By Cody Westerlund–
(CBS) Just more than a week before the start of the regular season, the Bulls and Bucks have swapped fourth-year players who’ve underwhelmed in their current setting.
Chicago has acquired point guard Michael Carter-Williams from Milwaukee in exchange for wing Tony Snell. The hope for the Bulls is that Carter-Williams can provide backcourt depth behind Rajon Rondo and add athleticism to a team that sorely lacked it last season, while the Bucks were looking for wing depth after star Khris Middleton suffered a severe hamstring injury earlier in training camp.
Drafted 11th overall in 2013 by the 76ers, the 25-year-old Carter-Williams won the Rookie of the Year award in 2014. He’s disappointed since, with marked shooting problems being his biggest trouble. Carter-Williams is a career 41 percent shooter overall and 25.5 percent from 3-point range, and he’ll join a Bulls backcourt that features three primary playmakers in Rondo, Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler who are also subpar 3-pointer shooters historically.
Carter-Williams was traded from the 76ers to the Bucks in a three-team deal in February 2015 that also sent Brandon Knight from Milwaukee to Phoenix. The experiment flopped, as Carter-Williams didn’t fit in well with the Bucks and coach Jason Kidd’s scheme.
What Carter-Williams does bring with his 6-foot-6 frame is size, the ability to disrupt the opposition on defense and some playmaking. He has career averages of 14.5 points, 6.1 assists and 5.6 rebounds in three seasons.
“We’re excited to add Michael to our roster,” Bulls general manager Gar Forman said in a statement. “He is a two-way player who adds versatility and depth to our backcourt rotation.”
Carter-Williams is coming off an injury, as hip surgery early last March sidelined him for the rest of the season. He has come back healthy this training camp.
If he performs well, he should take the backup point guard minutes ahead of Spencer Dinwiddie.
Taken nine picks after Carter-Williams in the 2013 draft, the 24-year-old Snell didn’t consistently produce despite opportunities in Chicago. Most notably, he averaged 5.3 points and shot 37 percent while playing in 64 games, including 33 starts, last season.
Snell averaged 5.3 points and shot just shy of 40 percent, including 35 percent on 3-pointers, in 213 career games across three seasons for the Bulls.
Both the Bulls and Bucks will get one-year fliers to evaluate their respective players, as both Carter-Williams and Snell are in the final years of their rookie contracts. They could theoretically be extended by the end of October, though that’s not expected. The teams can choose to extend a qualifying offers next offseason to them, making them restricted free agents.
Cody Westerlund is a sports editor for CBSChicago.com and coversthe Bulls. He’s also the co-host of the @LockedOnBulls podcast, which you can subscribe to on iTunes and Stitcher. Follow him on Twitter @CodyWesterlund.