June 5, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Boston Celtics small forward Mickael Pietrus (28) reacts after a play during the first half in game five of the Eastern Conference finals of the 2012 NBA playoffs against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
The Milwaukee Bucks are currently rummaging through the NBA's free agent bargain bin, and three names have consistently turned up in recent rumors: Mickael Pietrus, Joel Przybilla and C.J. Miles. The short version of this update is that the Bucks are reportedly in talks with Pietrus, supposedly waiting on a late-arriving decision from Joel Przybilla and almost definitely moving on from C.J Miles.
At first I thought the Bucks were interested in signing this C.J. Miles, which would have drastically changed my analysis, but alas, it's the 25-year-old swingman that can't seem to shoot straight. Before you get too excited, I should tell you that Miles has signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He told the world via Twitter:
Photo: Excited .. Ready and most importantly BLESSED.. (Taken with Instagram) tmblr.co/Zb-u7xQgxDlP— C.J. Miles(@masfresco) August 3, 2012
I appreciate all this— C.J. Miles(@masfresco) August 3, 2012
#Cavsnation love .. I'm excited to help the city on and off the court
Okay, now on to the semi-interesting stuff regarding Przybilla and Pietrus.
Joel Przybilla News
Sam Amick of SI.com reports that Przybilla will likely decide on a team by Friday (note: I've seen nothing in the way of signing news as of 9:42 p.m. CT):
From the NBA unemployment line, source says free agent center Joel Przyzbilla will likely decide which team to sign with by later today or tonight. It appears Milwaukee is out in front, with Portland and Dallas also in the running.
In other words, Przybilla is making the Bucks wait...again. If you were hoping for more analysis on the potential addition of Przybilla, just click here.
Mickael Pietrus News
According to NBA.com, Mickael Pietrus' agent has made it known that his client is interested in signing with the Bucks and that talks are currently underway with GM John Hammond. Pietrus is an interesting case, because he doesn't quite shoot as well as Carlos Delfino, doesn't defend as well as Luc Mbah a Moute, has been chronically injured over the past few seasons, but the Bucks may be close to adding him to the roster. The 30-year-old swingman elected to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right knee for the second consecutive season in June, but he hopes to be back on the court by August.
As for how much Pietrus might cost on the open market, here is what his agent told the Boston media back in July:
"MP will not play for the veteran's minimum. Period," said McCandless. "It's not happening. That's the beginning, middle and end of that. ... He is not a veteran's minimum player. There's no chance he'll ever sign for that."
"I've had the veteran minimum thrown at me like hubcaps," added McCandless. "In this collective bargaining agreement, a component of any player's wishes and desires is the money teams are willing to pay. They're pro athletes. My mother might cry in her beer when Johnny Damon runs away to the Yankees, but you and I understand it's a business."
For reference, the veteran's minimum for a pro with nine years of NBA experience comes out to an annual salary of $1.23 million, so it's safe to say he's seeking something that at least bumps up into the bi-annual exception range of $1.96 million per year. As for what he might actually be worth to the Bucks, here is how he stacked up to the other free agent options I evaluated at the beginning of July (note: FA statuses have changed for most players...stats have not). It's a signing that would fit safely in the "meh" category.