Milwaukee Bucks Rumors

Central Rumors: Rose, Cavs, Crawford

August 30 at 4:59pm CDT By Charlie Adams

Derrick Rose looked solid in Team USA’s dominating 114-55 victory over Finland today in the opening round of the 2014 FIBA World Cup. The 2010/11 MVP made just three of the eight shots he took, but he scored 12 points and dished out three assists over 22 minutes on the floor. The Bulls are surely crossing their fingers as they watch Rose in tournament play, praying the stud point guard can make it to the regular season injury free. Here’s the latest from the Central:

  • The Cavs have been considering signing a point guard before the start training camp, writes Terry Pluto of the Plain Dealer. However, Pluto hears that Cleveland doesn’t see adding another guard as a major need and that they won’t bring aboard another backcourt player if they can reach a deal with Ray Allen.
  • Former Indiana State big man Josh Crawford will work out for the Pacers next week, reports Enea Trapani of Sportando (via Twitter). Crawford, who has never suited up for an NBA club, currently plays in Bulgaria.
  • John Zitzler of Basketball Insiders has a look at the development of young centers from around the league and concludes that Andre Drummond is due for a monster year with the Pistons, while Larry Sanders will need to work hard to restore his image with the Bucks.

Clippers Rumors: Rivers, Sterling, Raduljica

August 29 at 1:50pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Clippers have pulled off a trade, reached a new deal with coach/executive Doc Rivers, and waived two players, and they reportedly met with Ekpe Udoh as they eye fellow free agent Chris Douglas-Roberts. That’s all within the space of the last three days. There’s a long holiday weekend ahead for some, but the Clippers certainly aren’t easing into it. Here’s the latest on the team:

  • Few knock the coaching credentials of Rivers, but his roster-building skills as an executive are another matter. Plenty of executives around the league question Rivers’ acquisition of Jared Dudley last year and his surrender of a first-round pick in the deal to rid the Clippers of Dudley this week, as Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher writes. “If [former Timberwolves GM] David Kahn made those deals, they’d have been burning crosses on his lawn,” one NBA executive told Bucher.
  • Shelly Sterling didn’t know who Steve Ballmer was when he called her this spring to express interest in buying the Clippers, as she tells Linda Deutsch of The Associated Press.  Still, she negotiated him up from an initial offer of $1.9 billion to the $2 billion price he wound up paying and obtained a promise from Ballmer that he would never move the team to Seattle, as Deutsch details.
  • Rival teams called the Bucks to talk about trading for Miroslav Raduljica last season, according to Shams Charania of RealGM. That seems to suggest there will be NBA suitors for the center whose three-day tenure with the Clippers just ended, though that’s just my speculation.

Rockets Eye Sign-And-Trade For Sessions?

August 28 at 4:39pm CDT By Chuck Myron

THURSDAY, 4:39pm: Sessions is unlikely to end up with the Rockets, tweets Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. There’s only limited interest in a deal, Feigen says, though it’s not entirely clear whether he’s referring to the interest of the Rockets, the Bucks, Sessions, or some combination of the three.

MONDAY, 12:56pm: Free agent point guard Ramon Sessions and the Rockets have mutual interest, and Houston has spoken with the Bucks about the possibility of a sign-and-trade that would bring Sessions to the Rockets, reports Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter links). Still, no deal is imminent, Kennedy cautions. Houston has only the $2.077MM biannual exception to give Sessions any more than the minimum salary after spending its mid-level exception on Kostas Papanikolaou and Nick Johnson, but a sign-and-trade would allow the Rockets to give Sessions a better deal.

The Bucks renounced their rights to Sessions last week, but they’re still allowed to send him out in a sign-and-trade. It’s not immediately clear what they’re seeking, but perhaps they’ll look to acquire draft assets, given their rebuilding efforts after last year’s league-low 15 wins. If so, the Rockets could accommodate them without having to send out any salary, using part of the nearly $8.4MM trade exception to take on Sessions at a salary greater than they could offer if they signed him outright.

The market for Sessions appeared to have gone cold not long after Kennedy reported in July that three teams reached out to the 28-year-old within the first hour of free agency. The Bulls were among those showing interest, while there were conflicting reports about whether the Hornets were also in that group. The idea of returning to Charlotte, where he spent most of the last two seasons before the deadline trade that sent him to Milwaukee, intrigued Sessions this spring. Still, with Kemba Walker, Brian Roberts and Jannero Pargo in tow, it doesn’t appear as though there’s room for Sessions on the Hornets.

The Bucks picked up Jerryd Bayless and Kendall Marshall this summer to go with Brandon Knight and Nate Wolters, putting a similar squeeze on the point guard position in Milwaukee. The Bucks have 15 players with guaranteed deals plus Marshall, who figures to play a key role, so it’s possible that they envision sending at least one rostered player Houston’s way in a sign-and-trade.

Sessions, a client of Jared Karnes, balances shaky shooting with a knack for earning trips to the free-throw line, as Cray Allred of Hoops Rumors noted when he examined the seven-year veteran’s free agent stock. He’s coming off a two-year, $10MM deal he signed after having been one of the marquee acquisitions at the 2012 trade deadline, when he went to the Lakers, so it’s not altogether surprising that he’s generating strong interest, even at this stage of free agency.

Trade Details: Love, Thabeet, Sefolosha, Dudley

August 27 at 9:41pm CDT By Alex Lee

Here is the latest on a handful of recent trades from cap guru Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times and Basketball Insiders:

  • Pincus reports that the Wolves received a $6.3MM trade exception in the Kevin Love deal, which is the difference between the salaries of Love and Thaddeus Young ($6,308,194 to be exact). It was originally thought to be worth $4,644,503 — the difference between Love’s salary and the combined salaries of Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett — but Pincus indicates that, for Minnesota’s purposes, Love was traded for Young while Wiggins and Bennett were traded for Luc Mbah a Moute and Alexey Shved (Twitter links).
  • The Thunder have sent $100K along with Hasheem Thabeet to the Sixers in exchange for a top-55 protected second round draft pick, according to Pincus, who confirms that the deal will award Oklahoma City a $1.25MM trade exception. With Thabeet likely to be cut and Philly nearly certain not to finish as a top-five team next season, the Thunder essentially paid $100K for a $1.25MM trade exception that they’ll hold until August 26th, 2015 (Twitter links here).
  • Pincus reminds us that the Thunder also pulled off a similar maneuver when they dealt Thabo Sefolosha to the Hawks last month. In that deal, Oklahoma City sent $550K to Atlanta which netted them a trade exception worth $4.15MM. (Twitter links).
  • The Sixers are a likely candidate to take on salary this season via their cap room with cash and draft picks as compensation, Pincus believes. Each team is permitted to send out and receive up to $3.3MM in cash per season, so Philly can still receive up to $3.2MM (Twitter links here).
  • The 2017 first-round pick headed from the Clippers to the Bucks in the Jared Dudley deal is lottery protected through 2019, at which time it will become two second-round picks, one for 2020 and the other for 2021, Pincus reports. Of course, as Pincus points out, the Clippers are likely to be a playoff team for the foreseeable future so the pick should be with Milwaukee come 2017 (Twitter links).
  • While both deals were officially announced by at least one of the participating teams, Pincus tweets that Dudley still has to pass a physical to go to the Bucks while Thabeet is not required to do so to head to the Sixers.

Central Notes: Love, Meeks, Bucks

August 27 at 12:41pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Kevin Love was unsurprisingly an early topic of conversation between Cavs GM David Griffin and new coach David Blatt, as Tim Warsinskey of the Star Tribune passes along.

“Kevin Love [is] a player who quite frankly fits us as well as any player possibly could,” Griffin said Tuesday. “The very first thing David Blatt said was, ‘I need a spacing big. Somebody who can shoot and pass and who knows how to play.’ We said, ‘We have one in mind. His name is Kevin Love, he’s a trade target.’ He said, ‘If you could get Kevin Love to go with LeBron James, you would have had a really good offseason.’ ”

Cleveland’s offseason has indeed been “really good,” and then some, but whether it translates into a championship and sustained success remains to be seen. There’s more on the Cavs amid the latest from the Central Division:

  • Love’s commitment to the Cavs is really more of a commitment to playing with James, as Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com writes as he explains the reasons why Love isn’t signing an extension with Cleveland. Love is excited about having star teammates who can help him win, and with James possessing the ability to opt out after this coming season, Love isn’t about to give up his ability to do the same, Windhorst explains.
  • Jodie Meeks confirms a report from the start of free agency that there were several teams interested in him, but he prioritized taking the first worthwhile offer, as he tells Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Meeks hopped the first flight out to meet with Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy the morning after Van Gundy called to make his pitch, as Langlois chronicles, and the sides had their deal on the first day of free agency.
  • Ben Golliver of SI.com lauds the Bucks for having been willing to take on Jared Dudley‘s salary to land a first-round pick in Tuesday’s trade. Golliver gives Milwaukee an A+ largely for coming away with the draft choice even though it’s likely to come at the back end of the first round.

And-Ones: Thomas, Wiggins, Drew

August 26 at 10:25pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The NBA is creating more room around the basket stanchions and reducing the number of photographers along the baseline, as Brian Mahoney of The Associated Press reports. The league planned the changes before Paul George was hurt, league president of basketball operations Rod Thorn tells Mahoney, and that’ll prevent another injury of the sort that befell George, but that’s of little comfort to the Pacers at this point.

Here’s the latest from around the league:

  • Isaiah Thomas tells Jeff Caplan of NBA.com that he never requested trade from the Kings, who wound up participating in the sign-and-trade that sent him to the Suns. I was always professional about every situation,” Thomas said. “I always came in with my hard hat on willing to do whatever is best for the team. When they signed Darren Collison, I knew I was going in a different direction.”
  • Larry Drew said that he was blindsided by the events which led to him being fired and replaced by Jason Kidd as coach of the Bucks, writes Howie Kussoy of The New York Post. Drew also said, “From their [the owners'] standpoint, there’s no set time for these type of things. It caught me in a position when I least expected it. But I know how these things work. I don’t have any hard feelings, any grudges against anybody. [Owner] Marc [Lasry] called me and I just wished him luck. I’ve got to keep moving forward.”
  • Andrew Wiggins just wanted to play for a team that wanted him, and called the completion of the deal that sent him to the Wolves a big relief, writes Andy Greder of the Pioneer Press.
  • Former NBA player Dominic McGuire has signed with Hapoel Eilat of the Israeli League, reports David Pick of Eurobasket (Twitter link). McGuire’s last NBA action came during the 2012/13 season with the Pacers, Pelicans, and Jazz. In six NBA seasons, he has averaged 2.7 PPG and 3.4 RPG.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Bucks Sign Damien Inglis

August 26 at 6:03pm CDT By Chuck Myron

AUGUST 26TH, 6:03pm: The signing is official, the team announced.

AUGUST 20TH, 8:05pm: The Bucks have signed 31st overall pick Damien Inglis, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. The team has yet to make an official announcement, but the move took place Tuesday, as the RealGM transactions log shows. It’s a multiyear deal, according to RealGM. Inglis probably received a three-year deal worth a shade under $1MM this season and the minimum salary in the final two seasons if he’s like many of his peers from the top of the 2014 second round, including 36th overall pick and new Bucks teammate Johnny O’Bryant.

Inglis is a native of French Guiana who spent last season playing for Chorale Roanne in France. He had a decent chance to end up as a first-round pick, since he ranked 26th in Jonathan Givony’s DraftExpress prospect listings and 30th with Chad Ford of ESPN.com. The 6’8″ small forward is nonetheless a raw prospect, having averaged just 4.6 points and 3.6 rebounds in 15.3 minutes per game in France this year.

The signing creates a logjam of sorts in Milwaukee, particularly if Inglis’ contract is guaranteed, as is likely the case. The team already had 14 guaranteed deals, as our roster counts show, not including Kendall Marshall, who figures to be a part of the rotation on his minimum-salary pact after averaging 8.8 assists per game for the Lakers last season. The Bucks also renounced their rights to free agent Ramon Sessions, as Pincus and RealGM report, and while that doesn’t clear an additional roster spot, it’s a signal that the club is done with free agent signings this summer, save for perhaps a few training camp invitations.

Clippers Likely To Waive Delfino, Raduljica

August 26 at 5:49pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Clippers are likely to waive Carlos Delfino, whom they acquired earlier today, using the stretch provision, reports Sam Amick of USA Today. The other player that Los Angeles acquired in the Dudley trade, Miroslav Raduljica is also likely to be waived by the Clippers, notes Amick, suggesting that the team and Raduljica, who’s owed $1.5MM for this coming season, may reach a buyout deal.

The swap that was announced earlier today which sent Jared Dudley to the Bucks left the Clippers with just $649,228 to spend under the hard cap, according to the figures compiled by Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders, which would leave only room for a prorated contract later in the season.

Delfino is owed $3.25MM for next season, and has a team option for 2015/16. By using the stretch provision prior to September 1st, the Clippers would be able to spread his salary for next season out evenly over the next five years, as well as his cap hit. This means Delfino would have to be waived by this coming Monday, otherwise this option would not be available to the team. By removing Delfino’s salary, the Clippers would then be able to add another player or two to their roster.

One strong possibility for the Clippers would be to add Chris Douglas-Roberts, reports Amick. The 27-year old shooting guard spent last season with the Hornets, appearing in 49 contests, averaging 6.9 PPG in 20.7 minutes per game. Douglas-Roberts could not be signed until Delfino was waived, notes Amick. Another player the Clippers could look to add would be Ekpe Udoh, who visited with Los Angeles earlier today.

Bucks Acquire Jared Dudley

August 26 at 4:11pm CDT By Chuck Myron

4:11pm: The deal is official, the Bucks announced. It’s Dudley and a 2017 first-rounder to the Bucks and Delfino, Raduljica and the Clippers’ own 2015 second-round pick, which Milwaukee acquired in a previous trade, going to the Clippers.

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Minnesota Timberwolves3:41pm: The 2017 first-round pick going from the Clippers to the Bucks will be lottery protected, a source indicates to Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link).

3:07pm: Delfino is only expected to miss part of the coming season, as Wojnarowski writes in his full story after deleting the tweet that indicated Delfino would likely miss the entire season.

2:33pm: The first-rounder headed Milwaukee’s way is a protected 2017 selection, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

2:20pm: The Clippers will also receive their own 2015 second-round pick that Milwaukee had acquired through a previous trade, reports Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link).

1:59pm: The Clippers are sending Jared Dudley to the Bucks, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Carlos Delfino, Miroslav Raduljica head to L.A. while the Clippers also send Milwaukee a future first-round pick, Wojnarowski adds in a second tweet. Delfino, who missed all of last season because of injury, is likely to be out all of this year, too, according to Wojnarowski, making this trade purely about unloading Dudley’s salary from the Clippers’ perspective (Twitter link). Dudley is set to make $4.25MM this season and has an early termination option for the final season of his contract in 2015/16, which is also for $4.25MM.

Delfino originally hurt his right foot while with the Rockets in the 2013 playoffs, and while he signed a three-year, $9.75MM contract last summer with Milwaukee, he’ll never have taken the floor for the club while on that deal. The final season is non-guaranteed, so given L.A.’s apparent motivation to offload salary in the deal, it appears there’s a strong chance that Delfino will end up never having played at all under his contract.

Raduljica will make $1.5MM this season, but his salary for slightly more than that in 2015/16 is non-guaranteed, so the Clippers can cut ties with both he and Delfino next summer and pocket the savings. There was no guarantee that Dudley would have opted in, but the deal gives them greater cost control.

The move is a net gain in salary of $500K for the Clippers this year, moving them less than $1MM beneath their hard cap. The Clippers will end up with 13 players as a result of the transaction, so they won’t have to sign anyone else to meet the regular season roster minimum. The deal will leave the team with $649,228 to spend under the hard cap, according to the figures compiled by Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders, so that leaves only room for a prorated contract later in the season.

The Bucks had been carrying 15 guaranteed contracts plus two non-guaranteed deals, one of which is for Kendall Marshall, who’ll probably be part of the team’s rotation. So, the trade will allow the team to keep Marshall without having to unload a fully guaranteed contract.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

And-Ones: Drew, Antetokounmpo, D-League

August 25 at 10:33pm CDT By Cray Allred

Former Bucks coach Larry Drew was blindsided by his ouster from Milwaukee, telling Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he was taken aback by the process. New owners Marc Lasry and Wes Edens were already in discussions with Jason Kidd, who supplanted Drew on the bench, while he was participating in rookie Jabari Parker‘s introductory press conference.

“The whole Jabari thing, putting me in that position, I don’t think it was very professional. I wish it wouldn’t have happened that way, but it did,” said Drew, who is now an assistant with the Cavs. “It caught me in a position when I least expected it. But I know how these things work. I don’t have any hard feelings, any grudges against anybody.”

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Thanasis Antetokounmpo‘s agent tells Marc Berman of the New York Post that the forward turned down a two-year, $550K offer to play in Italy in order to accept the $25K salary he will receive with the Knicks‘ D-League affiliate. Agent Tim Lotsos says the sacrifice was made because his client is eager to prove himself as NBA-ready. “To my surprise, he passed on it,” said Lotsos. “He’s very ambitious and determined to make the NBA. I didn’t try to force him. I wanted him to make his own decision.”
  • A D-League expansion draft for returning player rights will take place on September 1, reports Gino Pilato of DLeagueDigest.com. The draft will supply the Knicks‘ new affiliate with a starting roster, and each existing team will protect up to 12 current D-League players that the Westchester Knicks can’t obtain.
  • In the same piece, Pilato does a mock selection draft, projecting which players he sees each D-League team protecting and which players wind up in Westchester.
  • Plenty of people believe rookie Cavs coach David Blatt will become one of the best coaches in the league, writes Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders in his look at rising coaching names. Brigham views Mike Budenholzer, Steve Clifford, Dave Joerger, and Jeff Hornacek as fellow up-and-comers in the NBA ranks.
  • In a LeBron James-centric mailbag column, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel asserts that it was James’ contract preferences that led to the Cavs receiving draft picks from Miami in 2010 through a sign-and-trade, and that it was also his contract desires that prevented the Heat from receiving any picks when he returned to Cleveland this summer.