The Milwaukee Bucks have been relatively quiet this offseason, though that could change if they sign veteran Ray Allen as rumored.
Milwaukee currently has only 13 players under contract for the upcoming season. The Bucks have only made four moves this offseason so far, signing Mirza Teletovic and re-signing Miles Plumlee. They also traded for Matthew Dellavedova and dealt the rights to Patrick McCraw, the No. 38 pick of the 2016 draft. Additionally, the Bucks drafted Thon Maker as well as Malcolm Brogdon.
Allen has not played in the NBA since the 2013-14 season but is currently working out feverishly, reports Dom Amore of the Hartford Courant. Amore said that the 41-year-old sharpshooter has been engaged in discussions with the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics about the possibility of coming out of retirement.
“I would love going back to those places if it worked out,” Allen said, “because both teams are good, too. It doesn’t necessarily have to be championship-or-bust for me to go back to the NBA.”
The Bucks were Allen’s first NBA team as Milwaukee traded the rights to Stephon Marbury, the No. 4 overall pick in the 1996 draft, to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Allen, the No. 5 overall pick in 1996, and Andrew Lang. The 10-time All-Star remained in Milwaukee until midway through the 2002-03 campaign when he was dealt to the Seattle Supersonics. Following five-and-a-half-seasons in Seattle, Allen moved onto Boston – where he won an NBA title in his first of five seasons with the Celtics. He then moved on to the Miami Heat in 2013, where he spent his final two years.
The NBA’s all-time three-point leader with 2,973 career triples, and career averages of 16.1 points and 3.8 rebounds along with 2.6 assists. Allen also shoots the ball at a 45.2 percent clip overall, including 40.0 percent from beyond the arc.
Josue Pavon of WEII 93.7 FM doesn’t believe that Allen would be a good fit with the Celtics as they already have a crowded backcourt with established veterans Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, and Jae Crowder, along with youngsters Terry Rozier, R.J. Hunter, James Young, and Jaylen Brown needing playing to continue their development. Rozier, Hunter, and Brown all showed flashes of brilliance during Las Vegas Summer League action.
Plus, Pavon suggests that Allen is using this move as a way to get back in the good graces of Celtics officials and fans and increase the chances of having his number retired.
Milwaukee seems to be all in on Allen. Bucks team president Peter Feigin was kiddy about Allen in a recent radio interview on 105.7 Fan.
“Ray Allen lights everybody up. Ray Allen is someone who gives this entire organization a shot in the arm.”
“I think Ray Allen would like to be a Buck or a Celtic. I think we’re just kind of starting that conversation, and I think Ray Allen is in surprisingly good shape. He’s been talking to [general manager] John Hammond.”
Allen is expected to make a decision whether he will be returning by training camp.
Milwaukee appears set at point guard with Michael Carter-Williams, Dellavedova and Tyler Ennis. The Bucks have Khris Middleton and youngster Rashad Vaughn along with Brogdon at shooting guard, while Giannis Antetokounmpo is the only small forward.
However, according to Gery Woelfel of the Journal Times, the Bucks’ depth chart is likely to change, soon. Woelfel recently wrote that the Bucks may be close to signing 26-year-old point guard Ra’Shad James.
“We’ve had interest in the Bucks and they have had interest in Ra’shad,” James’ agent, Bill Neff, told Woelfel. “Nothing is finalized; there’s still some paperwork to do. But both sides want to do it.”
James played with the Bucks’ Las Vegas Summer League team this year. The Northwood (FL) University product averaged 14.2 points, 4.0 rebounds along with 1.8 assists over 20.7 minutes a game in five games. He scored in double-figures in four of the five games with his best game of the event, coming against the Houston Rockets (July 15) where he tallied 19 points — on 8-of-12 shooting from the floor, including 2-of-3 from beyond the arc — and grabbed five boards.
James has spent his entire professional career overseas and in the D-League. He finished last season in the D-League with the Westchester Knicks, averaging 16.5 points a game in 15 contests.
Woelfel added that the Bucks are also expected to sign free agent Steve Novak.
“There have been a few teams that we’ve talked to; you’ve always got to keep your doors open,” Mark Bartelstein told Gery Woelfel of the Journal Times. “But we’re still talking with the Bucks and, hopefully, we’ll make a deal with them. Steve would love to stay in Milwaukee. It’s a very special place for him.”
Novak has played sparingly the past three years. Per ESPN, the 33-year-old is still working back from spraining his left medial collateral ligament that ended his season last year. Novak appeared in 10 games (three in Oklahoma City and seven in Milwaukee), producing 2.4 points while shooting 44.4 percent from the field and 46.7 percent from beyond the arc. He is a career 43.1 percent three-point shooter.
Mark Stein of ESPN is now reporting that Milwaukee is close to signing free agent Jason Terry. The 39-year-old averaged 5.9 points and 1.4 assists in 17.5 minutes for the Houston Rockets last year. He is a career 37.9 percent three-point shooter.
[Photo by Lynne Sladky/AP Photo]