coming out of UNLV as a freshman and hasn’t had much impact in his first two seasons with the Bucks. Gary Payton II will also be playing for the Bucks this summer after being picked up towards the end of last season.

The Bucks will have first round pick from this years NBA draft  D.J. Wilson on the roster. The Michigan product should have plenty of opportunities to show Bucks fans why the organization may have reached to draft him. Milwaukee is also hoping to work out an entry for newest acquired Buck Sterling Brown. Brown’s rights were officially acquired by the Bucks yesterday after the league’s front office approved the trade with the Philadelphia 76ers.

(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

To the excitement of many Wisconsin basketball fans, Bronson Koenig will also be on the roster this summer for the Bucks. Koenig was the first player in Bucks history to ever sign a 2-way contract. Joining Koenig will be another familiar face from the Big Ten Conference, Travis Trice. Trice is the brother of current Badger D’Mitrik Trice and formerly played under Tom Izzo at Michigan State. Another guy on the roster that fans may recognize is Reggie Upshaw Jr. He lead the 15th seeded Middle Tennessee State team to a win over the 2nd seeded Michigan State Spartans last march.

Many experts around the league think that the Bucks Summer League roster is filled with NBA potential. Many believe that lots of these players will ultimately make the Bucks new G-League team, the Wisconsin Herd.

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Bucks officially acquire the draft rights to Sterling Brown

The Milwaukee Bucks have officially acquired the draft rights to Sterling Brown from the Philadelphia 76ers for cash. The trade was reported the night of the NBA draft, but wasn’t made official by the league until this afternoon. Brown was selected 46th overall by the 76ers in the second round of this years NBA draft. This was two spots ahead of the Bucks second round pick (Sindarius Thornwell), which they sent to the Clippers for cash.

Sterling Brown is the brother to former NBA player Shannon Brown. Brown stands 6’6″ and weighs 225 pounds. He played four seasons at SMU and played in a program record 136 games. Brown averaged 13.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 3 assists per game. He also led the American Athletic Conference in three point shooting, shooting 44.9% from three point range. Brown was selected to the All-AAC Second Team.

Brown has been called a taller, longer Malcolm Brogdon. He hasn’t mastered any single skill, but doesn’t have any particular weakness in his game. Brown doesn’t jump out as explosive at first glance, but according to some scouts is a very athletic and lanky guard.

The Bucks are hoping to get Brown on their Summer  League roster as soon as possible. The Bucks Summer League schedule stats tomorrow, Friday, July 7th, against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Other Bucks participating in Summer League competition are Thon Maker, Rashad Vaughn, former Wisconsin basketball player Bronson Koenig, and the Bucks first round pick D.J. Wilson.

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