Milwaukee Bucks

Bucks Notes: Novak, R. James, Sanders

After signing Jason Terry last week, the Bucks have continued to fill out their roster with veterans, announcing a deal for Steve Novak on Monday and reportedly reaching an agreement with Xavier Henry today. We’ve got more details and notes related to those signings, plus a couple more Bucks-related items, so let’s dive right in and round them up…

  • Novak signed a one-year, minimum-salary contract with the Bucks, per Charles F. Gardner of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. For Novak, who has 10 years of NBA experience under his belt, that will mean a salary worth about $1.552MM, though it will count for just $980K against Milwaukee’s cap.
  • Within that same piece, Gardner notes that Novak is healthy and won’t face any restrictions as a result of the MCL injury he suffered back in February. The veteran sharpshooter told Gardner that he’s excited to continue playing for his hometown team. “We really believe the Bucks are the best fit for me right now,” Novak said. “It’s a perfect storm. It just comes down to … we’d move every single year. It’s our way of life and we love it. But it’s great (to stay in Milwaukee).”
  • The Bucks had interest in signing guard Ra’Shad James, who played for the team in Summer League, according to Gery Woelfel of The Racine Journal-Times (via Twitter). However, James opted to play in Croatia this season instead, presumably recognizing that he’d face long odds to earn a roster spot with the Bucks.
  • Former Bucks forward Larry Sanders, who remains on the team’s cap through the 2021/22 season, has drawn NBA interest this summer and continues to contemplate a comeback, though some clubs have concerns about how much he really loves basketball, writes Mike Piellucci of Vice Sports. Piellucci’s piece goes into plenty of detail and provides greater context about Sanders’ life and his history with basketball, and is worth reading.

Bucks, Xavier Henry Agree To Deal

The Bucks have added a well-traveled NBA veteran to their offseason roster, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical, who reports (via Twitter) that Xavier Henry has agreed to a training camp deal with Milwaukee. Henry worked out for the Lakers earlier this month and had been considering his options, per Charania.

Having recently signed Jason Terry and Steve Novak, the Bucks now appear to have 15 players on guaranteed salaries for the 2016/17 season, assuming Novak’s contract is guaranteed. That will make it an uphill battle for Henry as he attempts to earn a regular-season roster spot. However, if he has a strong preseason, he could attract interest from other teams and may become a 10-day contract candidate later in the season.

Henry, 25, was the 12th overall pick in the 2010 draft, and has since appeared in 185 total regular-season NBA games. Henry’s best season came in 2013/14 with the Lakers, when he averaged 10.0 PPG, 2.7 RPG, and 1.0 SPG in 43 contests (21.1 MPG). He previously spent time with Memphis and New Orleans, and last year played for the Warriors’ D-League affiliate.

Henry is now nearly two years removed from suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon, an injury that required a long recovery period. The 6’6″ wing said earlier this month that he’s healthy and feels “blessed” that he’s even able to play basketball again.

Bucks Re-Sign Steve Novak

The Bucks have re-signed unrestricted free agent Steve Novak, the team announced (via Twitter). The length and terms of the arrangement were not relayed, but with Milwaukee over the cap, it is likely for the veteran’s minimum. The team does still possess its Room Exception worth $2,898,000, but it would be surprising if it was used in this case. The team now has 15 players on its roster, which is the regular season maximum.

Novak had garnered some interest around the league from other teams, per his agent Mark Bartelstein, but the veteran had been holding off on making a decision because his clear preference was to remain in Milwaukee. “There have been a few teams that we’ve talked to; you always got to keep your doors open,’’ Bartelstein had said earlier this month. “But we’re still talking with the Bucks and, hopefully, we’ll make a deal with them. Steve would love to stay in Milwaukee. It’s a very special place for him.’’

The forward was the No. 32 overall pick in 2006. He has appeared in 459 career regular season games, averaging 4.7 points and 1.3 rebounds in 12.3 minutes per outing. He owns a career shooting line of .438/.431/.877. Novak will provide the team with veteran leadership and some outside shooting off the bench.

Terry Wanted Playing Time

A shot at playing time may have been what most attracted Jason Terry to the Bucks, according to Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times. Terry appeared in 72 games and averaged 17.5 minutes per night for the Rockets last season, and apparently he’s not ready for a reduced role, even with his 39th birthday looming next month. After missing out on free agent guards Kent Bazemore and Dwyane Wade, the Bucks turned to Terry, who ranks third on the list of most 3-pointers made in a career. “Whether he gets 40 minutes, four minutes or no minutes, he’ll accept it and be professional about it,’’ said Terry’s agent, Ryan N. Davis. “He’s excited to be with Milwaukee and help them.’’

  • Former Bucks center Larry Sanders has no interest in signing a deal that is only guaranteed for training camp, tweets Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. Sanders, who hasn’t played since leaving the NBA in December of 2014 because of anxiety and depression, is looking for a situation that offers a real opportunity to make a 15-man roster.

Details On Cash Used In 2016 Draft Trades

As our list of 2016 offseason trades shows, five of the deals agreed upon on draft night this year featured one team sending cash to the other. The NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement allows clubs to include cash payments, but only up to a certain amount.

In the 2016/17 league year, teams are allowed to receive a total of $3.5MM in trades, and can also send out $3.5MM in trades. Those limits are separate, so a team that sends $3.5MM in a deal and then later receives $3.5MM doesn’t get a fresh, new slate — that club is capped out for the league year. In 2014/15, the limit for cash sent and received in trades was $3.4MM.

Since the league year ends on June 30, teams that hadn’t taken advantage of those cash allowances earlier in the season will often use remaining cash during the draft to move up or to snag an extra pick. Many of the cash details on those draft-day deals for 2016 were previously reported. For instance, we already knew about the following payments:

  • Warriors sent $2.4MM to Bucks to acquire No. 38 overall pick (Patrick McCaw).
  • Trail Blazers sent $1.2MM (and a 2019 second-round pick) to Magic to acquire No. 47 overall pick (Jake Layman).
  • Cavaliers sent approximately $2.5MM to Hawks to acquire No. 54 overall pick (Kay Felder).

Based on those numbers, it appears the Warriors got a much better deal from the Bucks than the Cavaliers did from the Hawks. Of course, if the Cavs badly wanted Felder, the cost to move into the draft was hardly exorbitant — Atlanta likely asked the Cavs for the maximum amount of money they could send, since Cleveland used over $900K in a separate trade earlier in the year.

In addition to those three swaps, two other draft-night deals featured money changing hands, and Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders has the details on those payments, along with several others from the 2015/16 league year. According to Pincus, these are the details on the other two draft trades involving cash:

Once again, one of these deals looks far more favorable than the other, with the Thunder paying a fraction of what the Nets did for a second-round pick. But again, the available players and interested teams essentially set the market for these cash payments.

In the case of the Nets/Jazz deal, Brooklyn clearly wanted to make sure not to miss out on Whitehead, and the team was willing to pay a relatively significant amount to secure him. The Thunder, meanwhile, offered all their available remaining cash to the Nuggets for the 56th pick, and Denver likely had no better offer and no player targeted at that spot — so the Nuggets took what they could get.

Be sure to check out Pincus’ piece at Basketball Insiders for more thorough details of how teams spent and received cash in trades during the 2015/16 league year.

Jason Terry Talks Free Agency Process

Veteran guard Jason Terry recently inked a one-year contract with the Bucks, and while it’s only a minimum-salary deal, it’s fully guaranteed, which is something of a rarity at this point in the NBA offseason. In an interview on SiriusXM NBA Radio (SoundCloud link), Terry admitted that the free agency process can be tough at this late stage in his career (he’ll turn 39 next month). He also identified several of the teams he considered before landing in Milwaukee.

“I had a couple contenders that I was really seriously looking at. Two of them were in the Finals, so that tells you right there who they were,” Terry said, referring to the Cavaliers and Warriors. “I made a call to [Gregg Popovich]. San Antonio’s another one. They were my arch-enemy for eight years when I was in Dallas, but that’s another phone call — if they call, you pick up, there’s just no question about it. … I always thought about going back and trying to finish off where I started in Atlanta. I like what they did. And then I seriously considered Boston, though we did not have a conversation.”

Based on Terry’s comments, it’s not clear how many of those teams he reached out to, and how many reached out to him, so it’s possible that interest wasn’t mutual in all those scenarios. Terry also admitted that while he had some interest in the Lakers, that interest wasn’t reciprocated, since Los Angeles already had a good idea of what its 15-man roster would look like.

“I called my good friend Luke [Walton],” Terry said. “I told him if he needed any help — veteran leadership, in that capacity, with an ability to coach at the end of my deal, then that was something I would be looking forward to. He utterly declined, and I respect him for that.”

Although he’s not the scorer he was early in his career, Terry was still a solid contributor in Houston over the last two seasons, averaging 19.5 MPG in 149 regular-season contests, and averaging 6.5 PPG, 1.7 APG, and 0.8 SPG while shooting 37.5% on three-pointers. In both of his seasons with the Rockets, Terry received a bump in playing time during the postseason.

Jason Terry Contract Details

  • Jason Terry‘s one-year contract with the Bucks is a guaranteed, minimum-salary deal, according to Pincus (via Twitter). While the cap hit for Milwaukee will be just $980,431, Terry – who has more than 10 years of NBA experience – will earn the highest allowable minimum salary, worth $1,551,659.

Salary Cap Snapshot: Milwaukee Bucks

With the free agent signing period winding down and teams looking ahead to the preseason, we at Hoops Rumors will be tracking the Salary Cap figures for each team around the league.  These posts will be maintained throughout the season once financial data is reported. They will be located on the sidebar throughout the year, once all the teams’ cap figures have been relayed. The next franchise we’ll be looking at are the Milwaukee Bucks, who currently are over the league’s salary cap of $94,143,000 for the 2016/17 season. You can always check for up-to-date rosters for each franchise, with the Bucks’ team page accessible here.

Here’s a breakdown of where the Bucks currently stand financially:

Note: These totals do not include Steve Novak.

Guaranteed Salary

Total Guaranteed Salary= $98,658,709

Non-Guaranteed Salary

  • None

Total Non-Guaranteed Salary= $0

Eligible for Rookie Scale Extensions: None

Cash Sent Out Via Trade:  $0 [Amount Remaining $3.5MM]

Cash Received Via Trade: $200,000  [Amount Remaining $3.3MM]

Payroll Exceptions Available

  • Room Exception — $2,898,000

Total Projected Payroll: $98,658,709

Salary Cap: $94,143,000

Estimated Available Cap Space: $4,515,709

Luxury Tax Threshold: $113,287,000

Amount Below Luxury Tax: $14,628,291

The Basketball Insiders salary pages were used in the creation of this post.

Bucks Sign Jason Terry

AUGUST 22nd: The signing is official, the team announced.

AUGUST 19th: Terry says he has agreed to sign with the Bucks, tweets Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston. “They are a young team on the cusp of doing great things and the Bucks have a great coach in Jason Kidd,” Terry said (Twitter link).

AUGUST 18th: The Bucks are in advanced contract talks with veteran point guard Jason Terry, NBA sources told Marc Stein of (Twitter link). Terry, who turns 39 next month, averaged 5.9 points and 1.4 assists in 17.5 minutes for the Rockets last season while appearing in 72 games.

Milwaukee only has 13 players with guaranteed contracts but it is over the salary-cap limit. The Bucks still have the $2.9MM room exception at their disposal. The Rockets informed Terry last month that he was no longer in their plans.

It’s somewhat curious that the Bucks would be interested in Terry, considering they signed free agent Matthew Dellavedova away from the Cavaliers to compete with Michael Carter-Williams at the point guard spot. They also have Tyler Ennis on the roster and it’s noteworthy that the club used Giannis Antetokounmpo with great success as a point forward the second half of last season.

However, Terry could not only provide a veteran locker room presence but also some outside shooting. He’s a career 37.9% shooter on 3-point attempts and could play off the ball with Antetokounmpo running the attack.

Terry has averaged 14.3 points and 4.1 assists in a career that began with the Hawks in 1999/2000.

Bucks To Re-Sign Steve Novak

The Bucks are planning to re-sign unrestricted free agent Steve Novak, according to Charles F. Gardner of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The details of the proposed arrangement are unknown, but with Milwaukee over the cap, it is more than likely for the veteran’s minimum. The team does still have the Room Exception available, but it would be surprising if it was used in this instance. The addition of Novak would give the team 15 players under contract, which is the regular season maximum.

Milwaukee is seeking to add veteran leadership to its bench, which also prompted the reported signing of Jason Terry, notes Gardner. The Bucks currently have the youngest roster in the league and the additions of the 38-year-old Terry and 33-year-old Novak would bring some balance and leadership to the locker room, Gardner adds. Novak has worked with the Bucks medical and training staff this summer to rehab the sprained left MCL that prematurely ended his season and his deal would be finalized  after receiving medical clearance, a team source told Gardner.

Novak has garnered some interest around the league, per his agent Mark Bartelstein, but the veteran has been holding off on making a decision because his clear preference is to remain in Milwaukee. “There have been a few teams that we’ve talked to; you always got to keep your doors open,’’ Bartelstein had said earlier this week. “But we’re still talking with the Bucks and, hopefully, we’ll make a deal with them. Steve would love to stay in Milwaukee. It’s a very special place for him.’’

The forward was the No. 32 overall pick in 2006. He has appeared in 459 career regular season games, averaging 4.7 points and 1.3 rebounds in 12.3 minutes per outing. He owns a career shooting line of .438/.431/.877.

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