AP

Milwaukee Bucks eager to keep Tony Snell, await Greg Monroe decision

1 Comment

ST. FRANCIS, Wis. (AP) After a late-season run to make the playoffs and an encouraging first-round series, the Milwaukee Bucks have every right to be hopeful. They also have a lot of questions as the offseason looms.

Center Greg Monroe has a $17.8 million player option for 2017-18 and forward Tony Snell is a restricted free agent.

General manager John Hammond said Thursday the Bucks plan to have Snell on the roster next season. Milwaukee can match any offer sheet signed by Snell, who averaged 8.5 points per game, shot 40.6 percent on 3-point attempts and provided Milwaukee with a strong wing defender.

“He’s an outstanding guy and a guy we want to have as part of our team moving forward,” Hammond said. “He’s about the right things. I think Tony wants to be here. We’re hoping to bring him back. We’re planning on him being with us next season.”

Monroe has until the night of the NBA Draft on June 22 to make his decision. If he opts out, the Bucks will be left with a big void off the bench.

Thon Maker started Milwaukee’s final 31 regular-season games and all six playoff contests at center, but Monroe scored 11.7 points with 6.6 rebounds over 22.5 minutes per game off the bench.

“You try to have a professional approach and have complete respect for the player,” Hammond said. “You don’t put him in a compromising position that would be unfair for him to answer. At this time, it is a time to let Greg settle in and let him make the decision he feels is best for him.”

Jabari Parker, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee for the second time in three years Feb. 8, was working out at the Cousins Center on Thursday. Hammond said Parker’s progress has been “amazing” and the medical staff is aiming for next year’s All-Star break as a potential return.

Parker is available for a contract extension this offseason, a decision that became more complicated with the second torn ACL.

“As far as his future in Milwaukee, we think it is long term,” Hammond said. “That’s the goal. That always has been the goal. We have discussions, maybe they come from different directions right now as far as what we can do with him. We want Jabari here and he wants to be here.”

More AP NBA: apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball

Rockets’ Clint Capela on Warriors: ‘I expect to beat them’

Getty Images
5 Comments

During the 2014-15 season, Rockets star James Harden said the Warriors “ain’t even that good.”

Golden State went on to reach the last three NBA Finals, twice beating Houston in the playoffs, and win two championships.

The Rockets have since re-tooled around Harden, Chris Paul and several quality role players and are in first place. Houston looks like the biggest threat to the Warriors in the Western Conference.

Rockets center Clint Capela on the Warriors, via Dave Schilling of Bleacher Report:

“I expect to beat them,” Capela says.

That’s a fine sentiment. Saying it publicly is another matter. Not even Harden did that a couple years ago. He was recorded during a pregame team huddle.

There’s a fine line between self-fulfilling confidence and providing bulletin-board material to the opponent. There’s already some animosity between the teams stemming from the Stephen Curry-Harden MVP race in 2015, and it has bubbled since. No matter how harmless Capela’s remark might have been intended to be, it’ll be met contentiously in the Bay Area.

PBT Extra Player of the Week: Victor Oladipo

1 Comment

Oklahoma City traded for Victor Oladipo out of Orlando to be their third scorer, behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. It didn’t exactly work out that way, Durant bolted town and when Westbrook went off Oladipo was looking for a place to fit in.

That place turned out to be the Pacers.

Oladipo has been playing like an All-Star this season with Indiana, and last week he was key in snapping Cleveland’s 13 game win streak, then turned around and dropped 47 points on Denver. For the week he averaged 35.7 points a game, shot 45.7 percent from three, plus grabbed 7.7 rebounds per game.

That will get you named the PBT Extra Player of the Week.

Watch Pacers fan boo Paul George during introductions (video)

2 Comments

Paul George – who told the Pacers he’d leave in free agency, prompting them to trade him to the Thunder – expected boos in his return to Indiana.

Pacers fans delivered.

They’ve also booed him every time he has touched the ball, which will certainly persist.

John Wall returns for Wizards-Grizzlies

AP Photo/Nick Wass
Leave a comment

WASHINGTON (AP) — Point guard John Wall was in the Washington Wizards’ lineup Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies after missing nine games with a sore left knee.

Coach Scott Brooks said Wall would play in the mid-20-minute range, perhaps a bit more.

The Wizards (14-13), currently in first place in the Southeast Division, went 4-5 in Wall’s absence.

“He such a force offensively,” Brooks said of Wall. “He’s a two-way player and he’s one of the few guys in the league that can find open 3-point shooters going 100 miles an hour in transition.”

Wall, 27, is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.