How many ways is the the Bucks - Pistons trade bad for the Nets? Detroit sending Caron Butler and Shawne Williams to Milwaukee for Ersan Ilyasova forecloses any possibility that Brooklyn can dump Joe Johnson on the Pistons. It also means that the Pistons have given up on Greg Monroe, who will now be pursued by the Knicks. And Marc Stein writes Friday, the Bucks with their huge $28 million in cap space will go after Brook Lopez.
League sources say the Bucks want a proven center in free agency if they can score one, and have pinpointed two kinds of former All-Stars -- Dallas' Tyson Chandler and Brooklyn's Brook Lopez -- as targets for the top of their wish list.
Bucks coach Jason Kidd knows both of them well, having played alongside Chandler in both Dallas and New York and having coached Lopez with the Nets. And word is that Milwaukee intends to chase both hard come July 1 in hopes of emerging as a serious contender for at least one of them.
While most in the league believe the Nets have the strong inside track on the center, Kidd appears willing to chance that he had a better relationship with the seven-footer than his successor, Lionel Hollins, did. The Nets can offer more money to Lopez, an eight-year veteran. And could playing with Jabari Parker and Giannis Antekoounpo be more alluring than working through what the Nets are calling a "bridge year."
But how realistic is Kidd's pursuit of Lopez? He was not a big fan while coaching the Nets. He argued that Lopez couldn't fit in his system. In fact, one of the final straws in ownership's decision to let Kidd go was his advocacy that the Nets trade Lopez and Mirza Teletovic to Milwaukee for Ilyasova and the deeply troubled Larry Sanders, knowing he could wind up coaching the Bucks. Ownership rejected the idea ... and Kidd's continuing as Nets coach, multiple sources have told NetsDaily. .
This is not the first time the prospect of Lopez-to-Milwaukee has been raised. A month ago, Gary Woelfel of the Racine Times-Journal said it was possible.
So what's going on here? One possibility is that the interest in Lopez is a smoke screen, that he really wants Chandler. There's no doubt of Kidd's love for Chandler, and the former Defensive Player of the Year, now 32, would likely be cheaper than Lopez. leaving the Bucks with more cap space to pursue other free agents.
July will be interesting.
- Summer Scoop: Bucks can spend cash - Marc Stein - ESPN
- Report: Milwaukee Bucks to pursue Brook Lopez, Tyson Chandler this summer - Kurt Helin - NBC Sports
Bucks interested in Brook Lopez - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York