Central Notes: Bucks, Knight, Pistons, Pacers

The Bucks made waves at the trade deadline in 2013 when they shipped Tobias Harris out in the swap that brought in J.J. Redick on an expiring contract, but that sort of move is “not who we are today,” GM John Hammond tells Grantland’s Zach Lowe. The team’s new owners have instead focused on building around the club’s youth, particularly Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo, though co-owner Marc Lasry insists to Lowe that the team doesn’t just want to see young players get minutes and that the goal is to make the playoffs this year. Still, it would appear that the days of sending recent first-round picks away in trades for short-term help are over in Milwaukee. Lowe has more on the Bucks in his piece, as we’ll highlight amid the latest from the Central Division:

  • Lasry is confident that the Bucks will secure financing for a new arena and said to Lowe that he and fellow co-owner Wesley Edens won’t think about moving the team to a West Coast city.
  • The Bucks are high on Ersan Ilyasova, John Henson, and Kendall Marshall, and coach Jason Kidd is especially enamored with Ilyasova, Lowe writes. The Grantland scribe nonetheless believes that Ilyasova and Henson still seem like intruguing trade candidates.
  • The Bucks would like to retain Brandon Knight at a “reasonable” price, according to Lowe, who pegs that range at $10-12MM a year. Still, the Bucks aren’t completely sold on the idea of Knight as a point guard, as Lowe explains.
  • Stan Van Gundy has faith that his team can play better, but he acknowledges that it’ll be tough for the Pistons to meet their loftiest of goals this season, and he pointed to a four-day break in the schedule later this month as a point of reckoning, MLive’s David Mayo observes. Van Gundy may use the off days only to make rotation changes, but it wouldn’t be surprising for him to pull off a deal, as Mayo explores.
  • The Pacers treaded water while many of their players were out early this season, but they’re still missing Paul George and George Hill, and their absences combined with the departure of Lance Stephenson continue to haunt the team, writes Mark Montieth of Pacers.com. Offseason signee C.J. Miles, who’s begun to rediscover his outside shot, is a bright spot, Montieth notes.

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