The next question for CB: Greece or Milwaukee?
- According to Greek papers, Charlie Bell is in Athens to visit with Olympiacos officials. The contract offer is reportedly a net-of-tax $5 million total over two years, so in pre-tax terms that's probably about $8 million or so. In other words, with Bell having stated a preference for staying in Milwaukee (and the NBA), the Bucks should have no problem retaining him for a fair amount. Keep in mind the last time Mark Bartelstein had a client make a trip to a competing city, Mo Williams wound up doing quite well for himself. No one seems to know what the Bucks are offering Bell, though in general the Bucks seem to be content to lowball Bell (or at least not roll over for him) and wait for someone else to force them to do something. Given they can match any offer sheet from another NBA team, the pressure hasn't really been on the Bucks to do anything. Clearly disappointed that he hasn't been able to fleece the Bucks again, Bartelstein has turned abroad to see if he can manufacture some leverage, but it still just doesn't seem possible that the Bucks would let Bell leave when a three-year, $10-12 million deal is probably enough to bring him back. Given the kinds of deals UFAs get you can understand why Bell would be hesitant to sign for a (gasp!) reasonable price, but it looks like the Bucks might be negotiating...well?
- Damir Markota's Croatia took down Portugal 90-68 in their second game at the Eurobasket tournament in Spain. Markota appeared sober and came off the bench to score 13 points (3/4 fg, 2/2 3fg, 5/6 ft) along with a rebound, 2 assists, 2 steals, and a block in 23 minutes (box score).
- Ersan Ilyasova's Turkish team also won their second Eurobasket game, beating the Czech Republic 80-72. Ersan started for the second straight game but struggled, scoring just one point and going 0-8 from the field with 6 rebounds in 22 minutes. I was hoping Ersan would have a breakout tournament, but so far in the EFES World Cup and Eurobasket he's really struggled to find his shot. Looks like stashing him away in Europe for at least a season could prove a wise move on the Bucks' part.