Bucks Rumors

Bucks Sign Tim Frazier

In addition to officially adding Shabazz Muhammad and Christian Wood to its roster, the Bucks have also signed free agent point guard Tim Frazier, per an official release from the team.

Frazier spent last season with the Wizards, appearing in 59 games (11 starts) and averaging 3.0 points, 3.3 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 14.2 minutes per contest. The 6-foot guard from Penn State has played four seasons in the NBA with career averages of 5.2 points, 4.0 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 186 career games.

While it may seem like a long shot for Frazier to make the roster, there are really only two other true point guards on the roster in Eric Bledsoe and Matthew Dellavedova, so Frazier perhaps has better than an outside chance to earn a spot on the 15-man roster.

Shabazz Muhammad Signs With Bucks

SEPTEMBER 22: The signing is official, per the Bucks.

AUGUST 13: Shooting guard Shabazz Muhammad has agreed to re-sign with the Bucks, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports tweets. It’s a deal that will allow him to compete for a roster spot during training camp, Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets.

Muhammad played 11 games with Milwaukee last season after getting bought out by the Timberwolves. Muhammad also appeared in four postseason games with Milwaukee.

He averaged 5.0 PPG in 9.7 MPG while playing in a combined 43 regular-season games for those teams. Muhammad has averaged 9.0 PPG and 2.8 RPG in 17.2 MPG over 278 career NBA games.

Muhammad will join a crowd at shooting guard that includes Tony Snell, Malcolm Brogdon and Donte DiVincenzo, though he could also play some small forward.

The Bucks already had 14 players with guaranteed contracts, four with non- or partially-guaranteed deals, and two on two-way pacts, so they’ll need to trade or waive someone to officially sign Muhammad. They also used up their mid-level and bi-annual exceptions on other free agents.

Bucks Sign Big Man Christian Wood

SEPTEMBER 21: The signing is official and includes a significant partial guarantee, according to RealGM. ESPN’s Bobby Marks provides specific details, tweeting that Wood will get $100K in guaranteed money.

AUGUST 15: The Bucks have reached an agreement with big man Christian Wood, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports tweets. It’s a training camp deal with an opportunity to make the 15-man roster, according to Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The 6’11” Wood made a splash with the Bucks in the Las Vegas summer league, where he was named all-first team. He averaged 20.4 PPG, 10.8 RPG and 2.8 BPG over 27.1 MPG in five games. He also posted impressive numbers in 45 G League games last season, averaging 23.3 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 2.3 APG and 1.7 BPG in 33.1 MPG while playing for the Delaware 87ers, the Sixers’ affiliate.

The Raptors recently took a look at Wood while working out free agent big men.

Milwaukee already had a full roster when it reached an agreement with swingman Shabazz Muhammad earlier this week. It had 14 players with guaranteed contracts, four with non- or partially-guaranteed deals, and two on two-way pacts prior to the Muhammad and Wood agreements, so it will have to shed two players to fit them in.

Undrafted in 2015, Wood has appeared in 30 NBA games. He played 17 for the Sixers during his rookie campaign and 13 more with the Hornets in 2016/17. He averaged 3.2 PPG and 2.2 RPG in 8.4 MPG in those games.

Jimmy Butler Rumors: Dieng, Clippers, Bucks, More

The early trade market for Jimmy Butler is “confused and cool” as teams contemplate the risk of trading for the All-Star wing, according to Zach Lowe, who takes a deep dive into the Butler situation his his latest piece for ESPN.com. The 29-year-old’s reported desire for a five-year contract that could be worth in the neighborhood of $190MM may make some potential suitors back off, though those teams could also be posturing in the early going, Lowe notes.

One of the most interesting tidbits that Lowe passes along in his article is on the Timberwolves‘ desire to include Gorgui Dieng in a deal if they decide to move Butler. Lowe is skeptical that any prospective trade partners will be eager to take on Dieng, who still has three years and over $48MM left on his contract.

Here’s more from Lowe and others on Butler and the Wolves:

  • It would be “shocking” if the Clippers were willing to offer rookie guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in any package for Butler, sources tell Lowe. In fact, there has been no indication that the Clips haven’t acted aggressively – or much at all – on Butler so far.
  • The Bucks placed a courtesy call to the Timberwolves asking to be kept in the loop if the team gets serious about moving Butler. Still, Lowe doesn’t view Milwaukee as a fit, observing that Khris Middleton would probably have to be included. The Bucks would likely have a better chance next summer to re-sign Middleton than Butler.
  • After reporting earlier today that the Timberwolves are telling teams Butler’s not available, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has updated his story to suggest that opposing clubs believe the “fastest avenue” to negotiating a trade is to engage owner Glen Taylor, rather than Tom Thibodeau. Thibodeau is less inclined to part with Butler, but Taylor has stepped in on this sort of matter in the past, overseeing trades involving Kevin Garnett and Kevin Love.
  • In the wake of Butler’s trade request, initial reports suggested his desire to leave Minnesota was motivated more by “contractual matters” than any discord with Karl-Anthony Towns or Andrew Wiggins. A source in Butler’s camp who spoke to Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times disputes that notion, suggesting it was “manufactured” by “ownership mouthpieces” to make Butler look bad. “According to the source, this is about a philosophy in making an impact in the Western Conference,” Cowley writes. “In Butler’s mind you can’t run down a dynasty like Golden State when two of the so-called dogs in the pack are in fact kittens.” Presumably, that’s a reference to Towns and Wiggins.

Bucks Waive James Young, Two Others

After releasing Travis Trice, Jordan Barnett, and Brandon McCoy earlier this week to make room on their roster for James Young, Ike Nwamu, and Robert Johnson, the Bucks have now waived Young, Nwamu, and Johnson as well, per NBA.com’s transactions log.

The back of Milwaukee’s roster has been undergoing significant turnover this month as the team secures certain players’ G League rights for the Wisconsin Herd. There’s a good chance that at least three or four players from that group – Young, Nwamu, Johnson, Trice, Barnett, and McCoy – end up with the Herd to start the 2018/19 season.

With three openings having been created on their 20-man offseason roster, the Bucks appear likely to finally complete a series of long-rumored signings. The team has reportedly agreed to terms with NBA free agents Shabazz Muhammad, Christian Wood, and Tim Frazier. Officially signing the trio would bring Milwaukee’s roster back up to 20 players for next week’s camp.

As for the three players just waived by the Bucks, Young is probably the best bet to get another shot from an NBA team. The 23-year-old has logged 95 career regular season games in four seasons for the Celtics and Sixers since being drafted 17th overall in 2014.

Bucks Sign Ike Nwamu, Waive Travis Trice

The Bucks continued an active week of roster moves by swapping one player for another on their 20-man roster. According to RealGM’s official transactions log, Milwaukee signed Ike Nwamu, cutting Travis Trice to create the necessary opening.

Nwamu, a 6’5″ guard, went undrafted out of UNLV in 2016 and has spent time with the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the G League and Greek club Lavrio Megabolt since then. Last season, he appeared in 47 games (29.7 MPG) for the Skyforce, averaging 14.5 PPG, 3.2 RPG, and 2.3 APG with a .422/.364/.829 shooting line.

Nwamu and Trice, who signed a non-guaranteed contract with the Bucks back in July, both look like candidates to eventually end up on the Wisconsin Herd, Milwaukee’s G League affiliate. The Bucks have been rotating players on and off their roster frequently as of late, seemingly to acquire NBAGL rights for certain guys who could play for the Herd.

While the Bucks have a full 20-man roster for now, the team still needs to finalize reported agreements with Shabazz Muhammad, Christian Wood, and Tim Frazier, so multiple players – including perhaps Nwamu – figure to be released in the not-too-distant future.

Bucks Cut Two Players, Sign James Young

The Bucks continue to tweak their offseason roster, officially waiving two players and signing two more today. Jordan Barnett and Brandon McCoy have been released by Milwaukee, with James Young and Robert Johnson taking their spots on the roster, per RealGM’s transactions log. Johnson’s deal was reported on Monday.

Like other teams around the NBA, the Bucks will be rotating players on and off their roster leading up to the start of the regular season as they secure players’ rights for their G League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd. Barnett and McCoy apparently won’t come to camp with the NBA squad, but they’re candidates to end up with Milwaukee’s NBAGL team once the season gets underway.

Of the four players involved in today’s transactions, Young is the most notable. The former first-round pick, selected 17th overall in 2014, has yet to make much of an impact at the NBA level, but has put up big numbers in the G League (19.8 PPG and 5.2 RPG in 70 games) and is still just 23 years old. He was in camp with the Bucks last fall, then spent part of the 2017/18 season on a two-way contract with the Sixers.

Today’s moves leave Milwaukee’s 20-man offseason roster full, but more transactions figure to come soon. The club has reached reported agreements with Shabazz Muhammad and Christian Wood, and ESPN’s Bobby Marks and RealGM’s Keith Smith (Twitter links) both indicate that veteran guard Tim Frazier is likely to join the roster at some point too. In order to accommodate those signings, the Bucks will need to open up three roster spots.

Rookie Guard Robert Johnson Joins Bucks In Camp

Former Indiana University guard Robert Johnson has agreed to a training camp deal with the Bucks, Nicola Lupo of Sportando tweets. The news was confirmed by Ben Stinar of Amico Hoops.

The undrafted Johnson played with the Hawks’ summer league team, appearing in seven games and averaging 7.1 PPG in 15.6 MPG. Johnson averaged 14.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG and 2.7 APG in his final season with the Hoosiers. Johnson made 38.9% of his 3-point tries during his college career.

While it’s highly unlikely the 6’3” Johnson will make the 15-man roster, it increases the chances that he’ll develop his game with Milwaukee’s G League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd.

The Bucks currently have a full 20-man roster and have reportedly reached agreements with Shabazz Muhammad and Christian Wood as well, so they’ll have to make a series of roster moves at some point to accommodate all their deals.

Officer Involved In Brown Arrest Fired

  • One of the officers involved in the Sterling Brown arrest last January has been fired, according to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story passed along by NBC Sports. The Bucks swingman filed a civil lawsuit against the Milwaukee police department after he was arrested and tasered for a parking violation. The officer was fired for violating social media policy and not for his conduct the night of Brown’s arrest, the city’s police chief told the Journal Sentinel.

Community Shootaround: Milwaukee Bucks

Having hired Mike Budenholzer as head coach and acquired several players who can help space the floor around Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks appear poised for a breakout season in the Eastern Conference. With LeBron James taking his talents west and depleting the Cavaliers’ chances of competing, the Bucks will look to take the next step and become a serious playoff contender.

After adding Eric Bledsoe during the 2017/18 season, the Bucks continued to struggle with inconsistency despite Antetokounmpo blossoming into a perennial MVP candidate and Khris Middleton enjoying a breakout season alongside him. While Bledsoe fit in well and averaged 17.8 points, 5.1 assists and 2.0 steals per game to complement Middleton and Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee’s supporting cast failed to provide quality depth and a mediocre defense continued to hold the team back.

After finishing 25th in the NBA in 3-pointers attempted per game last season and 22nd in the league in 3-point percentage, the Bucks focused on adding shooting and floor-spacing bigs in the offseason. They were successful in achieving this goal, signing Ersan Ilyasova to a three-year, $21MM deal (the last year is non-guaranteed) and Brook Lopez on a one-year, $3.4MM contract to fill in at center.

Both Ilyasova and Lopez are capable shooters, providing more offensive weapons for Budenholzer to use alongside Bledsoe, Middleton and Antetokounmpo. Ilyasova shot 36% from beyond the arc in 2017/18 for the Hawks and 76ers, while Lopez hit 34.5% of his 3-pointers last season, attempting 4.4 per game.

With Budenholzer brought in as head coach, the Bucks should implement a more diverse and modern offense, utilizing the increased floor spacing and ball movement to maximize the talents of Antetokounmpo, Middleton and Bledsoe.

However, the more pressing issue regarding the upcoming season for the Bucks will be their defense, which must improve if they hope to become a legit threat in the playoffs. If Thon Maker can show more development this season and earn more minutes at center, Milwaukee would be able to utilize a more switch-heavy defensive scheme, a scheme in which Bledsoe, Middleton and Antetokounmpo could thrive.

The Bucks will also need strong supporting contributions from Malcolm Brogdon, Tony Snell and John Henson, while recent draft picks D.J. Wilson and Donte DiVincenzo will look to buck the recent draft struggles Milwaukee has had.

With a more modern offense and improved defensive strategies implemented, the Bucks could make a big jump in the Eastern Conference. Competing for the third seed in the conference isn’t out of the question, and the Bucks should certainly be aiming for home-court advantage in the playoffs this season, although the top three Atlantic teams and the Pacers will provide tough competition.

How do you think the Bucks will do this season? Do you think they had a strong offseason? Weigh in below with your thoughts and predictions on the Bucks.