Milwaukee Bucks Rumors

Central Rumors: Griffin, Cavs, Bucks, Pistons

April 21 at 6:24pm CDT By Zach Links

While nothing is etched in stone, Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio (on Twitter) hears that the “feel inside” the organization is that David Griffin will be the Cavs‘ GM next season.  There has been question about whether Griffin would be retained or if he might jump ship to take the now vacant Pistons’ GM job.  More out of the Central..

  • Once the front office is in place, the source tells Amico (link) that the Cavs will seek “honest opinions” from players and management on whether they truly believe in coach Mike Brown.
  • The NBA has the right to buy back the Bucks from incoming owners Wesley Edens and Mark Lasry if a deal to a bring a new arena to the city is not in place by November 2017, sources briefed on the situation tell Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein of ESPN.com.  The team, purchased for $550MM, can be bought back by the league for $575MM in construction isn’t underway by the deadline.  One source added that the league would likely only take that step if it didn’t see “significant progress” by then.
  • Former Pistons executive Scott Perry could be ready for his shot as General Manager, writes Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News.  Perry had two stints with the Pistons, first as a college scout (2000-02) and then director of player personnel (2002-07) before leaving then returning as Vice President from 2008-12.  Perry, along with Thunder assistant GM Troy Weaver, Warriors assistant GM Travis Schlenk, Celtics assistant GM Michael Zarren and Griffin, are the hot names Detroit will likely interview.
  • Questions swirl as the Cavaliers enter the offseason, writes Mary Schmitt Boyer of The Plain Dealer.  It remains to be seen who will stay and who will go, and that includes from Griffin, coach Mike Brown, free agents Luol Deng and Spencer Hawes, and even star Kyrie Irving.

Central Rumors: Cavs, Colangelo, Bucks

April 20 at 7:52pm CDT By Zach Links

Earlier this week, our own Chuck Myron looked at the free agent stock of Cavaliers small forward Luol Deng.  The Cavs were in talks with several teams about flipping Deng at the deadline, a sign that the club isn’t confident about its chances to keep the small forward.  We know that the The Lakers and Suns have interest, and the Mavs, Celtics, Magic and Bobcats are reportedly likely suitors as well, so things appear to be wide-open for the 29-year-old.  Here’s the latest out of the Central Division..

  • If Cavaliers acting General Manager David Griffin leaves the Cavs for the vacant Pistons job or isn’t retained, Mary Schmitt Boyer of The Plain Dealer says two names to keep in mind are Bryan Colangelo and Ed Stefanski.  Both were most recently with the Raptors and both likely would be under consideration should the Cavs have an opening. Griffin actually worked in Phoenix for Colangelo.  Stefanski, meanwhile, was previously was president and GM of the 76ers and GM of the Nets where he worked alongside Rod Thorn.
  • New Bucks owners Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry spoke with Don Walker of the Journal-Sentinel about what fueled them to buy the club, their business philosophy, and their plan to land a new arena.
  • The Journal-Sentinel staff graded the Bucks‘ 2013/14 season and the report card isn’t pretty.  Milwaukee’s final grade is an F in part because the off-season moves to sign Larry Sanders and O.J. Mayo to long-term deals backfired in a hurry.  There weren’t many bright spots, but the trade to land Brandon Knight and Khris Middleton yielded decent results and the draft picks of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nate Wolters were promising.

And-Ones: Age-Limit, Harrisons, Bucks

April 19 at 10:41pm CDT By Cray Allred

The first day of the postseason is almost in the books, with the Thunder trying to avoid being the fourth home team to lose. Here’s a roundup of notes from around the league:

  • Rick Buchanan oversees the NBA’s drug-testing program, and he defended the league’s process to Sam Amick of USA Today“[The NBA's protocol] is as good or better than the programs in the other leagues, but we’ve kind of been given a bit of a hard time about that,” Buchanan said. “And then we have a positive [testing] situation, and a penalty, and the questions then go in another direction, which is, ‘Gee, isn’t this harsh?’…We can’t seem to catch a break.” The player’s union came out strongly in opposition to the suspension of Nick Calathes handed down yesterday.
  • Following this week’s owners meeting, Adam Silver said that the league is prepared to make raising the age limit for draft entry its top priority, per Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. Silver and the owners also discussed a variety of ways to ease the transition from college hoops to the pros, including lowering the college shot clock and providing financial incentive to stay in school.
  • Changing the lottery format to increase the incentive for all teams to field competitive teams was also an item of discussion, with plans including the draft “wheel” and a postseason play-in tournament on the table, the ESPN scribe adds.
  • Charles F. Gardner of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel thinks that the Bucks could turn around their franchise and parallel the success stories of the Thunder and Bobcats, but opines that the rebuild will take years and require patience.
  • Andrew and Aaron Harrison are waiting for NBA feedback before they decide whether to enter this year’s draft, the twins’ father tells Mark Berman of MyFOXHouston.com (H/T Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv). “I just sent the paperwork in two or three days ago,” said Aaron Harrison, Sr. “I talked to a gentleman at the NBA and he said he would get it to me as fast as possible and then we’ll go from there. It’s important. You’re trying to find out what the prospects are for them and where they’ll be drafted and all those things.”

Eastern Rumors: Sixers, Bucks, Bobcats

April 19 at 9:23pm CDT By Cray Allred

Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker tell Scott Fowler of The Charlotte Observer that Walker’s recruiting played a part in “Big Al” signing with the Bobcats last summer. Although Walker wasn’t optimistic, Jefferson says the point guard’s pitch made a difference. “Nothing feels better than knowing somebody wants you,” said Jefferson. “It made me feel special. And their top player had come to me in the offseason and really wanted me to come.” Here’s more from the East:

  • Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com looks at how the projected cap increase for next year could help teams like the Bulls and Rockets pursue Carmelo Anthony, should he opt out of his final contract year with the Knicks.
  • Joe Dumars has no interest in the Cavs GM opening, sources tell Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio.
  • Sixers coach Brett Brown tells Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer that he believes in the process Philadelphia’s front office has designed heading into the draft. “I will be led by [GM Sam Hinkie]. I have gone through a very system-oriented process for the past 12 years [as San Antonio Spurs assistant] with an organization that’s proven they’ve made way more good decisions than bad decisions,” said Brown. “I’m going to let him use me how he wants to use me. That’s my nature–to immerse myself into it all and be highly opinionated. Somewhere out there, analytics people and Sam as the architect of all of it and the coaches will share an opinion. And the club will roll with it.”
  • Tom Moore of Calkins Media says that Sixers owner Joshua Harris’s assessment of Philadelphia’s season as a “success” is premature, and ultimately will depend on how well Hinkie uses the team’s abundance of draft picks this summer.
  • Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens were interviewed for the first time since becoming the new Bucks owners by Don Walker of The Journal Sentinel. The pair emphasized the plans to bring a new arena to Milwaukee, and their commitment to building a winner. “Part of this for us, [is that] you can only go up. If you look at this, if we do the right things, if we pick the right players, if everything works the way hopefully it will and we can follow the model of San Antonio or the Thunder,” said Lasry. “I think everybody wants the same thing we do. Everybody just wants a winner.”

And-Ones: Draft, Bucks, Cavs, Pistons

April 18 at 9:13pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors weighed in on the Eastern Conference playoffs as a guest on The Baseline podcast at Shaw Sports.

More from around the Association and college ranks:

  • Kentucky coach John Calipari has no idea if Andrew Harrison and Aaron Harrison will declare for this year’s NBA Draft, writes Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv. Calipari said, “They have ‘til the 27th to make a decision. I don’t even know what the NCAA date is because we don’t worry about it. It has nothing to do with us. The only date they have to be concerned about is the 27th, when they have to put their name in or they don’t put their name in.” Draft Express has Andrew ranked as the 39th best prospect and Aaron as the 53rd.
  • The NBA Draft Experts at ESPN.com examine the scouting report and draft prospects of Kentucky’s James Young, who has announced that he will enter this year’s draft. Young ranks 15th on Chad Ford of ESPN.com‘s Big Board.
  • Duke’s Rodney Hood also gets profiled by ESPN.com’s draft experts. Hood has declared he’s entering the draft this year, and Ford has him ranked 22nd. You can also check out our prospect profile on Hood.
  • Adam Silver doesn’t anticipate any issues affecting league approval of Herb Kohl’s sale of the Bucks to Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry, as the commissioner told reporters today, including Don Walker of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Silver informed fellow Journal Sentinel scribe Charles F. Gardner that he expects approval to occur within a month (Twitter link).
  • Despite the talk that Cavaliers guards Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters don’t get along, Luol Deng has said the two players “love” each other, writes Bob Finnan of The Morning Journal.
  • Part of the reason the Pistons had such a poor season was due to bad chemistry, writes Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. Ellis’ article speculates as to what caused this issue.
  • Larry Coon of the CBA FAQ Blog (via RealGM.com) is reporting that the 2014/15 salary cap is now projected to be $63.2MM and the tax level is projected to be $77MM. The numbers for 2015/16 are now projected to be $66.5MM and $81MM, respectively. This season’s figures are $58.679MM for the salary cap and $71.748MM for the luxury tax level, so the cap projection for next season is a 7.7% increase over this year’s.

Central Notes: Bucks, Monroe, Billups, Pistons

April 17 at 8:47pm CDT By Alex Lee

Earlier tonight we broke down the bevy of news coming out of Cleveland. Here is what is going on in the rest of the Central Division on Thursday night:

  • Once the dust settles from the Bucks ownership change, many league insiders expect the new regime to make changes in the front office and on the coaching staff in Milwaukee, writes Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. As Kyler notes, general manager John Hammond and assistant GM David Morway are both under contract for two more seasons. Head coach Larry Drew inked a four-year, $10MM pact last summer.
  • Soon-to-be restricted free agent Greg Monroe spent what might be his last season with the Pistons keeping his head down and concentrating on his own production, writes Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News.
  • Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press suggests the Pistons would probably exercise their $2.5MM team option on Chauncey Billups for next season if the 37-year-old elects not to retire, but it seems questionable that the team would commit to that kind of money to him.
  • Several Pistons players conceded that chemistry issues plagued the team all season, with Brandon Jennings admitting that he never would have agreed to come to Detroit last summer had he known how things would turn out, writes David Mayo of MLive.com. Based on player comments, Mayo infers that veteran Josh Smith, the team’s highest paid player, is one of the reasons for the team’s fractured locker room. In a separate piece, Ellis concurs.

Bucks Notes: Kohl, Edens, Lasry

April 16 at 9:55pm CDT By Charlie Adams

News broke today that the Bucks’ ownership had officially found a group to purchase the organization. Pending league approval, the ownership of Milwaukee will change hands for the first time since 1985, when Herb Kohl purchased the team from Jim Fitzgerald. Let’s round up the latest news and notes on the Bucks in wake of the sale:

  • New owners Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry were one of nine groups bidding for the team, as Steve Greenberg of Allen & Co., the firm overseeing the transfer, told Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times (Twitter link).
  • Kohl acknowledged that while there were other good offers on the table, Edens and Lasry were the best fit for the team, reports Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter links).
  • A change in ownership will impact the Bucks’ quest for a new arena, and Michael Hunt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel looks at what steps ownership will need to take in order to secure a new home court.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Wesley Edens, Marc Lasry To Purchase Bucks

April 16 at 3:02pm CDT By Chuck Myron

3:02pm: Edens says he’d like to see the arena built within a couple of years, and suggests that the $200MM puts the team halfway toward the price of the new building, as Woelfel tweets.

2:49pm: Edens and Lasry will put $100MM toward the construction of a new arena in addition to the purchase price of the team, Gardner tweets. Kohl will also give $100MM for the arena, the team announced (Twitter link).

2:43pm: Kohl announced in a press conference that he’s transferring full ownership of the club to Edens and Lasry, pending league approval, as Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes via Twitter.

11:34am: Longtime Bucks owner Herb Kohl will announce the sale of the team to Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry later today, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. The sale of what’s presumably a majority stake in the team to the hedge fund billionaires will be subject to league approval, but Kohl made keeping the team in Milwaukee a condition of the deal, Stein adds (Twitter link). Grantland’s Bill Simmons first identified Edens and Lasry as having been close to purchasing the team last week. The sale price is $550MM, according to Stein.

Edens is a principal and co-chairman of the Board of Directors of Fortress Investment Group LLC, while Lasry is the CEO of Avenue Capital Group. Forbes.com pegs Lasry’s net worth at $1.7 billion. Other suitors made late bids to purchase the team, Simmons wrote, but it appears that Edens and Lasry have emerged with a deal.

Part of the cost of the team will be redirected into funding a new arena in Milwaukee, tweets Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times. It seems likely that Edens and Lasry aren’t shelling out the full $550MM, but rather paying a percentage of that based on a valuation of the entire franchise at that price. Vivek Ranadive and his partners last year paid about $348MM to purchase 65% of the Kings, who were valued at a total of more than $534MM.

There have been several rumored to be in the mix for all or part of the Bucks in recent months, including Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio, Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, agent Arn Tellem, former Raptors and Suns GM Bryan Colangelo, former Wolves GM David Kahn, one-time Bucks player Junior Bridgeman, and Milwaukee health care executive Jon Hammes.

Kohl announced in December that he was seeking to sell minority shares in the club, but Woelfel reported about a month ago that Kohl was close to selling a majority stake. He’s campaigned for a new arena to replace the nearly 25-year-old Bradley Center, though it appears that finding public funding to built it will be difficult. Kohl’s apparent decision to use a portion of his take from the sale to foot the bill for the arena fits with Woelfel’s report from January that suggests the former U.S. Senator wants the new home for the Bucks to be an important part of his legacy in the area. Woelfel wrote then that Kohl was considering giving more than $100MM toward the building’s construction.

Bucks Re-Sign Chris Wright To Multiyear Deal

April 16 at 10:02am CDT By Ryan Raroque

WEDNESDAY, 10:02am: The Bucks have officially announced the deal.

TUESDAY, 11:22pm: The Bucks have signed Chris Wright for the remainder of the regular season in addition to a non-guaranteed season in 2014/15, reports Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The 6’9 forward is now expected to participate with Milwaukee’s summer league team and be included in training camp. Gardner adds that the signing will give the Bucks some added flexibility in trade scenarios this summer.

Wright played on a pair of ten-day contracts with Milwaukee this year, one signed on March 14th and the other on April 5th, respectively. In his most recent stint, the Dayton native played 15 MPG in each of the team’s last five games, averaging 6.0 PPG, 2.2 RPG, and one steal per game to go along with 66.7% shooting from the field overall.

Latest On Potential Bucks Sale

April 15 at 3:27pm CDT By Chuck Myron

3:27pm: Woelfel wouldn’t be surprised if the new owners aren’t among those previously reported to be in the mix (Twitter link).

APRIL 15TH, 3:20pm: Kohl has selected the group he’ll sell to, Woelfel tweets. Woelfel doesn’t specify whether it’s a majority or minority stake that’ll change hands, but judging from his reporting to this point, he’s likely referring to a controlling interest in the Bucks.

APRIL 11TH: The NBA’s Board of Governors will likely make the Bucks one of the primary topics of discussion at their meeting next week, and there’s a “distinct possibility” that they’ll reveal new ownership for the team, according to Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times. A pair of reports refuted Woelfel’s assertion last month that longtime owner Herb Kohl was likely to give up control of the team this spring, but Woelfel once more suggests a principal stake in the team is up for grabs.

Kohl has set the price at $500MM, Woelfel writes, which scared off potential investor Craig Leipold, who is the majority owner of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild. Still, there are a number of other buyers who appear to be in play, as Woelfel details. Mark Attanasio, the principal owner of baseball’s Milwaukee Brewers, partnered with former Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley when he was reportedly close to buying the Bucks last year, but Heisley’s poor health has caused him to drop out of the mix. Attanasio nonetheless has strong ties to Steve Greenberg of Allen & Co., the firm that Kohl has hired to conduct the sale of the team, as does agent Arn Tellem, another rumored suitor, according to Woelfel.

Red Sox chairman and former Padres owner Tom Werner is also in the running for the Bucks, and so is a group of investors from Chicago, Woelfel reports. Former Raptors and Suns executive Bryan Colangelo appears to be linked to the Chicago group, and some around the league tell Woelfel that they believe there’s a chance he’ll head up the team’s basketball operations if the Chicago investors wind up taking over the team.

Health care executive Jon Hammes in the running, most likely for a minority stake, Woelfel writes. Woelfel reiterates the rumors connecting one-time Bucks player Junior Bridgeman and former Timberwolves GM David Kahn to the sale of the team. Chicago-based entrepreneur and neuropsychologist Dr. Richard Chaifetz has publicly expressed interest in owning an NBA team, Woelfel notes, but it’s not clear if he’s connected to the other Chicago investors.

Kohl and the NBA have been aggressively seeking a new arena for the Bucks in Milwaukee, and though it appears that security public funding will be an uphill fight, Kohl has been intent on ensuring the franchise remains in local hands. The principal figure in a group of investors from Seattle, which nearly became the new home of the Kings last year, recently said that he and his partners remain poised to bring an NBA team to the Emerald City.