Stein’s Latest: Llull, Bucks, MCW, McLemore, Pistons

With the NBA’s regular season inching closer, ESPN’s Marc Stein takes a look around the league and rounds up a handful of noteworthy tidbits from out of training camps. There are plenty of interesting items to pass along, so let’s dive right in…

  • A recent report out of Spain indicated that the buyout for Sergio Llull‘s contract with Real Madrid has increased to 12 million euros. However, Stein hears that the buyout isn’t “nearly as onerous” as that report suggests — one source describes the cost as “manageable.” As such, the Rockets continue to have strong interest in bringing Llull stateside, and the Spanish guard does have real interest in eventually coming to the NBA, despite his proclamations about spending the rest of his career in Madrid.
  • The Bucks continue to scour the market for possible Khris Middleton replacements, and have offered Michael Carter-Williams to the Kings in a deal for Ben McLemore, Stein reports. Sacramento turned down that pitch, but Milwaukee continues to explore deals.
  • One scenario likely not in play for the Bucks is a deal with the Hornets that would involve Jeremy Lamb and Spencer Hawes. According to Stein, Charlotte is said to have no interest in Monroe.
  • As the Pistons consider potential point guard options with Reggie Jackson ailing, they took a look at Norris Cole before he agreed to sign in China, writes Stein. Steve Blake, given his familiarity with the team, is also an option. However, as the ESPN scribe cautions – and as Stan Van Gundy said himself this week – the Pistons are no lock to add another player at the point, since the club would have to eat a guaranteed contract to do so.
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