The Milwaukee Bucks may be on the verge of adding one of the game's most lethal shooters -- and a familiar one to Milwaukee fans at that.
Former Marquette star and NBA journeyman Steve Novak (did you think I was going to say Ray Allen?) is a good bet to be wearing Bucks green and cream sometime next week according to ESPN's Marc Stein.
Milwaukee has emerged as the overwhelming favorite to sign former Marquette star Steve Novak when he clears waivers Sunday— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 20, 2016
Novak secured a buyout Friday from Denver and, according to league sources, is poised to sign with the Bucks once he gets through waivers— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 20, 2016
A career 43.2% shooter from deep, the 32-year-old forward was dealt in a luxury tax move by Oklahoma City to Denver on Thursday, but bear in mind that it's been three years since he actually played real NBA minutes. His best years came in New York as a 6'10" floor stretcher for the Knicks, leading the NBA with a 47.2% mark from three point range in 11/12 and following that up by playing a career-high 81 games and 20.3 minutes per contest in 12/13. The latter also happened to be Jason Kidd's one and only season in New York.
It's not clear how much Novak has in the tank at this point, though the Bucks would presumably hope that he can provide spot minutes off the bench. Kidd has shortened his forward rotation over the past couple weeks, leaning increasingly heavily on Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo, with Johnny O'Bryant falling out of the rotation entirely. Parker has played a career-high 42 and 41 minutes in the Bucks' last two games, while Giannis has averaged nearly 37 minutes in February. Is shooting ability contagious? Can we get Novak to cough in Giannis and Jabari's general direction? Hopefully so. If nothing else, Novak's arrival would give the state of Wisconsin one more championship belt wearer:
With the Bucks at 15 roster spots already, Novak's arrival would almost certainly spell the end of Chris Copeland's short and mostly anonymous tenure in Milwaukee. Copeland never found his footing in Milwaukee, and while neither Novak nor Copeland can defend a lick, Novak has better credentials as a shooter -- his 43% career accuracy from deep ranks him third among all active players and sixth in NBA history.