Sunday, July 1, 2007

Free Agency Notes

  • Gery Woelfel reports Larry Harris is looking to lock up his own free agents first, starting with Mo Williams, Charlie Bell and Ersan Ilyasova. While Brian Skinner's $5.85 million team option was not picked up, Woelfel mentions the Bucks would also be interested in re-signing him at a lower price. Given Skinner has had two of his best years in Milwaukee and is unlikely to command much interest in free agency that would seem a very logical move for both sides. As was the case last year, Skinner would provide a physical body off the bench to complement Bogut, Villanueva and (hopefully) Yi Jianlian.
  • Woelfel also mentions the Bucks have given Desmond Mason's agent a call. Woelfel first mentioned the possibility of a Mason-Bucks reunion in May. Mason could be a decent backup plan should they miss out on Bobcats swingman Gerald Wallace and Bulls combo forward Andres Nocioni. Mason's best days are behind him (he'll be 30 on opening night) and his defensive reputation was always a little exaggerated, but he's a character guy who can still provide energy in spurts. And I'm sure Kohl would love to bring back a former fan favorite who was so so well-liked in the community. I'm guessing Wallace re-signs in spite of the Bobcats acquisition of Jason Richardson, which tells you a lot about their opinion of Adam Morrison. Nocioni on the other hand sounds likely to leave Chicago given the Bulls have Luol Deng at SF and Thomas/Noah at PF. While he's a Skiles-type guy there just doesn't seem to be room for him at $6-7 million per season. Expect the Bulls to explore sign-and-trade options.
  • Other lower-priced options the Bucks may or not be keeping an eye on:
    • Morris Peterson, Raptors (unrestricted). Solid defender and three-point shooter who fell out of favor with the Raps last year after a career year in 05/06 (17 ppg/5 rpg).
    • Travis Outlaw, Blazers (restricted). Athletic former 1st-rounder out of high school who has shown flashes in Portland but has yet to put it all together. Given the Blazers' main need is at SF and Outlaw can play both forward spots they'll likely keep him, but it's certainly possible they might choose not to match an MLE offer.
    • DeShawn Stevenson, Wizards (unrestricted). Mainly a SG, he's a good defender who also shot well from distance last season. The Wizards just drafted Nick Young who plays the same position.
    • Ime Udoka, Blazers (unrestricted). Defensive wing who broke through last year with the Blazers while also shooting 40% from three. Has bounced around a lot and is already 29 but looks like he's pulling a Bruce Bowen-type resurrection from journeyman to defensive specialist. We'll see if he can replicate his performance last year.
  • Based on some intrepid sources (GAD over at the RealGM board), it also appears Jared Reiner will be brought back at the veteran's minimum salary. Can't find the link at the moment, but it's not surprising given he was vaguely serviceable late last year and they'll need some bodies to fill out the roster.
  • TMJ4 has video of Herb Kohl talking about the Yi situation. We wrote him a letter! No word on whether we've purchased a promise ring. You can also watch Bradley Center reaction to the pick here.

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