A small-market team like Milwaukee can have a new ownership group that’s willing to spend money, and steal away another team’s head coach after he showed a modicum of success in his first season on the job.
But the Bucks can only realistically acquire star-level talent in a few very specific ways.
The team would have to draft it, acquire it via trade, or overpay for it dramatically in free agency. At the moment, it appears as though the last option on the list is the one Milwaukee feels has the best chance for success.
From Marc Stein of ESPN.com:
In addition to weighing possible trade for Lin, I’m told Bucks are pitching offer sheet to RFA Eric Bledsoe and pursuing PG Greivis Vasquez
The potential Lin trade would be one where the Bucks would hope to get a future draft pick or some other relevant asset in return for helping the Rockets clear salary cap space by taking on Lin’s contract.
As for Bledsoe and Vasquez, both are restricted free agents, which means that their current teams have the right to match any offer these players might receive.
In the case of Bledsoe, the Suns have maintained all along that they’d do exactly that, even if an offer sheet for max contract-level dollars were indeed to be signed. But that’s the real issue here — is Bledsoe (or any other marquee free agent) really willing to sign up for max money in Milwaukee?
Historically, the answer’s been a resounding no. The Bucks have a much better chance at someone like Vasquez, but they’ll have to come with a fairly outlandish offer that would be enticing enough for him to consider, while scaring away the Raptors from matching at the very same time.
This is a huge season — a contract kind of season of sorts — for Noah Vonleh in Portland. The team has an option on him next season (the third of his rookie deal), and to impress people he is going to have to earn minutes at the four in front of Al-Farouq Aminu, Moe Harkless, Meyers Leonard, and Ed Davis.
The Blazers have high hopes for Vonleh, he was a central part of the Nicolas Batum trade with Charlotte. However, watching Vonleh at Summer League — 12 points a game on 46.3 percent shooting, 8.8 rebounds a game in more than 30 minutes a night — he didn’t show the development anyone had hoped to see. He should have dominated at that level. He didn’t.
Now there another injury setback for him.
He should be good to go around the start of training camp at the end of September.
But he can’t afford a slow start in training camp (that set him back his rookie season). He needs to show what he can do from day one, or Portland is going to move on without him.
The Boston Celtics have 16 players with guaranteed contracts and NBA rules allow just 15 players on the roster. Which means if a trade doesn’t happen by the start of the season, someone is going to get cut but still paid for the season.
This doesn’t change that.
The Celtics signed guard John Holland last season (he played a total of one playoff minute for them), but the deal was not guaranteed for this season. From Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
This was expected. Holland, who has played on the Puerto Rican national team, will be looking for a new gig either in the D-League or overseas (it’s unlikely an NBA team offers more than a training camp invite) By the end of training camp, the Celtics also likely will cut second-round pick Ben Bentil of Providence, who had a partially guaranteed deal.
That will leave R.J. Hunter and James Young battling it out for the final roster spot in Boston.
Ty Lawson is headed to the Kings, as first reported on Monday. The team made the move official on Wednesday with a press release, and USA Today‘s Sam Amick offers up another important piece of information: Lawson’s deal is not guaranteed, making it essentially a make-good camp invite.
It’s staggering how Lawson went from a borderline All-Star level point guard in 2012-13 to signing a non-guaranteed one-year deal with a lottery team three years later. His off-the-court issues have contributed to that, and he didn’t produce last season in Houston and Indiana. Still, he should have a pretty good chance of making the Kings’ roster, with Seth Curry and Rajon Rondo gone and Darren Collison their only proven point guard. They need depth there.
When Ben Simmons declared for the NBA draft this spring, he signed with LeBron James‘ Klutch Sports group for representation. That association would appear to have its advantages for the No. 1 overall pick, including the opportunity to work out with James and Dwyane Wade during the offseason. Wade posted a group photo on Instagram on Wednesday afternoon:
Also, it’s pretty staggering to see Simmons standing next to James and realizing that he’s bigger and taller.