Michael Carter-Williams has found a new home, and he's staying in the Eastern Conference.
After not being extended a qualifying offer from the Bulls, the 25-year-old point guard has reportedly agreed to a one-year, $2.7 million deal with the Charlotte Hornets, according to ESPN's Chris Haynes.
Carter-Williams appeared in 45 games (starting in 19 of them) with Chicago, and averaged 6.6 points per game, 3.4 rebounds per game and 2.5 assists per game while shooting .366 from the field. All of those numbers were career-lows for him, so a change of scenery and larger role could help get his career back on track.
He was acquired by the Bulls in October 2016 in a deal that sent Tony Snell to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Tony Snell never figured it out during his time with the Bulls, averaging 5.3 points on 40 percent shooting (and just 35 percent from deep) in three seasons.
He showed some promise on the defensive end as a lengthy 6-foot-7 wing, but eventually fell out of the rotation under first year head coach Fred Hoiberg.
So when the Bulls traded Snell to the Milwaukee Bucks less than two weeks before the regular season started, there was little surprise.
The Bulls had drafted wings Doug McDermott and Denzel Valentine in the previous two drafts, and it was clear Snell wouldn't be part of the rotation. In return they received Michael Carter-Williams, presumably to compete with Jerian Grant for the backup spot behind Rajon Rondo and act as a defensive presence on a team that desparately needed one at the position.
Fast forward eight months and it's clear that the Bulls took a massive loss on the trade, and now the Bucks are poised to lock up Snell long-term.
ESPN's Zach Lowe wrote Friday to expect the Bucks "to re-sign Tony Snell for something in the $10-12 million range" when free agency begins Friday night.
The money might seem steep, but Snell has warranted it. In Milwaukee, Snell averaged 8.5 points, provided superb defense and made 40.6 percent of his 3-pointers in 80 starts for the Bucks. Ironically he would have been a great piece for the Bulls to have as the rebuilding project began, seeing as they lost their best perimeter defender in Jimmy Butler. Snell will turn 26 in November.
Carter-Williams? He appeared in just 46 games, averaging 6.6 points on 36.6 percent shooting and 2.5 assists. He started 19 games but never carved out a real role. Earlier in the month the Bulls declined to give Carter-Williams a qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent. He actually became the first former Rookie of the Year to not receive a qualifying offer.
The Bulls will move forward at the point with Dunn, Grant, and Cameron Payne.
Don't expect to see Michael Carter-Williams in the fold for the Bulls guard spots next season.
The organization is reportedly declining the qualifying option for the young guard, according to John Paxson on David Kaplan's radio show:
Carter-Williams, 25, was acquired in a trade with the Bucks last October in a move that sent Tony Snell to Milwaukee. Snell — the Bulls' first round pick (20th overall) in 2013 — turned in a career year with the Bucks, averaging 8.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game while making 80 starts.
Meanwhile, Carter-Williams appeared in only 45 games (19 starts) for the Bulls, suffering through the worst season of his professional career. He was drafted 11th overall in the same year the Bulls took Snell and Carter-Williams burst onto the scene with 16.7 points, 6.3 assists, 6.2 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game in his rookie season with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Carter-Williams was then traded to the Bucks in February 2015. He shot only 36.6 percent from the field in 2016-17 while averaging 18.8 minutes per game.
The Bulls are stacked at guard with Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo currently under contract plus 2016 first-round pick Denzel Valentine, Jerian Grant (acquired in the Derrick Rose trade), Cameron Payne (acquired in the Taj Gibson deal), Isaiah Canaan and then Kris Dunn and Zack LaVine (who were both acquired in the Jimmy Butler blockbuster last week).