Milwaukee Bucks

Eastern Notes: Johnson, Watson, Dellavedova

The Nets have been actively shopping veteran forward Joe Johnson over the past few days, Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.com relays (on Twitter). Brooklyn hasn’t had much luck in finding a taker, as teams are leery of taking on Johnson’s $24,894,863 salary for the 2015/16 campaign, which is the final year of his deal, as well as gutting their rosters to acquire the 34-year-old, Mazzeo adds.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • The Wizards refused to compromise their salary cap space for the summer of 2016, when Kevin Durant is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent, in order to re-sign veteran Paul Pierce, J. Michael of CSNWashington.com writes. This was the same stance the franchise took regarding Trevor Ariza, who ended up signing with the Rockets last summer, Michael notes. Pierce agreed to a three-year, approximately $10MM deal with the Clippers this week.
  • The Cavaliers and free agent point guard Matthew Dellavedova are making progress in their discussions to bring the Australian back to Cleveland next season, Shams Charania of RealGM tweets. Dellavedova is seeking a multiyear deal in the $3MM-$5MM range annually, Charania adds.
  • The Wizards have expressed interest in free agent guard C.J. Watson, Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post notes (Twitter link). Watson is intent on signing for the mid-level exception, which is not necessarily what Washington is currently offering, Michael tweets.
  • Greg Monroe chose to sign with the Bucks because they were the most playoff ready team of all his suitors, Howard Beck of Bleacher Report tweets.
  • The Wizards could be a potential landing spot for free agent forward Chris Copeland, tweets Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report. Washington is also reportedly in discussions with the Bucks regarding a trade for Jared Dudley.
  • Prior to reaching an agreement on his five-year, $90MM deal with the Heat, Goran Dragic asked team president Pat Riley how he could be flexible to aid the franchise in retaining Dwyane Wade, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com writes (on Twitter). Wade and Miami agreed to a one-year, $20MM arrangement earlier today.

Grizzlies, Marc Gasol Progress Toward Deal

Marc Gasol‘s preference is to sign a five-year deal for the max with the Grizzlies, and as the Arn Tellem client and the Grizzlies continue to hammer out the structure of a would-be deal, other teams have given up pursuit, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com. The Spurs, who appeared to have the best shot to lure him from the Grizzlies, as well as the Lakers, Knicks and Bucks all scuttled plans to chase him before free agency began, convinced he would stay in Memphis, as Stein details.

It’s likely that Gasol will re-sign with the Grizzlies today, as TNT’s David Aldridge reported Wednesday, and Stein wrote earlier this week that the 30-year-old center didn’t plan to meet with other teams. Grizzlies owner Robert Pera was among a contingent of Grizzlies higher-ups who traveled to Spain to ensure Gasol is formally on board with staying.

The seven-year veteran is No. 4 in our Free Agent Power Rankings. He’s eligible for a starting salary worth about 30% of the salary cap, or roughly $19MM, with 7.5% raises from the Grizzlies.

Latest On Enes Kanter

10:45am: The Knicks have been in contact with Kanter, though not today, TNT’s David Aldridge tweets, pointing to Robin Lopez as a more likely target for New York.

11:13am: Both Kanter and the Thunder are eager to complete a deal, as Royce Young of ESPN.com hears (Twitter link).

WEDNESDAY, 12:55am: The Blazers are keeping an eye on Kanter’s situation and might want to talk to him, tweets Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today.

TUESDAY, 1:49pm: The Thunder will meet with Enes Kanter Wednesday in Chicago to discuss a potential deal running three or four years in length with salaries that could reach the max if he triggers incentives, reports Shams Charania of RealGM. Kanter will give Oklahoma City the first crack at the restricted free agent before he seeks offer sheets from other teams, as Charania details. The Mavericks may be one of several teams with interest in luring him away, sources tell Charania.

However, the Bucks have yet to express interest, Charania writes, which contradicts an earlier report from Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. Kennedy clarifies that the Bucks, as well as the Celtics, have Kanter down their list of priorities, though there is still some interest from those teams (Twitter link).

Kanter put up impressive numbers with the Thunder following the trade that brought him in from Utah, and Oklahoma City is committed to re-signing him, as GM Sam Presti recently told Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman.

Latest On Tyson Chandler

WEDNESDAY, 1:14pm: The Bucks look like a decreasingly likely destination for Chandler, reports Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com (Twitter link), as do the Mavs, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (on Twitter), leaving the Clippers and Lakers in better position, Stein says.

TUESDAY, 10:37pm: The Lakers are the latest team with interest in Tyson Chandler, reports Chris Broussard of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck heard chatter earlier today about Chandler and Kevin Love joining the Lakers in tandem. Love is meeting with the Lakers this week, as Broussard also reports.

The other Los Angeles team has interest in a sign-and-trade for Chandler if DeAndre Jordan bolts, as Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com wrote this evening, advancing an earlier report from Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com that the Mavs were pondering such a move. The Mavs would like to re-sign Chandler if they miss out on Jordan, as MacMahon has detailed, but Milwaukee and Chandler have mutual interest, according to Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times.

Chandler is finishing up a contract that paid him nearly $14.847MM with Dallas this past season. He’s a client of Jeff Schwartz, who’s represented Bucks coach Jason Kidd. The Lakers are dreaming of signing both LaMarcus Aldridge and DeAndre Jordan, so Chandler would presumably be down their list of priorities.

Raptors, Lakers, Mavs, Bucks Eye Iman Shumpert

1:03am: The Suns have liked Shumpert for a while and might get in the mix for him, too, Kennedy adds on Twitter.

12:05pm: The Raptors also have interest, tweets Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter).

11:35am: The Lakers, Mavericks and Bucks are interested in Iman Shumpert, sources tell Chris Broussard of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The shooting guard will become a restricted free agent Wednesday after the Cavaliers tendered a qualifying offer to him on Monday. Six teams have already expressed interest in Shumpert and league executives believe he’ll command a deal that will pay him better than $8MM a year, as Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group reported, and as we passed along in our Offseason Outlook for the Cavs.

Cleveland GM David Griffin has expressed interest in keeping his team together, and LeBron James would reportedly like the team to re-sign Shumpert. Inking him to a new deal or matching an offer sheet from another team would add to the projected tax bill for the Cavs, who’ve already had internal discussions about a $100-110MM payroll, with tax payments perhaps exceeding $75MM, as Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com reported.

Eastern Rumors: Pierce, Bass, Chandler

The Wizards‘ wish list in free agency will hinge heavily on what happens with Paul Pierce, Jorge Castillo off The Washington Post writes.   Pierce can re-sign with Washington for 120% of what he earned during last season, about $6.6MM.  It’s not clear how long the Wizards will wait for Pierce to make a call, however.  It’s conceivable that Pierce could be drawn to a Celtics return or a reunion with Doc Rivers in Los Angeles. Here’s more from the Eastern Conference..

  • The agent for Celtics forward Brandon Bass’s agent tells Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe there have been indications that numerous teams will have interest in his client.  However, Tony Dutt also says there’s mutual interest in a return.  “I think Brad [Stevens] and Danny [Ainge] understand the value of what Brandon brings,” Dutt said. “He loves Boston, and if it works out for him to stay there, we’d be more than happy.”  Bass averaged 10.6 PPG and 4.9 RPG per game last season.
  • Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter) notes that Tyson Chandler and coach Jason Kidd are both represented by Excel Sports.  In addition to Kidd, many Bucks players are also represented by Excel, as shown in the Hoops Rumors Agency Database.  Earlier today it was reported that there is mutual interest between Chandler and the Bucks.
  • Hawks free agent shooting guard John Jenkins has left BDA Sports Management, according to Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders.  Jenkins appeared in just 37 games the past two seasons after playing in 61 contests as a rookie in 2012/13.  The former first-round pick has posted averages of 5.6 PPG and 1.6 RPG while connecting on 38 percent of his shots from three-point range.
  • The Hawks announced that guard Kyle Korver is expected to be ready for training camp after having right elbow surgery to remove loose bodies today, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter).
  • Rumors about Rodney Stuckey‘s perceived bad attitude hurt his stock during last summer’s free agency, league sources tell Candace Buckner of the Indy Star. “Moody, can’t be coached, bad guy, can’t win with him,” said an Eastern Conference insider, repeating the circulated gossip. “Anybody that really knows him, would know … he’s one of the most misunderstood guys in the league.”  Buckner hears that at least five teams have expressed interest in speaking with Stuckey, who flourished this past season with the Pacers.
  • With Greg Monroe headed elsewhere, the Pistons will need to add two backup centers this summer, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press writes.  The Pistons won’t be spending big on backup fives, but they could be looking at guys like Brandan Wright, Kosta Koufos, or maybe even Omer Asik, Ellis writes.  GM Jeff Bower confirmed that he wants to have six bigs and not five next season.
  • The Raptors didn’t send back any salary to the Thunder in the trade that brought in Luke Ridnour, so they had to use one of their trade exceptions. Their $2.358MM exception for John Salmons, which expires tonight, wasn’t quite large enough for Ridnour’s $2.75MM salary, so they either used part of their $3,445,947 Steve Novak trade exception, as Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders surmises (on Twitter), or, in a less likely scenario, part of the $6.4MM trade exception they created just last week in the Greivis Vasquez deal.
  • Travis Wear will play on the Knicks‘ summer league team and probably will be invited to training camp unless he gets a guaranteed offer elsewhere, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Jared Dudley Exercises Option To Stay With Bucks

6;15pm: The two sides are working on a long-term extension deal, according to David Aldridge of NBA.com (on Twitter).

4:41pm: Jared Dudley has exercised his option to stay with the Bucks, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (on Twitter).  Dudley is now scheduled to earn $4.25MM with the Bucks for 2015/16.  Since Dudley’s contract was signed before new CBA in November of 2010, his ETO decision date was grandfathered in as June 30th rather than June 29th, Stein adds (link).

Dudley, who turns 30 on July 10th, came to the Bucks in a deal last August with the Clippers. At the time, he wasn’t happy with the move, but he said back in March that he eventually became comfortable in Milwaukee, thanks in part to Jason Kidd‘s coaching style.  Dudley also said that he would like a long-term deal with the Bucks and that he was willing to take a discount to sign one.  With the Bucks, Dudley also got to show the world what he can do when he’s healthy:

The trade [to Milwaukee] was the best thing for my career, where I got with a training staff that got me healthy and when I’m healthy, I’m the player you see now and the player you saw in Phoenix,” said Dudley, who claims that he played the entire 2013/14 season with a fracture in his right knee at the request of Doc Rivers.

In 72 games (22 starts) last season, Dudley averaged 7.2 PPG, 3.1 RPG, and 1.8 APG.  Dudley also shot 38.5% from downtown, an improvement over his 36% showing in 2013/14.

Bucks Waive Caron Butler, Shawne Williams

As expected, the Bucks have waived both Caron Butler and Shawne Williams, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter). Earlier this month, Butler told Racine Sports Zone that he was expecting to get waived by Milwaukee.

Butler, 35, is coming off career lows in points (5.9) and minutes (20.8) per game. He nonetheless shot 37.9% on 2.8 three-point attempts per game last season, so he at least still appears to have value as a spot-up shooter.  The ThunderBulls, Clippers, Spurs, Lakers, and Knicks reportedly have interest in the veteran.

Milwaukee acquired Butler and Williams in the Ersan Ilyasova trade earlier this month.  Butler played for the Bucks during the first half of the 2013/14 season.  Williams, 29, played 63 regular season games for the Heat and Pistons last season.  He averaged 5.4 PPG and 2.6 RPG in 17.3 minutes per contest between the two teams.  For his career, Williams has averaged 5.6 PPG and 3.0 RPG in stops with the Pacers, Mavs, Knicks, Nets, Lakers, Heat, and Pistons.

Greg Monroe To Meet With Four Teams

WEDNESDAY, 4:00pm: Boston isn’t on the list of teams that Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today hears Monroe will meet with, so it looks like the Celtics are indeed a no-go.

TUESDAY, 8:05am: The Celtics are already out of the running for Monroe, a league source tells Marc Berman of the New York Post, though it’s unclear whether Monroe has canceled his meeting with them.

MONDAY, 1:56pm: The Knicks, unsurprisingly, are the favorites for Monroe, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

SUNDAY, 8:20pm: Greg Monroe, who will become an unrestricted free agent Wednesday, will meet with the Celtics, Knicks, Bucks, Lakers and Trail Blazers once free agent negotiations begin Wednesday and seemingly put an end to the idea that he will re-sign with the Pistons, reports Darrell Williams in a story for the Louisiana Advocate.

Though agent David Falk and Monroe have maintained that the Pistons have a shot to keep him, with Monroe going so far as to say at one point that they had the upper hand, he’s never appeared likely to re-sign after taking Detroit’s qualifying offer this past summer. When asked about the Pistons by Williams, Monroe suggested the team is going in a different direction.

“[Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy] had smaller teams in Orlando years ago,” Monroe said. “[Andre Drummond] is like Dwight Howard. So Stan wants to put good players around him. The team has different plans, and I respect that. I don’t want to be anywhere I’m not wanted.”

Monroe said he is looking for a two-year deal with an option, citing the expected rise of the salary cap as something that is affecting his decision. The big man also wants to play for a playoff-caliber team.

“I’m looking to be with a team that’s ready to win,” Monroe said. “Hopefully it will be a team where I’m the missing piece.”

Curiously, Monroe, while speaking with his hometown paper, said he would be interested in suiting up for the Pelicans, who have not shown interest.

“I’d love to play and represent this city,” he said. “Obviously, they have a guy like Anthony Davis who is a superstar already, and he’s only going to get better. I think I could really play well with him. Our games complement each other. I’m a low-post scorer. Obviously he’s a great midrange player.”

More likely choices include the teams Monroe said he will meet with. The Celtics have a need for a big man and possess the financial flexibility to make a deal happen, the Knicks need a cornerstone big man to build around and the Blazers need to plan for the possibility of life without unrestricted free agent LaMarcus Aldridge.

Latest On DeAndre Jordan

11:55am: Jordan is tired of being third in line behind Paul and Blake Griffin and wants a larger role on offense, Broussard hears, as he writes in a full story. There’s a 50% chance he goes to the Mavs and a 50% chance he stays with the Clippers, a source told Broussard.

TUESDAY, 11:13am: It’s likely that Jordan will sign for four years, with a player option after the third, no matter which team he chooses, sources tell Chris Broussard of ESPN.com (Twitter link). That limits the edge the Clippers have as the only team that can offer five years, notes Dan Woike of the Orange County Register (on Twitter).

5:46pm: Jordan is scheduled to meet with the Mavericks, Lakers and Knicks on the first day of free agency on Wednesday, sources told Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). He will meet with the Clippers on Thursday, Turner adds.

MONDAY, 1:15pm: The Clippers have a slight edge, a league source tells Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (Twitter link), which runs counter to what Amick said the Clippers believe (below).

SUNDAY 9:25pm: The Bucks are “a long shot” to land Jordan and it is unlikely they meet with him, reports Sam Amick of USA Today, who cites a person with knowledge of the Bucks’ situation.

Amick tweets that there is some sense from the Clippers’ side that the Mavs have a slight edge in the Jordan sweepstakes, but the upcoming meetings hold weight.

While sources indicate to Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times that Jordan will either stay with the Clippers or go to Dallas, an acquaintance of Jordan claims the big man would love to play for the Rockets. Houston, of course, already has a quality center in Dwight Howard.

7:08pm: Jordan will also meet with the Knicks once the free agent negotiating period commences, Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv reports.

1:11pm: The Clippers and Mavs remain the front-runners for Jordan, a source tells Bleacher Report’s Jared Zwerling, who suggests that the Knicks might end up meeting with the Relativity Sports client, too.

8:17am: Rumors of a rift between DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul are true, and the Mavs, Lakers and Bucks, as well as the Clippers, will have pitch meetings with Jordan at his home when free agent negotiating begins next week, reports Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. Chandler Parsons has been recruiting Jordan to the Mavs while the two have been hanging out together in Houston this summer, Turner also hears.

Bill Reiter of Fox Sports 1 first reported last month that Paul and Jordan had a falling out, though teammate Dahntay Jones and Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers separately denied it. Rivers is apparently confident about re-signing the seven-year veteran, whom the Clippers will offer a max deal.

Jordan, who’s said he won’t be “greedy” and seek a one-year deal that would take him to a surging salary cap next summer, can receive more money and a longer contract from the Clippers than from any other team, though the Mavs offer the advantage of no state income tax in Texas. The center, who turns 27 next month, has reportedly expressed serious interest in signing with Dallas, and the Mavs are high on the idea themselves. The Mavs front office has kicked around the idea of a sign-and-trade that would involve Jordan coming Dallas and Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton going to the Clippers, as Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com reported.

Chandler is also an apparent target for the Bucks, along with Brook Lopez, as coach Jason Kidd and GM John Hammond aim high. The draft-night acquisition of Greivis Vasquez nonetheless puts a squeeze on Milwaukee’s finances, and the Bucks would probably have to clear some salary for an estimated $18.96MM max salary for Jordan next season if Jared Dudley opts in.

Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com wrote last month that the Lakers would love to have Jordan, and he’ll apparently be one of a coterie of big men the team will target in free agency, along with LaMarcus Aldridge, who’s also a Mavs target, and Kevin Love. Interior players will no doubt be a priority for the Lakers, who have max-level cap flexibility, now that the team has used the No. 2 pick on guard D’Angelo Russell.

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