Milwaukee Bucks

Latest On Bucks, John Henson Extension Talks

AUGUST 4TH, 9:05am: The Bucks and Henson remain “on course” for an extension, several league sources tell Grantland’s Zach Lowe, who speculates that Henson will end up with eight-figure salaries.

JULY 12TH, 10:40pm: Contract extension talks are ongoing between the Bucks and center John Henson, and they appear to be gaining momentum, but no deal has been struck, Charles F. Gardner of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.’s Marc Stein also tweets that the two sides are indeed heading toward a deal.

Henson, as Gardner points out, will be in the final year of his rookie-scale deal in the 2015/16 season but can sign an extension prior to the end of October. Henson averaged seven points per game and 4.7 rebounds per game in 67 appearances. He is expected to have an expanded role as Greg Monroe‘s backup, Gardner adds.

The Bucks regard Henson as a key part of their core, Stein tweets. In February, however, the Bucks dangled the big man in the trade market with the hope of acquiring a top point guard.

Eastern Notes: Whiteside, Copeland, Thomas

Here’s a look at the latest contract news from the Eastern Conference:

  • The $981,348 contract for this upcoming season for Heat center Hassan Whiteside, who will hit free agency next summer, becomes guaranteed on Dec. 1st, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders points out. The deal is already partially guaranteed for $245,337, and that partial guarantee escalates to $490,674 if he makes it to opening night.
  • Chris Copeland‘s one-year deal with the Bucks is worth precisely $1.15MM, as Pincus shows (Twitter link). That means Milwaukee has $1.664MM left on its $2.814MM room exception, Pincus also notes.
  • Jorge Gutierrez‘s non-guaranteed minimum salary with the Bucks becomes partially guaranteed for $250K on December 1st, Pincus adds on the same page.
  • The deal between Adonis Thomas and the Pistons is a two-year pact for the minimum salary, according to Pincus (Twitter link).

Will Joseph contributed to this post.

Central Notes: Bulls, Pacers, Bucks

Former Bucks lottery pick Joe Alexander is on his way to Italy.  Earlier today, David Pick of (on Twitter) heard from Alexander’s agent that he’ll be heading to Sardinia’s Sassari.  Things didn’t work out as planned for Alexander in the NBA, but as he explained in an interview earlier this year, he believes that a dysfunctional regime in Milwaukee hampered him as much as injuries did.  Here’s more from the Central Division..

  • Instead of making bold moves, the Bulls are keeping their team exactly the same and betting on their rookie coach, Fred HoibergScott Davis of Business Insider writes.  The Bulls handled their biggest priority when they re-signed Jimmy Butler to a five-year, $90MM deal. Now, Chicago is hoping that it was Tom Thibodeau‘s bumpy relationships with some players that kept them from winning it all rather than any shortcomings on their roster.
  • With the contracts of Jordan Hill and Chase Budinger expiring after the year and Solomon Hill‘s rookie deal holding an option for his fourth year, the Pacers should have plenty of room to make free agent moves next summer, Mark Montieth of writes.
  • The Bucks are equipped to win now and also build toward something greater for the future, Tim Cato of SB Nation writes.  Cato also looked at how new addition Greg Monroe will fit in and how big of a step Giannis Antetokounmpo could take this season.

Eastern Notes: Sixers, Bucks, MCW, Magic

Jahlil Okafor is preparing himself to be the focal point of the Sixers, and the rookie has already established himself in Philadelphia, Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes.

“He has brought a whole lot of excitement to this team,” teammate Robert Covington said. “He is a big man who has made his presence known already.”

Here’s more out of the Eastern Conference:

  • The Bucks‘ ability to convince Greg Monroe to sign with them over teams in bigger markets such as the Knicks or the Lakers signals that Milwaukee should be considered a major player in free agency and a contender in the years to come, Jesse Blancarte of Basketball Insiders writes. Monroe should bring some needed offense to a team that ranked 25th in the league in offensive efficiency last season.
  • Milwaukee must figure out whether Michael Carter-Williams can be the team’s point guard of the future, Blancarte writes in the same piece. Blancarte acknowledges the point guard’s flaws but believes there is a tendency to overlook the things he does well. MCW has career averages of 15.7 points, 6.5 assists and 5.8 rebounds per game. He will be eligible for a rookie scale extension after the 2015/16 campaign.
  • Amin Elhassan of (Insider only) believes Mario Hezonja can contribute to the Magic right away, but he realizes that the 20-year-old’s basketball IQ and decision-making could be serious hurdles in his development.


Central Notes: Monroe, Allen, Christmas

Bucks GM John Hammond was elated to sign big man Greg Monroe this summer, and not just because of his talent, Michael Lee of The Washington Post writes. Milwaukee scored the former Pistons mainstay with a three-year max deal.
“Just such a great opportunity for us, we felt,” Hammond said of Monroe. “We need a player of that caliber. We need a player that we can throw the ball to in the post. But it’s just as important that we continue to try to build and build this the right way, that we can build with the right kind of people.”
Milwaukee’s playoff-ready roster was a key reason behind Monroe’s decision to sign there, as agent David Falk said earlier this month, but the Bucks aren’t in a rush to become a championship contender, as GM John Hammond explains to Lee. Here’s more from the Central Division:
  • Lavoy Allen new three-year, $12.05MM contract with the Pacers includes a $1.5MM signing bonus, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter links). That bonus is spread evenly across his cap hits for each season, so the net effect is that if the Pacers trade him, the team acquiring him would pay him $500K less per season, though his cap number would stay the same, as Pincus explains.
  • The third season of of the three-year deal Rakeem Christmas signed with the Pacers is partially guaranteed for $50K, and the fourth season contains both a team option and a partial guarantee of $52,064, Pincus tweets. The precise value of the deal is $4.3MM, as Pincus shows on the Pacers salary page, resolving conflicting reports from earlier.
  • Shayne Whittington will see the minimum salary on both years of his new deal with the Pacers, Pincus adds (Twitter link).
  • The Pistons traded Quincy Miller to the Nets this month because of a roster crunch in the frontcourt, Keith Langlois of writes in a mailbag column. Pistons coach/exec Stan Van Gundy opted to parlay him for Steve Blake to reinforce the point guard position, given the uncertainty over whether Brandon Jennings, still recovering from a torn Achilles tendon, will be ready to start the season. Miller was far from a lock to make the opening night roster in Detroit, Langlois adds.
Zach Links contributed to this post.

Latest On Glen Davis

JULY 31ST: 10:35am: Davis and the Clippers spoke this week, and there’s optimism a deal will get done between them, a source tells Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). The Bucks have signed Copeland since the initial report of interest in Davis from Milwaukee (below), so it’s unclear if the Bucks are still in the mix for Big Baby.

JULY 22ND: 2:44pm: The Clippers maintain “high interest” in re-signing Glen Davis, but no deal is close, and the Bucks loom as another interested team, reports Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). The Clips reportedly expected to re-sign Big Baby as of two weeks ago, but there hasn’t been much chatter surrounding the John Hamilton client since.

Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers reached out to Davis on the opening day of free agency, and they share a lengthy history dating back to their time with the Celtics. The Bucks appeared close to a deal with Chris Copeland on Tuesday, but the Spurs and Thunder are still competing for the former Pacers forward, so perhaps Milwaukee sees Davis as an alternative.

Davis has Early Bird rights with the Clippers to sign for up to $5.739MM, giving the Clips a financial edge over the Bucks, who are limited to the $2.814MM room exception. Still, Davis made the minimum salary last year, so it would be surprising to see him end up with a significant raise, even though he was one of only eight players to average more than 10 minutes per game in the playoffs for the Clippers this past season.

Which team do you think is the best fit for Davis? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

Central Notes: Pacers, Allen, Bucks

Earlier this month, the Pacers and Lavoy Allen reached agreement on deal that will keep the big man in Indiana for next season and beyond.  Indiana shelled out the money to keep Allen, in part, because they want to pick up the pace on offense.

That’s one of the main reasons they brought me back was the talk about playing more uptempo,” Allen told Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports. “I think that will really benefit us with the people we have — the shooters and bigs who can run.”

Still, Allen is one of six bigs – or seven, counting Paul George at power forward – on the Pacers and it’s not clear how much time he’ll see on the court.  Allen, like the Pacers’ fans, says he’s curious to see how it all shakes out.  Here’s more from the Central Division..

  • Rising sophomore Shayne Whittington envisions the recently re-signed Allen as having a breakout year for the Pacers, Candace Buckner of the Indy Star writes. “I know we brought Lavoy in for a reason, he’s a great rebounder. He’s a great offensive presence, he can shoot the ball very well. Ian is one of our best defensive assets that we have. I personally think that he’s going to blow up this year if he gets that starting spot. His confidence will skyrocket if he gets that.
  • Between the success of the arena plan and the team’s basketball moves, Bucks owner Wes Edens said, “I think our offseason was a 10.  We’re undefeated in the offseason,” Charles F. Gardner of the Journal-Sentinel tweets. On Tuesday, the Bucks’ arena plan cleared a major hurdle.
  • Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter) has the details on Rakeem Christmas‘s deal with the Pacers. Christmas’ deal is fully guaranteed for two years with a $50K guarantee in year three and a team option on year four. If that fourth-year option is exercised, then he’ll have a $52K guarantee.

Bucks Sign Chris Copeland

JULY 29TH, 11:23am: Copeland has officially signed with the Bucks, the team announced.

JULY 23RD, 2:24pm: The Bucks and Chris Copeland have a verbal agreement on a one-year deal, reports Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report (Twitter link). Marc Stein of reported Tuesday that the sides were finalizing a deal, but the Spurs and Thunder remained in the mix, as Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports revealed shortly afterward. The John Spencer client will see in excess of $1.1MM on his contract, league sources tell Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link). That indicates that he’s receiving a slice of Milwaukee’s $2.814MM room exception, since the minimum salary for the three-year veteran is $981,348.

Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times first identified the Bucks as an interested party nearly two weeks ago, and he heard last week from some higher-ups around the league that Milwaukee had become the front-runner for him. The sides met on Tuesday, Woelfel later reported, and he worked out for the team that day as well, according to Spears.

Copeland just finished a two-year deal with the Pacers that he signed after a surprising season as a rookie for the Knicks in 2012/13. He and Bucks coach Jason Kidd were teammates in New York. The Pacers elected not to make a qualifying offer of more than $3.9MM, so Copeland has been an unrestricted free agent this month.

The 31-year-old was the victim of a stabbing outside a New York nightclub in April that left him with injuries that curtailed his season, one in which he’d fallen out of the Pacers rotation after injuries to others thrust him into use. Normally a strong outside shooter, he made just 31.1% of his three-pointers in 2014/15, and he never made the sort of impact in Indiana that he did with the Knicks.

Do you think Copeland will be a part of the rotation for the Bucks this year? Leave a comment to let us know.

Bucks Arena Plan Clears Major Hurdle

2:24pm: Walker said today that he’d sign the bill, note Stein and Journal Sentinel colleague Patrick Marley. Feigen expressed measured confidence and said it’s possible for the funding to be secured in time for an autumn groundbreaking.

12:48pm: The public funding plan for a new Bucks arena in Milwaukee has received approval from the Wisconsin State Assembly by a 52-34 vote, reports Jason Stein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link). The measure passed the state senate two weeks ago and now heads to Governor Scott Walker for his signature. Walker has consistently supported the idea of a new building that would keep the team from leaving town.

Should Walker sign the bill, which seems a likely proposition, Milwaukee County must authorize the purchase of the land for the building and the City of Milwaukee must negotiate a lease, tweets Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. State, county and city leaders have been under pressure from the league to make sure an arena is ready by the start of the 2017/18 season, with the NBA having threatened to take the team away from owners Marc Lasry, Wesley Edens and Jamie Dinan and sell it to others who would move the team. The public is on the hook for half of the arena’s expected $500MM cost.

Bucks president Peter Feigin released a statement hailing today’s vote. Still, progress toward the arena has been somewhat slow-going, as Brian Windhorst of wrote in April that the Bucks and civic leaders faced a realistic deadline of June to secure funding. The legislature separated the arena bill from the state budget package last month, a move that bought more time. Windhorst nonetheless indicated that groundbreaking must take place this fall for the plan to remain on schedule.

And-Ones: Bucks Arena, Mavs, Huestis

The $500MM plan to fund a new Bucks arena has enough votes to pass the Wisconsin State Assembly on Tuesday, Republican Majority Leader Jim Steineke said, according to Scott Bauer of the Associated Press. Under the proposal, half of the cost would initially be paid by state and local taxpayers and the other $250MM would come from current and former Bucks owners, Bauer continues. If approved without any changes by the Assembly, the bill would then head to Governor Scott Walker for his consideration, Bauer adds.

In other news around the league:

  • The Mavericks have renounced their rights to Bernard James, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. Pincus notes the Mavs did the same thing last summer, then re-signed him. James’ cap hold was $947,276.
  • The Spurs’ contract with Reggie Williams is not guaranteed, Pincus reports in a separate tweet. Williams would make approximately $1.186MM this upcoming season if he gets paid the full amount.
  • The Thunder are saving their final open roster spot for Josh Huestis, Marc Stein of hears (Twitter link). Oklahoma City selected the 6’7” forward with the 29th overall pick in 2014 but he spent last season with the Oklahoma City Blue of the D-League.
  • The Warriors will hire from within regarding their coaching moves and promote Luke Walton and Jarron Collins, Monte Poole of tweets.

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