Steve Novak has been a fixture at Bucks-related events this summer, so you’d be forgiven for forgetting that the Brown Deer native isn’t actually under contract with his hometown club.
Still, it’s been widely assumed that the 33-year-old Novak would eventually be re-signed once the Bucks’ other roster moves were done, and it now sounds likely to happen sooner rather than later. Appearing on 105.7 FM’s The Big Show Friday afternoon, Novak said a return to the Bucks is all but done.
“We’re having good conversations, and right now I think we’re just waiting pretty much for some of the medical staff to be back in town for physicals and stuff like that, and then we’ll make it official. So we’re getting close.”
A former Marquette star and second round pick of the Rockets in 2006, Novak has carved out a 10-year career thanks almost exclusively to his incredible accuracy from deep, a skill that suits the Bucks just fine. While he struggles to check opposing forwards and almost never takes shots inside the arc, the 6’10” Novak ranks sixth in NBA history in three point accuracy (43.1%) and will presumably be relied on as much for his locker room leadership as anything he might still do on the court.
Novak originally signed with the Bucks in February after being waived by the Thunder, in the process making his hometown team his ninth club in ten NBA seasons. Unfortunately, his return to the court was short-lived, as he played just three games in a Bucks uniform before suffering a season-ending medial collateral ligament strain in a collision with the Pistons’ Reggie Jackson.
Novak has been rehabbing under the watchful eye of the Bucks’ medical team ever since, and his lack of a contract hasn’t stopped him from appearing at a slew of team events, including the new arena groundbreaking in June and at the State Fair this past week. Assuming Novak signs for the minimum — worth a cool $1.55 million for a 10-year vet — the Bucks would then still have one more roster spot and their full room exception ($2.9 million) at their disposal. That could be used to sign Ray Allen or another veteran shooter, or the Bucks could also opt to keep a roster spot open heading into camp.
Until then, you’ll likely be able to find Novak working out at the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin practice center trying to stay sharp alongside youngsters Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker. Novak reported the latter two have been going at it one-on-one for the past week; hopefully they’ve been taking notes from Novak on their jumpers, too.