Milwaukee Bucks Rumors
May 22 at 10:50am CST By Luke Adams
- Ersan Ilyasova ($7,900,000)
- Drew Gooden ($6,687,400)
- Luc Mbah a Moute ($4,588,384)
- Ekpe Udoh ($4,469,548)
- Larry Sanders ($3,053,368)
- John Henson ($1,905,360)
- Ish Smith ($951,463)
Free Agents / Cap Holds
- J.J. Redick ($9,285,000)
- Samuel Dalembert ($8,707,135)
- Brandon Jennings ($7,948,733)2
- Mike Dunleavy ($4,875,000)
- No. 15 pick ($1,493,800)
- Marquis Daniels ($884,293)
- Joel Przybilla ($884,293)
- 1st Round (15th overall)
- 2nd Round (43rd overall)
- Guaranteed Salary: $29,555,523
- Options: $12,500,000
- Non-Guaranteed Salary: $0
- Cap Holds: $34,078,254
- Total: $76,133,777
While the Bucks made the postseason for just the second time in the last
seven years, earning the franchise's first playoff berth since 2009/10,
it's hard to view the '12/13 season as a real success. After a solid
first half, the Bucks stumbled down the stretch, ultimately finishing
with a 38-44 record. In the Western Conference, that sort of record
would mean Milwaukee would be focusing on last night's draft lottery
results. In the East, it meant a No. 8 seed and a first-round sweep at
the hands of the Heat.
So here's where the Bucks stand heading
into the summer: Their playoff appearance was so brief you could be
forgiven for thinking it didn't even last four games. They don't have a
lottery pick. They're searching for their third head coach of the
calendar year. And four of their top five scorers are eligible for free
Some of those issues are less significant than others.
Many observers feel this year's draft class is short on elite talent but
well-stocked with potential rotation players, so 15th overall isn't a
bad spot for the Bucks. Additionally, the opportunity to bring in a new
coach to replace one who had seemingly grown tired of the job (Scott
Skiles) and one who was no more than a midseason quick fix (Jim Boylan)
should allow the Bucks to identify a candidate more suited for the
The team's most pressing concern should be the free
agent period. Monta Ellis has a player option worth $11MM that he's
unlikely to exercise -- even if he's unlikely to find an annual salary
that high on the open market, the opportunity to secure a longer-term
deal with a team of his choosing will probably be too appealing to pass
up. Meanwhile, after years of conflicting public comments
on whether or not he's happy in Milwaukee, Brandon Jennings will hit
free agency for the first time. Coming off his rookie-scale contract,
Jennings will be a restricted free agent, meaning the Bucks will have
the opportunity to match any offer he receives. If Jennings really wants
to leave Milwaukee though, he could certainly make life difficult for
the team by either signing a lucrative offer sheet with another suitor
or accepting the Bucks' one-year qualifying offer, which would allow him
to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
and Jennings, a pair of Milwaukee sharpshooters are also headed for
unrestricted free agency. J.J. Redick figures to be a priority for the
Bucks, considering the club gave up an apparent gem in Tobias Harris to
acquire Redick from the Magic. Like the Sixers with Andrew Bynum, the
Bucks don't want to make an unsuccessful trade worse by overpaying the
player in free agency, but trading Harris and others for a two-month
rental of Redick doesn't make much sense. In addition to Redick, Mike Dunleavy, an unspectacular but very solid wing player, will hit the open
The Bucks' impending free agents present the team with an
unenviable dilemma: Re-signing two or three of those free agents and
making small upgrades elsewhere won't make Milwaukee a title contender.
If anything, it would set the Bucks up for more years like 2012/13,
where they may be good enough to make the postseason, but aren't quite
good enough to make any noise once they get there.
On the other
hand, letting their free agents walk presents a new set of problems.
Milwaukee isn't exactly one of the league's most attractive free agent
destinations, so even armed with a huge chunk of cap space, it's hard to
imagine the Bucks luring an elite free agent or two to Milwaukee
without massively overpaying. And without a lottery pick or a trade
asset like Harris, it's equally hard to see how the Bucks could land an
elite talent in the draft or on the trade market.
My best guess
for the Bucks this summer is that they do what they can to retain
Jennings. Even if they have to overpay, the Bucks are in the driver's
seat when it comes to keeping Jennings under team control going forward,
which isn't necessarily true of their other free agents. I'd also
expect the club to take its best shot at bringing back Redick -- the
fact that the Bucks targeted and acquired him in the first place
suggests to me that they like him, and we heard earlier in the year that
they'd make a "strong bid" to re-sign him.
the Bucks are able to re-sign Jennings and Redick for something in the
neighborhood of $20-22MM annually, they'd still have a little room to
pursue other rotation pieces in free agency. That's especially true if
the club also decides to amnesty Drew Gooden, who has two years and more
than $13MM remaining on his contract. I'd expect the Bucks to use their
amnesty provision on Gooden only if they have a specific target lined
up to use that cap room on instead. Either way, filling out the
backcourt and adding another big man to a frontcourt that includes Larry Sanders, John Henson, and Ersan Ilyasova will be priorities for
For now, Milwaukee is lacking the sort of elite talent
necessary to take the team to the next level. As long as the Bucks
continue to be relatively productive on the court, it will be difficult
to land that kind of talent in the draft, and the team will remain at an
inherent disadvantage when it comes to recruiting free agents.
the Bucks do have a handful of valuable assets on their roster, even if
they lose a couple of their free agent guards this summer. So even if GM
John Hammond isn't able to add a star, continuing to add solid young
talent to the roster would be a step in the direction. We've seen a team like
the Nuggets have plenty of regular-season success without a star, and
other teams like the Rockets have been able to eventually accumulate
enough valuable assets to turn them into a star via trade. Perhaps the
Bucks can follow the blueprints established by those sorts of clubs, and
avoid getting stuck in the no-man's land that belongs to non-lottery,
Besides Gooden, only Sanders is eligible to be amnestied, so if the
Bucks don't cut Gooden this summer or next, their amnesty provision will go unused.
worth monitoring this offseason: Sanders becomes eligible for a
rookie-scale extension as of July. After his breakout year in '12/13, Sanders
appears to be in line for a new contract that exceeds the four-year,
$33MM deal signed by Taj Gibson last fall. It will be interesting to
see if he elects to wait until free agency to negotiate a long-term
deal, or if the Bucks lock him up before October 31st.
- He won't
receive the same amount of attention as Sanders, but Ekpe Udoh
is also eligible for an extension this offseason. I'd expect the Bucks
to wait on Udoh and see how he performs in his fourth year before
negotiating a new deal with him.
- If the Bucks exercise their team option on Ayon by the June 30th deadline, his contract is still non-guaranteed. If he remains on the roster beyond July 25th, his full salary becomes guaranteed.
- Because he met the starter criteria, Jennings will now be eligible for a qualifying offer of $4,531,459 rather than $4,330,469.
Storytellers Contracts and Sham Sports were used in the creation of this post.
May 22 at 9:03am CST By Luke Adams
A day after an Eastern Conference team (the Cavs) won the 2013 draft lottery, the Eastern Finals will finally get underway tonight in Miami, as the Pacers look to upset the defending-champion Heat. While we look forward to that game, let's check in on a few updates from around the East....
- Within his piece on the Bulls' free agent options, Aggrey Sam of CSNChicago.com reports that the Cavaliers and Pistons may be among the teams with some interest in trading for Luol Deng.
- In exploring why the Bucks' coaching search might be moving slowly, Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times notes that some NBA officials believe Milwaukee is waiting to talk to Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins. Although Hollins will draw interest from teams with stronger rosters, NBA insiders claim he could still be interested in the Bucks job, since he enjoyed his previous stint in Milwaukee and formed a good rapport with team management, says Woelfel.
- The Raptors expect to hear back from the Nuggets today on whether or not they'll receive permision to speak with Denver GM Masai Ujiri, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
- Wojnarowski adds in a second tweet that Celtics assistant Tyronn Lue and Rio Grande Valley Vipers head coach Nick Nurse are candidates for an assistant coaching role with the Raptors.
- Pistons GM Joe Dumars told reporters, including David Mayo of MLive.com, that he's happy with the eighth pick in the draft and won't rule out selecting a big man, even though a perimeter player may be more likely.
- Expect the Celtics to draft the best player available if they keep their 16th overall pick, rather than focusing on a specific area of need, writes Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.
May 21 at 4:52pm CST By Luke Adams
At least eight NBA teams appear to be in the market for a new head coach, so the Bucks certainly aren't alone in what's becoming a crowded marketplace. However, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, Milwaukee is in no rush to complete its search. Spears tweets that the team will likely conduct a second round of interviews at some point in the near future. Here's more on the coaching search and other Bucks-related notes:
- Larry Drew, who is technically still under contract with the Hawks, interviewed for the Bucks' open position and said it "went well," tweets Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
- Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel takes a look at how the Bucks' coaching search compares to the searches being conducted by a handful of other teams.
- The Bucks worked out a number of guards today, according to the team's official PR Twitter account. Junior Cadougan, Will Clyburn, Tyrone Gordon Jr., Glen Rice Jr., James Southerland, and Tony Snell were among the participants.
- Michael Hunt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel explains how Chris Hansen's huge $625MM bid for the Kings could ultimately have an impact on the Bucks.
May 21 at 8:23am CST By Luke Adams
Several days after a report indicated that Stan Van Gundy was unlikely to return to head coaching for the 2013/14 season, Van Gundy himself confirmed the news to David Baumann of Sports Talk Florida. Van Gundy told Baumann that he won't coach an NBA team next year, citing family reasons.
According to Van Gundy, he has not interviewed with any teams for their head coaching openings, despite being contacted by a handful of clubs. The former Magic coach has turned down all available opportunities, he tells Baumann. We had previously heard that Van Gundy interviewed with the Hawks as well as the Bucks. Assuming those reports weren't entirely off base, perhaps both teams just spoke to SVG rather than formally interviewing him.
With Van Gundy seemingly off the market, the Hawks and Bucks will be forced to look elsewhere for their new head coaches, while teams like the Nets and Clippers, who had also been linked to Van Gundy, will also have to explore other options. Grantland's Zach Lowe wonders (via Twitter) if Van Gundy is expecting a more desirable job to become available next offseason, though for now it's probably safe to take SVG at his word and assume he's making a family decision.
May 19 at 8:48am CST By Chuck Myron
Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times begins his look around the NBA with a profile on first-round prospect Glen Rice Jr., who could become the most highly drafted player to come out of the D-League. The Journal Times scribe also touches on offseason rumblings from around the league, and we'll round up the highlights here:
- Woelfel hears the Nets are "honing in on Lionel Hollins" for their coaching vacancy. That would appear to be an exercise in futility, since Hollins says there's mutual interest in his return to the Grizzlies, the team he's guided to the Western Conference Finals. Woelfel also mentions Scott Skiles as a candidate, echoing a report by Sam Amick of USA Today earlier this month.
- Soon-to-be free agent Mike Dunleavy has piqued the interest of several teams around the league. I examined Dunleavy's free agent stock last month, figuring he could fit in as a role player with a title contender.
- Woelfel passes along a few draft rumors, noting that Kelly Olynyk and Michael Carter-Williams will work out for the Bucks, while the Magic, Nets and Knicks have shown interest in Phil Pressey. The Nuggets interviewed Otto Porter.
- Bucks interim coach Jim Boylan is gone, but his assistant coaches remain. Their contracts are up at the end of June, along with a couple members of the team's front office staff, but it remains to be seen whether any of them will return.
May 18 at 10:45pm CST By Chuck Myron
10:45pm: There have been some updates on the second to last day of the Chicago predraft camp, which started on Thursday and ends tomorrow night, as well as other draft-related news, including a few players who hope their names are announced earlier, rather than later, by David Stern in June.
- Virginia Tech guard and ACC Player of the year, Erick Green, told CSN Washington's J. Michael that he expects to be drafted higher than expected. Despite averaging 25 PPG along with 4 APG and 4 RPG in his last college season, Virginia Tech's awful record kept him off the national radar, and at a smidgen under 6'2" he's undersized for an NBA off guard.
- One player the Wizards interviewed was Duke's Mason Plumlee, who Green beat out for ACC Player of the Year. When Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer asked Plumlee whether he believes he's a top 10 pick, Plumlee told him: "I feel like athletically and how I played this year, I’ve proven that I am."
- Another player hoping to be a lottery pick, but who didn't play in a big conference like the ACC, is Lehigh University's C.J. McCollum, who spoke with Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal about his size (he's undersized for an off guard like Green, but can play both guard positions). Two teams who don't really have a need at guard, in the Cavs and Wizards, both interviewed McCollum.
- Norvel Pelle is even further off the radar than the others mentioned, but he's a player who Jeremy Woo described at Zagsblog.com as "the most enigmatic player on the court" in Chicago, and he didn't even play in college after failing to qualify academically. Despite some praise from Woo, and one Western Conference scout's take that Pelle "would have to make it via the NBA's D-League," another scout was a bit more harsh with his assessment, saying that the rail-thin 6'11" 20-year-old was "an AAU tragedy who got bad advice. Wasted years of development. Get his passport ready."
- After watching Bobcats general manager Rich Cho inquire time and again about players in the 10-20 pick range, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer believes the Bobcats might be looking to trade down from wherever they wind up in the draft lottery this Tuesday, May 21st.
- Josh Robbins writes at the Orlando Sentinel that Magic Senior Vice President Pat Williams, is their good luck charm because his teams have won the draft lottery four different times: once for the Sixers in 1986, and three times for the Magic in 1992, 1993 and 2004.
3:00pm: There isn't on-court action at the Chicago predraft camp this weekend as there was Thursday and Friday, though teams and players remain in town until tomorrow. Several general managers tell Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel that they would prefer the event focus less on putting players through drills and afford them more time for interviews. With ESPN televising the part of the combine with players on the hardwood, I wouldn't expect the GMs to get their wish anytime soon. Here's the latest draft-related news:
- The league posted measurements and athletic testing results from the combine participants on NBA.com.
- Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com rounds up his observations from the combine, passing along gloomy opinions on the top talent from a pair of NBA GMs, one of whom says, "There's really no one worthy of the top pick."
- MLive's David Mayo provides a master list of all the draft prospects whom the Pistons have interviewed either formally or informally, along with the dates of the individual workouts those players have scheduled with the team.
- Jamaal Franklin attended the combine despite a sprained ankle that kept him out of workouts and drills, and he interviewed with at least nine teams, according to Mark Zeigler of the San Diego Union-Tribune. His first workout is scheduled for June 3rd with the Mavs, and the Hawks, Nets, Cavs and Bucks are also "in the mix," Zeigler writes.
- The Sixers interviewed Rudy Gobert on Friday, reports Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Chris Mannix of SI.com quizzed some of the top prospects with questions they likely heard in their interviews with teams.
Spencer Lund contributed to this post
May 17 at 10:00pm CST By Chuck Myron
As day three of the NBA draft combine comes to a close, updates are still coming in from reporters stationed in Chicago for the event, which runs through Sunday. We covered the news from the first part of the day in this post, and we'll round up additional items here:
- Robbins adds Victor Oladipo and Nate Wolters to the list of players the Magic have interviewed, which includes a total of 18 prospects. Trey Burke isn't one of them, but he'll likely visit Orlando soon for a lengthy workout and interview.
- Zeller has interviewed with 10 teams at the combine, and the Sixers are one of them, reports Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Nerlens Noel told Andy Katz of ESPN that he's interviewed with the Celtics, Magic, Bobcats, Suns, Pelicans and Cavaliers, as Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv passes along. Katz also hears Gorgui Dieng and Jamaal Franklin are hopeful they'll be healthy enough to work out before the draft. Alex Len won't be ready to hit the court until August, but he's planning to talk with 15 teams at the combine, according to Katz.
- Dennis Schroeder is one of a pair of international prospects rumored to have received a promise from a team, and he said following an interview with the Bucks at the combine that Milwaukee could be a fit for him, notes Charles F. Gardner of the Journal Sentinel. Schroeder also sees a chance for playing time with the Jazz.
- The Magic interviewed Otto Porter during the combine, and scheduled a meeting with Kelly Olynyk as well, reports Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel (Twitter links).
- Sean Deveney of The Sporting News counts Cody Zeller among those with a shot at becoming the top pick after an impressive showing in drills today.
- Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press adds Brandon Paul and Tony Mitchell to the list of Pistons interviewees. Paul has a workout with the team scheduled for later this month.
- The Oregonian's Jason Quick looks at the prospect interview process the Trail Blazers employ, and adds that GM Neil Olshey flew to Europe this spring to scout Rudy Gobert and Dario Saric, who aren't taking part in the combine.
May 17 at 7:11pm CST By Chuck Myron
Stan Van Gundy is indicating to teams that he doesn't want to return to coaching for the 2013/14 season, and he hasn't had any formal interviews, according to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. That conflicts with the news we heard earlier today that Van Gundy had formally interviewed with the Hawks. He was also reportedly in Milwaukee a week ago to meet with the Bucks, though a later dispatch said that he declined to interview with that team. Robbins writes that Van Gundy has merely accepted calls from a pair of GMs.
There appears to be plenty of demand for the former Magic boss, who has also been linked to the Nets and Clippers in recent weeks. One rumor suggested that he's holding out to see whether the Clippers job will come open, but Robbins' piece doesn't make it seem as though that's the case. Van Gundy did some college basketball broadcasting work this past year, but has otherwise appeared content away from the game.
Robbins laments that Van Gundy's unwillingness to return will extinguish any chance that Van Gundy and Dwight Howard will reunite in the near future, perhaps with the Hawks. The coach and player, combatants in a war of words last season in Orlando, appear to have made amends, and Howard would benefit from the chance to work with Van Gundy again, Robbins believes.
May 17 at 3:32pm CST By Luke Adams
Although Larry Drew remains under contract as the Hawks' head coach until June 30th, Atlanta is considering alternatives, interviewing several other candidates for the position. As the Hawks explore their options though, it appears Drew is doing the same. Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports (via Twitter) that Drew will interview on Monday for the Bucks' head coaching opening.
We heard last night that Jerry Sloan doesn't have interest in the Bucks' job, but the team doesn't have any shortage of potential candidates. Milwaukee has already conducted interviews with Kelvin Sampson, Nate McMillan, J.B. Bickerstaff, and Steve Clifford as well.
The Bucks have reportedly been seeking a coach who will command respect in the team's locker room, following a playoff incident between Larry Sanders and Monta Ellis and a season that saw multiple players dissatisfied with their roles.
May 17 at 2:52pm CST By Luke Adams
2:52pm: Here are a few more updates out of Chicago:
- In a series of tweets, Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune lists a number of the prospects the Timberwolves have talked to or will talk to in Chicago. Among those we hadn't already heard about: Alex Len, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Tim Hardaway Jr., Ricky Ledo, Archie Goodwin, Reggie Bullock, and Vander Blue.
- The Trail Blazers will meet with Caldwell-Pope today, according to Jason Quick of the Oregonian (via Twitter). Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com adds (via Twitter) that the Blazers met with Ledo yesterday.
- Ryan Kelly has met with the Mavericks, Celtics, and Clippers, tweets Chris Mannix of SI.com.
- Dennis Schroeder will work out for the Bucks, Jazz, and Rockets, according to Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times (via Twitter).
- Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio tweets that there's some speculation at the combine that this could finally be the year the No. 1 pick is traded.
11:44am: It took us multiple posts yesterday to round up all the tidbits trickling out of Chicago, where the NBA is holding its draft combine this week. We'll see if today is as busy, but in the meantime, here are the latest updates on the 2013 draft:
- Some NBA executives believe that it's possible Shabazz Muhammad falls out of the top 10 and perhaps even the lottery on draft night, writes Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com.
- In an Insider-only piece, ESPN.com's Chad Ford passes along the official measurements on the players in Chicago, and provides a few thoughts on the results.
- Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News (Twitter link) hears from an NBA source that the Warriors believe they can acquire either a first- or second-round pick in this year's draft, if they so choose. Kawakami adds in a second tweet that a pick would mostly just cost money, but I'm skeptical that the Warriors could pick up a first-rounder without giving up anything of value, or that they'd even want to add a rookie-scale salary, given their proximity to the tax.
- Alex Len met with the Bobcats last night and will meet with the Cavaliers today, according to tweets from Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer and Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon-Journal. David Mayo of MLive.com tweets that Len has nothing set up with the Pistons and "wasn't too enthused" when asked about them -- perhaps that would change if Detroit jumped into the top three in next week's lottery.
- The Pistons will meet with Rudy Gobert today, tweets Keith Langlois of Pistons.com.
- Steven Adams interviewed with the Magic last night, according to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel (Twitter link). Chad Ford heard that Adams was the big winner on the first day of the combine, with "GM after GM" impressed by his showing.
- Kelly Olynyk has met with the Bucks, tweets Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times.
- Myck Kabongo met with the Knicks and Trail Blazers earlier in the week, says Doug Smith of the Toronto Star. Mason Plumlee also expects to meet with the Blazers, tweets Jason Quick of the Oregonian.