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Matthew Dellavedova, Milwaukee Bucks
Contract Details: 2 years, $19.2 million
2018-19 salary: $9.6 million
Matthew Dellavedova’s court time is taking a nosedive under head coach Mike Budenholzer.
Whatever minutes the Bucks play without Giannis Antetokounmpo and Eric Bledsoe are usually populated by both Malcolm Brogdon and Khris Middleton. That distribution renders Dellavedova an afterthought.
Donte DiVincenzo’s day-to-day knee injury hasn’t even opened the door for him to get appreciably more run. Sterling Brown has been the bigger beneficiary.
Coming up with an argument for Dellavedova to get more spin is hard. He drills his threes at a high enough clip, but he is shooting 39.3 percent on two-pointers since signing with Milwaukee. And while his defensive hustle isn’t a complete myth, the Bucks are correctly prioritizing length and playmakers. Their league-best offense and half-court defense have little use for someone with such a constrictive wheelhouse.
Cristiano Felicio, Chicago Bulls
Contract Details: 3 years, $24.2 million
2018-19 salary: $8.5 million
Cristiano Felicio has failed to crack even the periphery of a rotation that includes an absent Lauri Markkanen and Bobby Portis. Aside from a stretch at the beginning of the season in which he averaged 20 minutes across eight appearances, he’s been a non-factor. Chicago is still inclined to roll with Robin Lopez, a 30-year-old and eventual buyout candidate, over him.
Wendell Carter Jr. makes it difficult to sprinkle in burn for Felicio, but not impossible. Coming up with a reason to play him is the tougher task. Felicio is neither rim protector nor floor-spacer, and Chicago doesn’t have the shooters to maximize his short rolls. He has some nifty moves in the post, but the half-court offense is strained enough without letting him eat away at their flow.
That the Bulls gave Felicio a four-year, $32 million deal after the summer of 2016 remains a boneheaded move.
Solomon Hill, New Orleans Pelicans
Contract Details: 2 years, $25.0 million
2018-19 salary: $12.3 million
Solomon Hill does have a torn left hamstring to use as an excuse for his mounting irrelevance this time around—unless, of course, you believe his injury has since precluded him from tallying true-wing minutes. Which, maybe.
New Orleans has entirely removed Hill from the rotation. He’s made just one appearance since the start of November, with no cause for change in sight.
Nikola Mirotic and Julius Randle are sponging up most of the minutes at power forward, and lineups with Hill at the 4 haven’t been stingy enough on defense to keep him in the fold.
Putting him at the 2 or 3 is an unassailable death sentence. The Pelicans have the offensive flair to navigate Hill’s nonexistent three-point shooting, but they’re allowing 112 and 117.8 points per 100 possessions, respectively, when he mans shooting guard and small forward, according to Cleaning the Glass.
Barring an injury to Wesley Johnson, Darius Miller or E’Twaun Moore, Hill figures to remain on the outskirts of New Orleans’ rotation. His contract, already an overpay, now verges on a total sunk cost.
Jon Leuer, Detroit Pistons
Contract Details: 2 years, $19.5 million
2018-19 salary: $10.0 million
Left ankle surgery limited Jon Leuer to eight games last season. This year, he’s a rotation footnote caught behind Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin…and Stanley-Johnson-at-the-4…and Zaza Pachulia.
Maybe the Pistons chance a role reversal if their offense continues toeing the line between middling and sub-mediocre. They probably won’t.
Leuer has not hit—or attempted—many threes since coming to Detroit, and the center rotation is harder to crack than the power forward slot. Head coach Dwane Casey, like Stan Van Gundy, has tried trotting him out at the 4, but that’s a dead end. Bet on Leuer struggling to shine while undertaking end-of-bench duty.