Monday, September 24, 2007

Lynn Greer Heading to Greece

In a somewhat surprising move the Bucks waived backup PG Lynn Greer this afternoon. But don't feel bad for Greer, because in place of playing another year at the NBA minimum he's signing with Greek club Olympiacos for a reported $7 million for two years. After Olympiacos missed out on Sarunas Jasikevicius and Charlie Bell, they were able to negotiate a deal with Greer, who the Bucks were happy to part ways with given their crowded backcourt. So Greer gets a hefty raise and it appears the Bucks don't have to eat his 07/08 salary (ETA: confirmed, the standard contract offset provision in the CBA means the Bucks won't owe Greer anything because of the Olympiacos deal).

A smallish, scoring PG, Greer didn't sniff the floor while the Bucks were healthy last year but had a few nice games during the latter half of the season, averaging 4.1 ppg and 1.3 apg in 41 games. Still, it's probably not a coincidence that the Bucks have three bigger, defensive-oriented guys backing up Mo Williams at the point. If you're keeping score, here's how the Bucks point guard soap opera played out this summer:

July 14: Miami goes after Mo Williams, but Bucks re-sign him at a hefty premium.
September 7: Olympiacos offers Charlie Bell a two-year deal after he's unable to get a better deal from the Bucks or a major offer sheet from anyone else. The Bucks up their offer, but negotiations with Bell break down.
September 11: The Bucks sign second rounder Ramon Sessions
September 17: Bell signs an offer sheet with the Heat, still desperate to shore up their backcourt after not getting Mo Williams.
September 18: Bucks sign former Hawks PG Royal Ivey, claiming it's unrelated to the Bell situation
September 20: Bucks match the Bell offer sheet, making everyone feel awkward
September 24: Bucks release Lynn Greer so he can sign with Olympiacos.

So the Bucks and Olympiacos end up happy, and Miami ends up with Smush Parker. I was concerned Sessions might be the odd man out given he was the only one without a guaranteed contract, but instead Sessions will likely play in the D-League while Ivey is kept as a warm body in Milwaukee. I can only assume this makes Charlie Bell the full-time backup PG given Ivey was never able to find much PT even in Atlanta. Keep in mind Bell's spent most of the past two years at the shooting guard spot, so he's likely to see time there as well while Redd is resting or with Redd at the 3. Ivey's ability to get on the court will thus depend mostly on how Bell is used. Either way the Bucks' backcourt is fairly flexible, as Mo, Bell and Ivey all have experience playing both guard spots.

This also brings the Bucks back down to 16 roster spots, meaning camp invite Angelo Reyes is the most likely cut, followed by Michael Ruffin. Still not sure if Ruffin's deal is guaranteed, but with the Bucks' clear emphasis on stockpiling defenders at the end of the bench Ruffin does seem to fit the profile. I'd throw Awvee Storey into the possible cut discussion, but he was just given a guaranteed contract for whatever reason. If Ruffin is NG'ed it's still possible the Bucks take only 14 into the regular season like last year and wait for an injury before adding another contract. Either way expect a couple more camp invites before all is said and done.

Tragedy struck Greer earlier this year when his fiancee Jillian passed away due to a brain tumor. The mother of Greer's son Lynn III, she had been with Greer since his college days at Temple. Best of luck in Europe, Lynn.

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