Free Agent Notes: Bucks, Parker, Anderson, Bjelica

When they agreed to sign Ersan Ilyasova to a three-year, $21MM contract early in free agency, the Bucks committed to hard-capping themselves for the 2018/19 league year. Teams that acquire a player via sign-and-trade or use more than $5.337MM of the mid-level exception will have a hard cap of $129.817MM this year, and Milwaukee will have to take one of those paths to add Ilyasova.

In hard-capping themselves, the Bucks essentially drew a line in their negotiations with Jabari Parker, ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes during an appearance on Adrian Wojnarowski’s Woj Pod. As Marks explains, with that hard cap in place, the Bucks likely won’t be able to offer Parker more than about $15-17MM, which essentially caps the negotiations between the two sides at that point.

Marks observes that the situation is similar to what the Pistons did last year with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Detroit also had a hard cap after using most of its MLE, and could only go up to a certain point for Caldwell-Pope, who reportedly turned down an offer worth a total of $80MM-ish and ended up settling for a one-year, $18MM deal with the Lakers. If Parker can’t find a lucrative offer sheet with another team, he’ll have to be wary of ending up in a similar spot, so it will be interesting to see whether he can work out a multiyear deal with the Bucks or if he’ll consider signing his one-year qualifying offer.

Here are a few more free agent notes and rumors:

  • The Spurs want to retain restricted free agent Kyle Anderson and intend to work on a deal for him, Wojnarowski said in his podcast.
  • Nemanja Bjelica had six total offers that were all somewhat comparable to the one he agreed to with the Sixers, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. According to Wolfson, head coach Brett Brown and the opportunity to make a deep playoff run were factors in Bjelica’s choice.
  • While there were rumblings that Greek forward Kostas Papanikolaou was mulling an NBA return, he’ll remain with Olympiacos. The team officially announced a new deal for Papanikolaou today (hat tip to Sportando).
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