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Free Agency Begins: Salmons and Bucks making progress, Delfino staying put

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Yahoo: Bucks and Salmons "have made good progress on a new contract"
No extension, no problem? That might be the case with John Salmons and the Bucks, according to Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski. Chris Tomasson at FanHouse says John Hammond has a "guarded" optimism about coming to an agreement, while Chad Ford writes the deal could come quickly:

While the source stressed that the two sides have yet to reach a verbal agreement and are still discussing parameters, they believe they have a chance of closing a deal on Thursday.

We know the Bucks offered Salmons a three year extension beyond the $5.8 million he was owed this year, a package worth a total of four years and $27 million--the most they could offer given Salmons' old contract. So that would seem to be the baseline for any deal they reach now. That's assuming the Maggette signing didn't impact their interest in bringing Salmons back in the fold, as the Bucks have claimed. I would think it has to on some level, even if it's only in a "here's our final offer" type sense, but clearly the Bucks are serious about bringing Salmons back.

And the clear benefit of opting out? Even if Salmons simply wants to re-sign with the Bucks, he can sign for a lot more as a free agent than if he signed an extension and played 10/11 under his old $5.8 million salary. As a Bird free agent, Salmons can also negotiate a front-loaded contract that pays him more now, which should also be more appealing to the Bucks given they don't have cap room to worry about this year.

We also don't know if the Bucks' extension offer had any team options or partial guarantees in the back end of the deal, which would have a major impact on the appeal of a long-term contract with a 30-year old swingman. If the Bucks do sign Salmons to a multi-year deal, we'll have to withhold final judgment until we know the full details. Is it front-loaded or increasing in salary? Does it have team options or non-guaranteed years?  I have to think Salmons would only sign so quickly if he was getting a longer term deal (three or four years), but that doesn't mean the Bucks won't be able to throw in some options or non-guaranteed years to give them more flexibility down the road.  Stay tuned.

New Mexico Daily Lobo: Hobson to disprove doubters
My three favorite things in the world? Strawberry Milkshakes, Flight of the Conchords (sorry, Aussies) and rookies with serious chips on their shoulder (see Jennings, Brandon). So while Tiny Gallon and Larry Sanders are busy trying to chalk up Twitter followers, let's not forget about Darington Hobson.

"There’s a lot of people saying I made a mistake and should have went back to school, and that’s why I was the 37th pick," Hobson said. "That’s not why. I went 37th pick because a lot of GMs (General Managers) made a mistake."

It's ON, fellas! And before you dismiss Hobson as another naive baller with an outsized estimation of his own talents, check out Alex Kennedy's recap of who got hosed on draft night.

A source close to the situation said that Pondexter and Hobson were atop Orlando's draft board on Thursday morning and it seemed like he was the obvious pick. So when the Magic drafted Daniel Orton, who they hadn't worked out or expressed much interest in at all, everyone was surprised.

In the second round, Hobson watched as teams like the Sacramento Kings and New Jersey Nets passed on him after showing significant interest and making it clear that he would be their guy if he somehow dropped out of the first. Instead, both teams went with the best players available in Hassan Whiteside and Tibor Pleiss. If one team was able to move up or others had kept their word, Hobson would have been a first round pick.

JS: Delfino stays with Bucks
Non-story of the day! There was no real reason for the Bucks to waive Carlos they didn't. The only other option was trying to deal him to a team looking for cap space, but apparently the Bucks didn't find anything they liked. Works for me.

Paschketball: CDR on "cloud nine"
Jim Paschke with some great video (see below) from Chris Douglas-Roberts' first press conference in Milwaukee. Cannot wait to see CDR in a Bucks uni.

Indy Star: The Spawn of Big Dog
Interesting read on Glenn Robinson's 16-year-old son, the appropriately-named Glenn Robinson III. A rising 6'5" junior, he's getting interest from a bunch of fairly major programs, including Marquette.

Robinson lives with his mother, Shantelle Clay, and younger brother Gelen. His father, who scored more than 14,000 points during an 11-year NBA career that ended in 2005, spends most of his time in Atlanta and attends his sons' games on occasion. During the summer, he works with Glenn III in Atlanta.

"I go down there for a week or two during the summer and he helps me," the younger Robinson said. "He wasn't a guard, so he mostly helps me with my inside game. I think I'm probably a better ballhandler than he is. He couldn't dribble that well. But he's about 6-7 and his inside game is better than mine."

I love that even Big Dog's son is willing to rag on his ball-handling abilities...even though it makes me feel really old to know that Big Dog has a 16-year-old kid.

Bucksketball: The arrival of free agency
I'm too lazy to do a free agency kickoff, so go read Jeremy's instead.

Aside from their own free agents and a possible veteran’s minimum type guy, I wouldn’t expect to see much out of the Bucks this off-season. Kurt Thomas could return on the cheap. Perhaps we’ll have a Drew Gooden sighting in Milwaukee or someone of that ilk, but the money just isn’t there for much more. There will be no jet setting trips this evening or luxurious presentations with delusions of grandeur. Just the reality of a team on the rise tweaking along the way.

ESPN: Bucks cap space
I'm linking this not because it's informative, but because it's misleading--Jeremy also alludes to it in his article above. Larry Coon is the godfather of the CBA, but his description of the Bucks potentially having room for a max contract this summer leaves out the massive and completely unrealistic assumption that Michael Redd would not take his $18.3 million player option. Long story short: the Bucks only have the MLE and BAE to work with. Nothing to see here.