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Joel Przybilla Verbally Agrees To Contract With Milwaukee Bucks

Joel Przybilla is reportedly coming back to the team where his NBA career began.
Joel Przybilla is reportedly coming back to the team where his NBA career began.

According to a tweet from the Racine Journal Times' Gery Woelfel, free agent center Joel Przybilla has verbally agreed to sign with the Milwaukee Bucks. Przybilla was also considering the Portland Trail Blazers (where he last played) and Dallas Mavericks. According to Woelfel, Przybilla will sign a one-year deal later this week.

Przybilla's signing with Milwaukee will bring him back to the team where he made his NBA debut back in the 2000-2001 season. The Bucks acquired the former 9th-overall pick from the Houston Rockets in a draft-day deal that sent the draft rights to Jason Collier and a future 1st-round pick (#22 in the 2001 draft) to Houston. Przybilla played three years in Milwaukee before being traded to the Atlanta Hawks during his fourth season.

After signing with the Trail Blazers as a free agent in 2004, Przybilla played six seasons before being dealt to Charlotte in the deal that sent Gerald Wallace to Portland. He re-signed with the Blazers last February after recovering from a ruptured patella tendon and two surgeries. He appeared in 27 games, averaging 2.0 points and 5.1 rebounds in 16.6 minutes per game. Joel will likely occupy a strict reserve role in Milwaukee, and with the durable Sam Dalembert expected to start at center, there's little reason to think he'll be thrust into significant playing time.

The Bucks have been burned in the past by failing to carry a true backup center on the roster, especially with Andrew Bogut's frequent absence due to everything from freak injuries to migraines. As such, a deal with Przybilla could be little more than a metaphorical insurance policy, though the necessity of such a move is debatable. At this point, many Bucks fans simply hope the development of Milwaukee's young forwards isn't stunted by Przybilla's presence.