New Bucks owners say all the right things, that they are committed to Milwaukee

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In all the time that Senator Herb Kohl has been looking for a new owner for the Milwaukee Bucks, the concern of fans was that the new owners would look to buy the team then move it.

Marc Lasry and Wes Edens have no such plans — the two New York hedge fund managers who are buying the team for a reported $550 million emphasized at their introductory press conference they are committed to keeping the team in Milwaukee and they planned to spend a lot of time in the city.

“Milwaukee fans deserve a winning team, this is about winning basketball games, winning championships, and being part of the community, and we look forward to all of those,” Edens said at the press conference announcing the sale.

The Bucks have a ways to go on the whole winning thing — they finished with the worst record in the NBA this season. That said they have some good players such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, John Henson, Larry Sanders, plus this year’s draft pick, to build around.

Bucks fans want to make sure that on the court success happens in Milwaukee, rather than what happened to Seattle fans getting to watch their team succeed in Oklahoma City. Kohl tried to ease those concerns.

“I’m very optimistic, even more than I can express, about the future of our team here in this city….” Kohl said.

“It has been made abundantly clear to them and they have embraced that this is Milwaukee’s team, and that their participation in the NBA is in Milwaukee. That has been gone over with them and they have advanced that proposition themselves.”

To make that happen is going to take a new arena — Commissioner Adam Silver has said that the Bucks current arena does not meet NBA standards. Both Lasry and Edens talked about being hands on in the process to get that new arena built, one that can host hundreds of events and be a catalyst for other development around it.

If course, that costs money. A new arena these days costs at least around $500 million.

At the press conference Kohl committed $100 million from him to get the building built. Lasry and Edens said they would contribute at least that much.

A couple hundred million is a good start, and Kohl said additional money from many different sources, public and private. It’s the public part that could be hard — Milwaukee residents are still paying a little extra sales tax to pay for the Brewers new stadium, and the deadline for when that would sunset has been pushed back twice to 2020. Residents of the city and state may be hesitant to lend much of a helping hand to billionaires to build a new arena for their team.

What should matter to Bucks fans is that right now everyone said all the right things and is committed to keeping the team in Milwaukee in a new arena.

Heat re-sign Udonis Haslem

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In 2002, not a single team drafted Udonis Haslem.

For the last 15 years, the Heat haven’t been able to quit him.

Heat:

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Haslem isn’t receiving another $4 million windfall like he got last year. He’ll earn $2,328,652 – $1,471,382 paid by the Heat and $857,270 covered by the league (as is done on one-year minimum deals for veterans). An NBA contract, even for the minimum, might be enough of a reward at this point.

To whatever extent Haslem still has a position – he has played just 390 minutes in the last two years – he’s probably a center. The Heat have Hassan Whiteside, Kelly Olynyk, Bam Adebayo and maybe A.J. Hammons ahead of him. But this isn’t about getting the 37-year-old Haslem on the court, at least not beyond rare spot minutes, where can still be useful as a defender and rebounder.

The Heat want Haslem’s toughness and veteran leadership. He reinforces their culture, and that might be worth a roster spot.

Report: Bulls, agent discussed Derrick Rose returning to Chicago

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Derrick Rose meeting with the Clippers barely registered. He has to meet with the Bucks twice before most noticed.

But it seems Rose and his agent, B.J. Armstrong, have finally figured out how to drum up attention – leak interest from more prominent teams like the LeBron James-led, championship-contending Cavaliers and big-market, widely followed Lakers.

What team could generate even more buzz?

The Bulls!

Sam Amick of USA Today:

If the talks went beyond Armstrong asking the Bulls whether they would sign Rose and the Bulls declining, I’d be surprised.

There’s probably a part of Rose that wants to return to his native Chicago, but it seems his former team has long moved on.

Report: Derrick Rose meeting with Lakers

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Derrick Rose is suddenly in demand – once the market was set at a minimum salary or so.

Not only are the Cavaliers pursuing the former MVP/overhyped role player, so are the Lakers.

ESPN:

Rose is also meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, sources told ESPN’s Chris Haynes and Ramona Shelburne. The Lakers are trying to entice Rose to sign with them, suggesting they can offer more playing time and money in a better environment after Rose’s tumultuous season in New York, sources said.

Rose’s tumultuous season was due in part to Rose. No matter where he signs, he can’t escape himself. And Los Angeles is even further from his native Chicago.

But the Lakers can offer more money. They still have the $4,328,000 room exception. Rose would earn just $2,116,955 on a minimum salary from Cleveland, and the Cavs can bump that offer to only about $2.5 million. (That’d come with exponential additional costs, so they probably wouldn’t do that, anyway.)

The Lakers can also offer a larger role. Lonzo Ball can’t play every minute at point guard, and Rose would fill in the rest. They’ll likely add a point guard, Rose or not. The Cavaliers might be set with Kyrie Irving, Jose Calderon and Kay Felder if they don’t get Rose.

I’m not sure how Rose would work as a veteran mentor, especially on a one-year contract as he eyes a bigger payday next summer. But – say whatever else you want about him, and there’s plenty to say – Rose has remained impressively focused on basketball amid untold chaos. Ball – with outsized attention given LaVar and his media market – can probably relate.

Rockets re-signing Bobby Brown, Troy Williams

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James Harden spearheaded the Rockets’ recruitment of Chris Paul, but the MVP runner-up didn’t work alone.

Paul’s former New Orleans teammates Trevor Ariza and Bobby Brown added appeal.

So, unsurprisingly, with Paul in a contract year, Houston is re-signing Brown. The Rockets are also re-signing Troy Williams.

Alykhan Bijani‏ of ESPN Houston:

Williams’ agency:

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Brown is an undersized gunner who’s not nearly efficient enough to compensate for his defensive deficiencies, and he turns 33 before the season. But if he helps convince Paul to re-sign, it would be well worth keeping Brown on the roster all year.

The 22-year-old Williams, who went undrafted last year, is the far more intriguing player. A 6-foot-7 forward, he has the athleticism to stick in the NBA. His 3-point shot needs major development – though not quite as much if he becomes more adept at being a small-ball four, an easier task in Mike D’Antoni’s up-tempo system.