Milwaukee Bucks Rumors

Central Notes: ‘Melo, Rose, Pistons, Bucks

July 1 at 4:50pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Some in the Bulls organization doubted their ability to sign Carmelo Anthony away from the Knicks going into their meeting with the star forward today, according to Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com, noting that the sentiment didn’t apply to all of the Bulls brass. Indeed, Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com hears that Bulls officials were confident as they readied to make their pitch (Twitter link), so evidently there was a split. Friedell heard more optimism in the immediate wake of the meeting (Twitter link), but Anthony still has the Mavs, Rockets and Lakers on this week’s agenda. Here’s more from the Central Division, home to the first two contract agreements of the 2014/15 season:

  • Derrick Rose is loath to recruit, but he showed up at Chicago’s pitch to ‘Melo, as K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune details. The presence of Taj Gibson, whom Anthony and coach Tom Thibodeau reportedly would insist on keeping if the Bulls were to clear salary to sign ‘Melo, was even more important, Johnson believes (Twitter link).
  • Among the free agents Detroit considered, the only other player in the market for a contract similar to the one the Pistons have agreed to give Jodie Meeks was Trevor Ariza, tweets Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.
  • Pistons assistant GM George David resigned today, the team announced in a press release, confirming a report from Ellis (Twitter link). David and director of basketball operations Ken Catanella were jointly in charge of the front office this spring before the team hired Stan Van Gundy to replace Joe Dumars. Catanella will remain with the team, as Ellis reported in May.
  • The Bucks made a splash with their new coach, but they plan a “somewhat conservative” approach in free agency this month, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
  • The Cavaliers had been expected to begin negotiations with draft-and-stash prospect Milan Macvan, as Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio reported, but the Croatian power forward instead remains focused on opportunities overseas, according to Shams Charania of RealGM. Sources told Amico that there’s more money on the international market for Macvan than there would be from the Cavs.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Bucks Hire Jason Kidd, Fire Larry Drew

July 1 at 8:40am CDT By Chuck Myron

The Bucks today named Jason Kidd their head coach, the team announced. It’ll be a three-year deal for $12-15MM. He replaces Larry Drew, whom the team let go after reaching a deal to pry Kidd from the Nets. Milwaukee relinquishes 2015 and 2019 second-round draft picks to Brooklyn as compensation. The 2015 second-rounder is actually Brooklyn’s own pick, which the Nets owed to the Bucks from a previous trade.

NBA: Playoffs-Toronto Raptors at Brooklyn Nets“When you list the characteristics that make a successful head coach, you would include leadership, communication and a competitive drive,” Bucks GM John Hammond said as part of the team’s statement. “Jason used all of those traits to become a 10-time All-Star player in the NBA, and has now translated his on-court success to the bench. We welcome him to the Bucks organization and look forward to building a Championship-caliber team with him as our head coach.”

In spite of Hammond’s remarks, it appears his job is in jeopardy. Kidd is coming over only as coach, but Hammond assistant GM David Morway had no knowledge of the contact between ownership and Kidd, and the prevailing sentiment around the league is that it’s just a matter of time before Kidd takes control of the front office in Milwaukee. Kidd’s pursuit of front office control in Brooklyn led to his departure from the team.

Lionel Hollins appears to be the front-runner to fill the vacated head coaching position in Brooklyn, while he’s also reportedly a serious candidate for the Lakers job. George Karl and Ettore Messina are also in the mix for Brooklyn, according to reports, while there’s conflicting information about whether Mark Jackson is also a candidate.

Kidd’s departure from Brooklyn after a single season as head coach brings a fitting end to a one-year tenure rife with surprises. His hiring had been the first shock, as he’d just finished his playing career that same spring. Kidd and the Nets tapped Lawrence Frank to serve as a highly paid assistant, but Frank was removed from the bench in the first half of the season and instead assigned to write daily reports for the team. Kidd’s Nets rebounded from a slow start to make the second round of the playoffs, but after Derek Fisher and Steve Kerr wound up with more lucrative deals to coach teams in spite of the same lack of experience Kidd carried into the Nets job, the Brooklyn coach sought more power.

Reports this weekend indicated that the Nets turned down his request for control over the front office, and when Kidd’s friend Marc Lasry, co-owner of the Bucks, made entreaties, all that was left for Brooklyn was to work out the compensation. The Nets were holding out for a first-rounder, but settled for the pair of second-round picks. The fallout in Brooklyn appears likely to have an effect on whether Shaun Livingston, who admires Kidd, will re-sign with the team in free agency.

Photo Courtesy USA Today Sports Images. Chris Broussard of ESPN.com first reported the Nets and Bucks had a deal (Twitter link). Howard Beck of Bleacher Report, Marc Stein of ESPN.com and Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported details of the compensation going to Brooklyn (All Twitter links). Wojnarowski also added that the feeling around the league is that Kidd will eventually take control of the Bucks front office (Twitter link). Beck noted that Kidd was just coming over to coach the Bucks for now (Twitter link). Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com reported that Drew had been fired (Twitter link). Beck and Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel had details of the contract that Jason Kidd is signing (Twitter links).

Free Agent Rumors: Melo, Love, Henry, Sessions,

July 1 at 1:15am CDT By Zach Links

The Knicks are still viewed in league circles as the favorites in the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes, tweets Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. The team is confident that it will get the final sales pitch with Anthony, a source tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter). The latest free agent rumors from around the league..

  • The Rockets, Suns, Bulls, and Warriors are all expected to make plays for Kevin Love if they miss out on LeBron James and/or Anthony, tweets Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press.
  • The Pacers are targeting Xavier Henry in free agency to replace Evan Turner, tweets Shaun Powell of Sports On Earth.
  • Bucks free agent guard Ramon Sessions‘ camp received calls from three teams in the first hour of free agency, a source tells Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter).
  • The Grizzlies, Nets, Spurs, and Thunder have expressed in free agent point guard Sebastian Telfair, a source tells Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (via Twitter). Telfair played in China last season. For the Nets, Telfair could be a potential replacement for Shaun Livingston if he goes elsewhere.
  • The Nets reached out as soon as the negotiating window opened to their own free agents Paul Pierce, Livingston, and Alan Anderson, a source tells Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (on Twitter).
  • The Blazers have strong interest in signing a stretch four, tweets Joe Freeman of The Oregonian. Spencer Hawes, Boris Diaw, and Josh McRoberts are among their targets.
  • Blazers GM Neil Olshey met with Hawes and his agent, Greg Lawrence, tonight in Los Angeles, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter).
  • Channing Frye would be open to returning to the Blazers, writes Joe Freeman of The Oregonian. “Of course coming back would be an option,” Frye wrote in an e-mail. “I love the city, the fans, and the players they have are top notch.”
  • Nick Young was contacted by the Lakers and a number of other teams, agent Mark Bartelstein tells Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com (via Twitter).

Qualifying Offers: Monday

June 30 at 11:15pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Teams must decide today whether to tender qualifying offers to their players eligible for restricted free agency or lose the right to match offers from other teams. We’ll round up all of today’s qualifying offer decisions here:

  • The Pacers declined to tender a qualifying offer to Lavoy Allen, according to Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star (Twitter link). Still, there’s mutual interest in a new deal, Buckner adds (on Twitter).
  • The Hawks extended a qualifying offer to Mike Scott, notes Mark Deeks of ShamSports (on Twitter).
  • No surprise here: Chandler Parsons got his QO from the Rockets, tweets Mark Deeks of ShamSports.
  • The Pacers won’t extend a QO to Evan Turner, writes Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today.
  • Kevin Seraphin officially got his qualifying offer from the Wizards, tweets Mark Deeks of ShamSports.com.
  • As expected, the Warriors won’t extend a QO to Jordan Crawford, according to Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter).
  • The Hawks have extended a qualifying offer to Shelvin Mack, a source tells Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
  • The Bucks have told forward-center Ekpe Udoh he will not be tendered an offer thus making him an unrestricted free agent, a source told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo (on Twitter).
  • The Grizzlies have passed on making a qualifying offer to Ed Davis, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Davis was reportedly a favorite of former CEO Jason Levien, but with Zach Randolph having agreed to an extension, it appears that Davis isn’t quite as highly valued in Memphis as he once was. His qualifying offer would have been worth $4,268,609, a slightly smaller amount than he was originally in line for, as I explained.
  • No shock here, but the Pistons extended a qualifying offer to Greg Monroe, tweets Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News, preserving their right to match offers for the fifth-rated player in the Hoops Rumors Free Agent Power Rankings. The qualifying offer is worth nearly $5.5MM, but he’ll command much more than that.
  • The Pelicans will not give Darius Miller a qualifying offer, reports John Reid of The Times Picayune. The offer would have been worth more than $1.115MM.
  • The Spurs have tendered a qualifying offer to Aron Baynes, notes Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News (on Twitter). It’s worth more than $1.115MM, the same amount as Miller’s would have been.
  • The Knicks have elected not to make a qualifying offer to Toure’ Murry, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). They’d like to re-sign him nonetheless, Stein adds in a second tweet, but other teams have interest, USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt says (on Twitter). The offer would have been worth more than $1.016MM.
  • Othyus Jeffers and Robbie Hummel won’t receive qualifying offers from the Wolves, the team announced (on Twitter). The offers would have been for amounts slightly greater than $1.148MM and $1.016MM, respectively.

Central Notes: Kidd, Frye, Stephenson, Nelson

June 30 at 7:15pm CDT By Zach Links

Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry apologized to the fired Larry Drew over the Jason Kidd saga, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today.  I’m sure that made everything all better.  Here’s the latest from the Central Division..

  • One free agent target for the Cavs is expected to be Channing Frye, writes Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer. Pluto also expects the Cavs to bring back unrestricted free agent Spencer Hawes.
  • Several sources have indicated to Candace Buckner of the Indy Star (on Twitter) that the Pacers will give Lance Stephenson the star treatment as they try to convince him to re-sign.  The Pacers have even produced a movie in his honor to be shown once free agency officially kicks off at midnight ET.
  • John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com (on Twitter) fully expects Pistons president and coach Stan Van Gundy to reach out to Jameer Nelson in free agency.  Both have tremendous respect for one another.  With homes in Orlando and Philadelphia, Denton (link) expects him to consider teams close to those places like the Heat, Nets, Knicks, 76ers, and Wizards.
  • Nelson is prioritizing winning and wants to sign with a contender, tweets Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.
  • If forward Nikola Mirotic is done with his team in Spain and headed this week to meet with the Bulls, that’s news to the team, writes Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.  According to one source, Chicago was not informed that Mirotic had grown disenchanted with Real Madrid and was ready to join them, as one international report indicated.

Eastern Notes: Irving, Nets, Bucks, Raptors

June 30 at 2:29pm CDT By Chuck Myron

David Blatt‘s hiring as Cavs coach elicited conversations between Kyrie Irving and the team that were more positive in tone than any others to date, a source tells Chris Broussard of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Cavs officials are heading to Irving’s home in New Jersey to present a max extension offer to Irving as soon as the extension window opens tonight, as Broussard notes, confirming a report from earlier this month (Twitter link). Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • The Nets and Bucks won’t be able to trade with each other during 2014/15 as a result of the Jason Kidd deal, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (on Twitter).
  • Some in the Raptors organization are concerned that teams will make offers to Kyle Lowry and Greivis Vasquez at figures that Toronto is unwilling to match, according to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star.
  • The Raptors failed to waive Tyler Hansbrough by the Sunday guarantee date listed in his contract, so his partial guarantee of $1MM for next season has become a fully guaranteed $3,326,235 salary.
  • The Wizards had been making Martell Webster available in trade talk before his back surgery, which likely torpedoed movement toward any deal, reports Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).
  • Washington reciprocates Garrett Temple‘s interest in returning, sources tell J. Michael of CSNWashington.com, who deems the point guard’s return to the Wizards as likely.
  • Soon-to-be restricted free agent Ekpe Udoh has changed agents, going with Brandon Grier and Michael Silverman of Athlete Management Group, USA Today’s Sam Amick tweets. The Bucks big man had previously been with Chris Luchey of CGL Sports.

Lowe’s Latest: Kidd, Blatche, Hammond, Profits

June 30 at 1:25pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Departing Nets coach Jason Kidd planned to eventually fire most if not all of the team’s front office as he sought control of the club’s basketball operations, several league sources tell Grantland’s Zach Lowe. The Grantland scribe has plenty more revelations on Kidd’s shocking change of address as well as insight on revenue and profitability for several NBA franchises. We’ll hit the highlights here:

  • Kidd suggested to Nets ownership at midseason that they replace GM Billy King, though he didn’t pitch himself for the job at that point, Lowe writes. The Bucks sought permission to talk to Kidd earlier this month, and when the Nets hesitated to respond, Kidd made his push to assume control of Nets front office.
  • The Nets publicly termed Andray Blatche‘s midseason absence a product of “personal reasons,” but it was instead because Kidd had essentially suspended him out of concerns over the big man’s conditioning and preparation, according to Lowe. Kidd’s move impressed Nets brass, Lowe adds.
  • The jobs of Bucks GM John Hammond and assistant GM David Morway are safe for the time being, Lowe hears, adding that those two nonetheless had no knowledge of ownership’s negotiations with Kidd.
  • The Nets are projected to have lost a league-high $144MM this year, Lowe reports. The Wizards are next on that list, projected to have lost just $13MM.
  • The Bucks are set to make about $18MM from the league’s revenue sharing program and $3MM from luxury tax payouts, making up for the $6.5MM the team is projected to have lost this year.
  • The Hornets are projected to have lost almost $34MM while taking in only about $22MM in revenue sharing income. The Pistons are set to tally $26MM in losses and recoup only $10.6MM.
  • The Lakers lead the league with a $100.1MM projected profit, followed by the Bulls at $61MM, Rockets at $40.7MM, Celtics at $33.1MM and Thunder at nearly $29MM. The Spurs, Jazz and Nuggets also are in line to profit.
  • The high-revenue Knicks are expected to have lost $3.5MM.

Kidd Leaving Could Affect Nets’ Roster

June 29 at 10:00pm CDT By Charlie Adams

If Jason Kidd isn’t back with the Nets next season, some of Brooklyn’s free agents will likely be less inclined to return as well, reports Roderick Boone of Newsday. Specifically, Boone mentions that Shaun Livingston‘s offseason plans could be altered if Kidd departs from the organization.

Livingston’s decision to sign with the Nets for the veteran’s minimum last summer was largely tied to his relationship with Kidd, a source confirmed to Boone. Since Brooklyn is a taxpaying team and only own Livingston’s Non-Bird Rights, the Nets will only be able to offer him a contract with a starting salary of $3.278MM. After resurrecting his career last season, Livingston could likely grab a higher payday somewhere else.

For the time being, the Nets and Bucks are not close on a deal that would send the second-year coach packing to Milwaukee, a source tells Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link). As we passed along earlier, however, Kidd still isn’t anticipated to be coaching Brooklyn next season. Teams can begin discussions with free agents on Tuesday, and although the Nets are interested in bringing Livingston back, Kidd’s seemingly imminent departure might make a pursuit more difficult.

And-Ones: Suns, Summer League, Kidd

June 29 at 5:54pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Jason Kidd met with members of the Bucks on Friday, and a resolution to the situation is expected within the next 24 hours, reports Charles F. Gardner of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter links). Gardner also notes that Kidd was discussing only a coaching position, and the Nets were asking for a first-round draft pick, while the Bucks are offering a second-rounder as compensation.

More from around the league:

Eastern Notes: Kidd, Celtics, Heat

June 29 at 4:12pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Jason Kidd might look like the “bad guy” right now for trying to leave the Nets, but it might be the smartest thing for him to do, opines Mike Lupica of The New York Daily News. Lupica cites the Nets’ declining roster, absentee owner, and a franchise that seemingly prizes headlines over wins as reasons Kidd might be trying to leave Brooklyn.

More from the east:

  • With the draft behind them the Celtics now look to free agency as their next step in rebuilding the franchise. Ben Rohrbach of WEEI 93.7 FM breaks down the available free agent small forwards the team could be targeting this offseason.
  • The staff at Basketball Insiders (video link) discuss what’s next for the Heat now that their “Big Three” have all opted out of their deals.
  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel analyzes the Magic‘s draft night deal with the Sixers, and wonders if Orlando gave up too much to acquire Elfrid Payton.
  • Ettore Messina has emerged as a potential candidate to replace Kidd as the Nets coach, reports Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.
  • Lavoy Allen plans to attend the Pacers rookie and free agent camp next week, reports Scott Agness of  NBA.com.