A RealGM poster found Charlie Bell's MySpace page, and it's got some interesting entries suggesting a decision about Bell's future should come in the next day or so. First off, you immediately wonder whether it's real or not, but judging by the massive amount of effort that's gone into it (785 friends, all the personal pictures) and the fact that other NBA players have MySpace pages as well, I'd guess it's legit. Either that or someone has been expending massive amounts of time trying to make people think they're a rather random NBA player on the internet. Anyway, he posted a couple entries in his blog yesterday that are worth looking at. The first one about visiting Greek club Olympiakos:
I have a very difficult decision to make today. Olympiakos is easily the best team in Europe and the fans are the best. The city is beautiful and you have the best owner in all of Europe. Thank you Olympiakos fans for all the support and emails. I know I will be happy if I choose to come to your team. If I don't, It would only be because my opportunities right now are better here in the United States. If I choose Olympiakos, it will be because the Bucks are mistreating me, and at Olympiakos we can win a championship this year. No matter what, if I do come back to Europe to play this year, or any year after, it will be with Olympiakos, as long as they will have me. I will talk with my family and friends tonight for one last time, and I will decide. Thank you again!!The second one is also from yesterday, claiming the Bucks gave him an ultimatum.
The Bucks gave me an ultimatum today to either take the deal that they are offering me with absolutely no negotiating any parts of it, or they will sign another player immediately. They gave me 24 hours. I don't know what to do because it is not a fair offer in my opinion, but time is ticking... gotta make a decision. I'll be praying for an answer.Sounds like Bell is rather displeased with the way the Bucks' negotiations are going, and isn't too thrilled with the idea of taking the Bucks' reported three-year $9 million offer. Which you can understand given the deals that players like Jason Kapono (five years, $30 million) and Matt Carroll (six years, $27 million) got this offseason. And certainly the fact that the Bucks dished out fairly generous new deals to Mo Williams, Desmond Mason and Jake Voskuhl probably doesn't make Bell feel any better either.
UPDATE: Over in that same RealGM thread it was noted that Bell put up another post a couple hours ago saying that he was willing to take the Bucks' offer IF they made the final year a player option, but that the Bucks had even refused that. The whole post is in the link above, but it is now gone from his blog. So you wonder if the Bucks might have relented, or if there's some other wrinkle in the negotiations; either way he decided to delete it. Certainly by the sound of it Charlie is not at all pleased with the Bucks' hardball stance. It's also worth noting that Larry Harris supposedly said yesterday on the radio they had given Bell a revised offer, but I'm not sure what that might be--more than three years, $9 million?
If a player option is all it's coming down to then there's little reason to haggle any longer. If the Bucks can get Bell for $3-4 million per season for two seasons they've done pretty well for themselves, and at that point the contracts of Lynn Greer and Ramon Sessions will also be expiring, so they could pick from that group who to retain and who to let go. Bell's not a youngster, so locking him up long term isn't as important as assuring that he's around for the near future. And as of now it would be a big blow to replace Bell with a veteran off the street like Dee Brown, Scoonie Penn or Mike Wilks (all of whom worked out recently for the Bucks).