Middle notes: Bickerstaff, Nembhard, P. Williams, Key, Vildoza

riders the head coach JB Bickerstaff was fined $15,000 on Monday for his public criticism of league officiating, the NBA announced in a Press release. Bickerstaff complained about foul calls on Sunday after a 112-108 loss to Philadelphia in which James Harden and Joel Embid combined to attempt 32 free throws.

“We deserved to win this match. This game has been taken away from us.” Bickerstaff said, per Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor. “We did a great job defensively which made their two best players difficult on the pitch. But one thing you can’t defend is the free throw line. It’s absurd. It’s absurd. Our guys deserve way better than what they got tonight.

Here’s more from around Central:

  • RJ Nembhardnew contract with riders is a direct conversion of his two-way deal, confirmed Hoops Rumors. Nembhard, who will earn $58,493 on the prorated minimum wage contract, remains on track for restricted free agency this offseason.
  • Back from a wrist injury on March 21, patrick williams playing better and better Bulls as the playoffs approach, according to Cole Huff of The Athletic, who says the second-year forward has been “efficient and opportunistic” on offense while showing off his usual versatility on the defensive end. Having already shown the potential to be a long-term cornerstone in Chicago, Williams could also help in the short term and be an asset in the playoffs if he continues to progress, writes Huff.
  • Braxton Keynew bilateral contract with the Pistons is a two-year deal, covering 2022/23 as well as the rest of this season, league sources have told our JD Shaw (Twitter link).
  • Luca Vildozatwo-year contract with deer will be unguaranteed for next season, tweet Eric Nehm of The Athletic.