Milwaukee Bucks Rumors

Bucks Waive Nate Wolters

January 9 at 9:56am CST By Chuck Myron

9:56am: Team has officially waived Wolters, the Bucks announced.

“We appreciate everything Nate gave to the Bucks both on and off the court,” Hammond said. “We know we will see him again in the NBA and wish him well in the future.”

9:21am: The Bucks have waived Wolters, a league source tells Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link), though the team has yet to make an announcement. A source has told Kennedy the same (Twitter link).

FRIDAY, 8:58am: Milwaukee is signing Martin and waiving Wolters this morning, tweets Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The Bucks had trade talks with several teams Thursday but couldn’t strike a deal, Gardner writes in a full story. Jared Karnes, the agent for Wolters, hadn’t received confirmation that the guard would be waived but said that it wouldn’t surprise him if that indeed took place, as Karnes told Gardner on Thursday night.

THURSDAY, 7:12pm: The Bucks haven’t waived Wolters yet, and are trying to find a trade partner for him before taking that route, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter links). There’s a belief that Wolters won’t clear waivers if cut, which is why teams may want to trade for him now to ensure that they get him, Kennedy adds.

10:34am: The Bucks are expected to waive Nate Wolters to accommodate their 10-day deal with Kenyon Martin, reports Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times (Twitter link). Milwaukee can’t sign Martin unless it offloads one of the 15 players it has on the roster, and it appears Wolters is the one to go, as I speculated, since his contract contains the least amount of guaranteed money among anyone on the Bucks. He’s making the one-year veteran’s minimum salary this year, but next year’s minimum salary is non-guaranteed.

Wolters has seen action in just 11 games so far this season, though he did receive only his second stint of 20 or more minutes since the season began in Wednesday’s blowout win over the Sixers. The 6’4″ combo guard played a much more prominent role last year, starting 31 games and averaging 7.2 points, 3.2 assists and 1.0 turnover in 22.6 minutes per game.

The now 23-year-old Wolters was the 38th overall pick in 2013, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see a team claim his deal off waivers, though that’s just my speculation. He’s on a contract that covers three seasons, so teams would need more than the minimum-salary exception to submit a claim.

Milwaukee is about $7.3MM shy of the salary cap, so if the Bucks are stuck with Wolters’ salary, which would happen if he clears waivers, they’ll still be left with plenty of flexibility. Their team salary as it stands is about $1MM shy of the minimum team salary, but because Milwaukee is still paying money to Drew Gooden, whom the team waived using the amnesty clause in 2013, the Bucks don’t have to make up that gap.

Eastern Notes: Sanders, Dawkins, Waiters

January 7 at 6:30pm CST By Eddie Scarito

Larry Sanders wouldn’t delve into specifics about his absence, but he denied Tuesday that he’s thinking about retirement, as he told reporters, including Bradford Doolittle of ESPN.com. The Bucks center hasn’t played since December 23rd, but he sat on the bench with the team for Tuesday’s game, a first since he took his leave, and he said he’s ready to start working toward a return to the court. “I haven’t said anything like that,” Sanders said of the notion he would retire. “I figure with the absence, something was going to come out like that. It’s not true. What is true is I’m in the process of trying to do what’s best for my psyche and my physical health.”

Here’s more out of the East:

  • The Heat waived guard Andre Dawkins so that the team could retain some measure of roster flexibility heading forward, Surya Fernandez of FOX Sports Florida writes. “We liked ‘Doc’ and the development he was making,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Right now it makes more sense for us to have some flexibility.” When asked if any players were being looked at to fill Dawkins’ roster spot on a 10-day contract, Spoelstra said, “It could be filled at any time, that’s the whole point, but nothing is imminent.”
  • In the moments after he was informed that he had been dealt to the Thunder, Dion Waiters said he felt “bitter” toward the Cavs, Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman writes. But once he settled down and thought about his destination he felt much better about his situation, Slater adds. “I’m just happy they sent me here to another great organization where I get the chance to play with another great player,” Waiters said. “I feel I’m in a win-win situation. So I take it as a positive thing. I get a chance to grow and learn from these guys.
  • Waiters was also asked about the Cavs‘ disappointing start to the season, Slater notes. Waiters responded by saying, “Uhh, we never really played together. Of course I’d played with Kyrie [Irving], but I’d never played with Kevin [Love] or LeBron [James] or those type of guys who dominated on their opposing teams. So for them to come to Cleveland, we all had to change our game for the better of the team. Like, for instance, my scoring went down. Ky, he’s used to having the ball, but with LeBron, he’s a guy that needs the ball to facilitate and make plays. It was a chemistry thing that we was still building. Like they said, Rome wasn’t built in one day. We had to continue to figure it out day by day.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

And-Ones: Waiters, Lakers, Lopez, Thunder

January 5 at 10:57pm CST By Zach Links

The Thunder landed Dion Waiters earlier tonight, but the Lakers previously made a run at him, Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com tweets.  However, the Cavs weren’t just looking for a straight salary dump and Shumpert is more valuable than Robert Sacre, who the Lakers would have included.  Here’s more from around the Association..

  • The Nets and Thunder recently discussed a deal that would have involved Brook Lopez, Kendrick Perkins (and his expiring contract), Perry Jones, and Lance Thomas, but the Nets decided to stand pat as they liked what they were seeing, tweets Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com.
  • The Rajon Rondo deal is looking pretty good for the Mavericks so far, writes Dwain Price of the Star-Telegram.  Center Tyson Chandler and coach Rick Carlisle are among those over the moon with what Rondo has done in Dallas.  The Mavs have won six of their last eight games, including their last five.
  • Sometimes, the best move is standing pat.  The Warriors held on to budding star Klay Thompson rather than using him to get Kevin Love and that looks like a smart decision right now, as Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press writes.  Many were surprised at the Warriors’ decision, but it’s one that had the full support of coach Steve Kerr.”For me as a new coach, what I saw was maybe the best backcourt in the NBA and a chance to keep the group together,” Kerr said. “And that’s pretty powerful, especially when you know you’re already pretty good.”
  • Yannis Koutroupis of Basketball Insiders won’t rush to judge Bucks center Larry Sanders.  While speculation flies about his situation, Koutroupis notes that Sanders has worked hard at his craft and has even independently trained in the offseason to work on some lagging aspects of his game.  Earlier tonight, agent Happy Walters denied the report indicating that his client wants to walk away from basketball, so it will be very interesting to hear from Sanders himself.

Larry Sanders Contemplating Retirement?

January 5 at 7:24pm CST By Eddie Scarito

7:24pm: Kidd told WTMJ’s Sports Central that he expects Sanders will return soon, possibly Tuesday, Gardner tweets.

6:27pm: Agent Happy Walters told HoopsHype that his client is not looking to retire.  “I saw that tweet. It is not accurate at all. Rumor unsubstantiated,” Walters said.

4:15pm: Sanders disputes the notion that he told the Bucks that he no longer wanted to play basketball, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter links). According to Kyler, Sanders has been out with the flu and dealing with some personal issues, and is planning to rejoin the team sometime this week.

3:13pm: Bucks center Larry Sanders has recently told team officials that he no longer wants to play basketball, Gery Woelfel of The Racine Journal Times reports (Twitter links). Sanders’ potential lack of passion for the game has been building for some time, as some friends of Sanders told Woelfel last summer that they were concerned that Sanders wasn’t committed to basketball and wanted to explore other options. The 26-year-old big man is currently in the first year of a four-year, $44MM extension.

Sanders was previously reported to have left the team due to personal reasons, and was said to be out indefinitely by coach Jason Kidd. At the time Kidd was quoted as saying, “That’s a good question so you don’t have to ask me tomorrow or Sunday or Monday, so there’s no timetable. Being sick, away from the team, guys go on as you see. Charlotte, we played without him. The other night we played without him [in Cleveland]. It’s nothing new to this ball club. Injuries happen. The train keeps moving forward. It’s just personal. There’s nothing I can give you more. That’s the way the question will be answered.”

The Bucks were reportedly interested in dealing Sanders last season, and the talk began mere months after the team signed him to the extension. This was due in part to Sanders missing extended time during the 2013/14 campaign courtesy of a broken hand that was suffered during a brawl at a nightclub. According to Woelfel (Twitter link), Milwaukee had offered Sanders and Brandon Knight to the Pacers this summer for Roy Hibbert. With Sanders’ alleged lack of desire to play any longer, finding a taker for his contract at this point would likely be a near impossibility.

If Sanders’ issue is primarily with playing for the Bucks, rather than wanting to simply walk away from the game permanently, then Milwaukee would potentially be able to threaten him with a suspension on the grounds of intentional refusal to render the services required under his contract. The team could withhold his pay, which would likely bring the NBPA into the fray. But if Sanders is simply determined not to play any longer, then he could attempt to negotiate a buyout in which he would forfeit all, or most of his salary.

Sanders has made 27 appearances for the Bucks this season, averaging 7.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks in 21.7 minutes per game. His career numbers are 6.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG, and 1.8 BPG. His career slash line is .480/.000/.550.

Central Notes: Cavs, Parker, Inglis

January 5 at 12:30pm CST By Eddie Scarito

The Cavs are more than willing to be active in the trade market, but that doesn’t mean other teams will willingly come to their aid, and timing for both sides will be a factor in making any deals, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders writes. “We’re very actively working the phones and doing everything we can to improve the team,” GM David Griffin said. “At the same time, unfortunately our timing doesn’t always match the timing of everybody else. Until the trade deadline, people typically don’t have a lot of reason to do anything in a specific time. So we’re doing what we can and certainly working every angle we can.”

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • Griffin also added that teams, including his own, tend to overvalue their assets when attempting to make trades, Kyler notes. “At times like these, everybody is hoping their assets are worth more than they really are,” Griffin said. “I’m probably no different. I’m hoping that our DP [Disabled Player Exception] and TP [Traded Player Exception] are attractive but we won’t really know until we get to the point where somebody is willing to act.
  • Bucks rookie Jabari Parker is set to undergo surgery today to repair his torn left ACL, Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports. Parker injured his knee in December and is expected to miss the remainder of the season. Parker said he will benefit from the rest after playing non-stop through high school and his freshman year at Duke, Gardner adds. “This will give me time to work on myself because I haven’t really had a chance,” Parker said. “AAU basketball took a lot out of my schedule. Even in college and high school, I took two years to really prepare for the NBA. I didn’t take any time off. I can take this time and really work on it. Even if I miss 20 games [next season], I’ll still get a good ratio out of the rest of the games. So there’s no rush.
  • Also going under the knife today for the Bucks will be Damien Inglis, Gardner notes. Inglis will have surgery on his right ankle , which he injured during a pre-draft workout in Oklahoma City. Inglis, a second round selection in this year’s draft, hasn’t appeared in an NBA game yet, and is also expected to miss the remainder of the 2014/15 season.

Central Notes: Blatt, Sanders, Cavs

January 3 at 5:27pm CST By Eddie Scarito

There are some insiders around the league who believe that the CavsDavid Blatt is coaching for his job this month, Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio writes. Amico opines that Blatt could be fired by mid-January if the team takes a nosedive without LeBron James in the lineup the next two weeks. Cleveland is also missing Anderson Varejao, who is out for the season with a torn Achilles.

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • With Larry Sanders out indefinitely for personal reasons, Zaza Pachulia says that the Bucks need to move on without him, Charles F. Gardner of The Journal Sentinel writes. “It’s a very important time of the season, so we should concentrate on the team, to play the right way and win as many games as possible,” Pachulia said. “That’s our job and we’re going to continue to work hard. Whenver Larry comes … obviously his locker is still here …he’s going to address it. It’s up to him. But we know it’s a personal reason. That’s all we heard.
  • With speculation beginning to grow that Blatt is on the hot seat in Cleveland, Terry Pluto of The Northeast Ohio Media Group believes that adding a big man would do more to help the Cavs improve than bringing in a new coach would.
  • Tristan Thompson is taking all the talk about the Cavs needing a rim protector to heart, Chris Haynes of The Northeast Ohio Media Group writes. Thompson is determined to up his game and quell the criticisms of Cleveland’s interior defense, Haynes notes. “I know I can block shots and I’ve got to do it,” Thompson said. “That’s part of my job as a big. That’s one of the reasons I was drafted because I blocked three shots a game in college so I got to continue doing that in the NBA. So I was disappointed in myself that I wasn’t being called a rim protector. I just got to do my job.”

Eastern Notes: Sanders, Anthony, Magic

January 2 at 10:26pm CST By Eddie Scarito

Bucks big man Larry Sanders will be away from the team indefinitely due to personal reasons, Charles F. Gardner of The Journal Sentinel reports. When asked about a timetable for Sanders’ return, coach Jason Kidd said, “That’s a good question so you don’t have to ask me tomorrow or Sunday or Monday, so there’s no timetable. Being sick, away from the team, guys go on as you see. Charlotte, we played without him. The other night we played without him [in Cleveland]. It’s nothing new to this ball club. Injuries happen. The train keeps moving forward.”

When pressed for details regarding Sanders either being ill, injured, or having personal issues, Kidd said, “It’s just personal. There’s nothing I can give you more. That’s the way the question will be answered.” Sanders has not played since the Bucks’ home loss to Charlotte on December 23rd, Gardner notes.

Here’s more from the East:

  • The Magic‘s primary focus in free agency next summer will be to land a power forward, Brian Schmitz of The Orlando Sentinel writes. Orlando needs to improve its rebounding, notes Schmitz, something that drafting Aaron Gordon and signing Channing Frye to a four-year, $32MM deal this past offseason hasn’t fixed.
  • Knicks coach Derek Fisher acknowledged that at some point the team might need to shut down Carmelo Anthony due to his ailing knee, Mitch Abramson of The New York Daily News writes. “I think everybody involved is reasonable enough and smart enough as people in this business to come together on that if that time comes,” Fisher said. “I can’t speak for all of the different parties but from the conversations I’ve been a part of- I think everybody is smart enough to realize, calendar wise, timing wise- that there may come a point that’s the decision that needs to be made but that we can’t force Carmelo to that point just yet.
  • Anthony has stated that it’s ultimately his decision whether or not to continue playing, something that Fisher doesn’t fully agree with, Abramson adds. “There’s a balance between a player and his health and the part that he plays in the decision-making process and then where we are as a team and giving our thoughts and our opinion to it,” Fisher said. “I think our medical staff, our training staff, continue to have conversations with him about where he is. He’s conversing with us about how he’s feeling, what the symptoms are. As each day kind of unfolds decisions are being made. It’s not something that we’re just kind of stepping back and saying, Carmelo, you kind of tell us when you don’t feel like playing anymore.”

Bucks Work Out Kenyon Martin; Cavs Eye Him

December 31 2014 at 10:34am CST By Chuck Myron

WEDNESDAY, 10:34am: Kidd acknowledged today that Martin worked out in front of him and Bucks assistant coaches Tuesday, Gardner notes (Twitter links). “He looked good,” Kidd said. “There’s nothing, just a workout. Just to talk to him. We’ll see what happens.” Kidd acknowledged that it’s questionable whether Martin can still perform, but the coach praised Martin’s intelligence and says he believes that a team will sign him at some point, as Gardner shares in a full story.

TUESDAY, 10:11am: Martin will work out in front of Kidd today, Spears writes in a full story, so evidently the Bucks are indeed interested in him for a playing role. The Cavs also have some interest in Martin, Spears adds, so it appears that feeling is mutual, though Cleveland isn’t rushing to replace the injured Anderson Varejao, according to Spears.

9:20am: The discussions are “preliminary,” a source tells Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

9:05am: Milwaukee has yet to make any offer to Martin, Spears clarifies (on Twitter).

8:57am: Bucks coach Jason Kidd will meet with free agent big man Kenyon Martin today, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Martin, who turns 37 today, is traveling to Cleveland, where Milwaukee is preparing for Wednesday’s game against the Cavs. Martin recently expressed interest in joining the Cavs, but it’s unclear if he’ll be speaking with anyone in the Cleveland organization while he’s in town. Kidd and Martin have a relationship that dates back to their time as teammates on the Nets in the early 2000s, when they made back-to-back Finals appearances together, Spears notes (on Twitter).

Martin met with the Grizzlies last month and with the Rockets in October, though in each case there were conflicting reports about whether the visits were about coaching positions or playing roles. Spears doesn’t specify what Martin and Kidd will discuss. The Bucks have a full 15-man roster, and every player is fully guaranteed, as our roster counts show. Still, No. 2 overall pick Jabari Parker is expected to miss the season with a torn ACL, Ersan Ilyasova is recovering from a concussion, and center Larry Sanders has been out with flu-like symptoms, leaving the team thin up front.

The Knicks put Martin in the starting lineup 15 times last season, and he averaged 4.3 points and 4.2 rebounds in 19.8 minutes per game across 32 appearances. Still, the former No. 1 overall pick has only played in 50 NBA games since the end of the 2011/12 season.

Central Notes: Martin, Butler, Knight, Love

December 25 2014 at 9:04am CST By Charlie Adams

We at Hoops Rumors want to wish all of our readers and their families a merry Christmas and a happy holiday season! While we wait for an exciting day of NBA action to tip off, let’s round up the latest from the Central Division:

  • The Cavs were struck with terrible news yesterday when they learned that Anderson Varejao would be sidelined for the remainder of the season with a torn Achilles. In wake of the injury, one free agent big man, Kenyon Martin, admitted he’d be interested in joining Cleveland if the team wanted to bring him aboard, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (on Twitter). “I’m definitely interested,” said the 36-year-old veteran. “I believe I can immediately help in that system. I’m healthy and ready to play now.” Signing Martin could help bolster their depth in the frontcourt, but the title-hopeful Cavs seem more likely to trade for a starting caliber center than to ink Martin.
  • Restricted free agent in waiting Jimmy Butler won’t call himself a star, but Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders writes that a lot of other people around the league are willing to say it for him. Butler’s career year has come on the heels of his decision to turn down a contract extension that would have paid him $11MM per season over the next four years, and although he’s has expressed a desire to stay with the Bulls, it will now likely cost the Chicago a lot more than that figure to keep Butler around after his stellar start to the year.
  • The BucksBrandon Knight is another soon-to-be restricted free agent who is making the most of his opportunity, argues John Zitzler of Basketball Insiders. Knight, the only Milwaukee player to start all 28 games, is averaging 17.5 points, 5.4 assists and 1.3 steals per contest. Knight has indicated a desire to stay with the Bucks, and Milwaukee can match any offer made to the 23-year-old this summer, but Zitzler speculates that the guard could get an offer of more than $12MM annually, similar to deals Kemba Walker and Kyle Lowry signed.
  • Flip Saunders is doing his best to move on from the Kevin Love fiasco and isn’t interested in talking about it anymore, as Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group observes. Before Tuesday’s Wolves-Cavs game, Saunders went out of his way to avoid mentioning Love by name, except for commenting, “From the league, I’m at liberty not really to talk about Kevin Love. So I can’t talk about him.” However, there is no such policy in place by the league, as Haynes points out, and Saunders openly discussed the Love deal as recently as Monday.

 Arthur Hill contributed to this post.

Pacific Notes: O’Neal, Suns, Rondo, Kings

December 23 2014 at 1:02pm CST By Chuck Myron

Family concerns will matter more than the relationships Jermaine O’Neal has with any city or team when the 36-year-old center decides whether to return to the NBA, and if so, which club he’ll play for, as O’Neal detailed today on his verified Twitter account (links here). O’Neal lives in Dallas and has reportedly long wanted to play close to home, and the Mavs are the apparent favorites to land him. The Warriors, for whom O’Neal played last, as well as the Clippers and Cavs are also said to be interested in the 18-year veteran. Of those teams, Golden State is the only one for which O’Neal has played previously, so it would seem that his remarks today are a harbinger that he won’t be returning to the Bay Area, though that’s just my interpretation. Here’s more news related to Pacific Division teams:

  • People around the league sense that the Suns would be more willing to deal Isaiah Thomas than Eric Bledsoe or Goran Dragic, Grantland’s Zach Lowe writes. Rival executives have picked up the impression that Dragic is the one among those three point guards whom Phoenix would most like to keep, as Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported this weekend.
  • The Mavs are “extremely confident” that Rajon Rondo will re-sign with the team, but the Lakers, among others, would love for the point guard to hit free agency, as Sam Amick of USA Today says in a video report. The Lakers were involved in trade talks with the Celtics about Rondo, and Chris Mannix of SI.com indicated last month that the Lakers are likely to pursue him in free agency.
  • Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro and former Kings coach Michael Malone weren’t on speaking terms during the months leading up to Malone’s dismissal, according to Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee. Tyrone Corbin knows he’s only a short-term solution, according to Voisin, though Chris Broussard of ESPN.com hears that Corbin will have a legitimate opportunity to coach the team (Twitter link), as D’Alessandro has publicly insisted. In any case, Voisin implores the team to hire George Karl.
  • Miroslav Raduljica and Shandong of the Chinese Basketball Association have agreed to a buyout in which the center gave up $300K of his $1.5MM deal, reports Nick Bedard of Basketballbuddha.com. The Clippers, in a series of money-saving moves this summer, acquired Raduljica from the Bucks and quickly waived him via the stretch provision.