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Milwaukee Bucks sign Jerryd Bayless

Bucks sign Jerryd Bayless

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed free agent guard Jerryd Bayless, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

Bayless, 25, split the 2013-14 season between the Memphis Grizzlies and Boston Celtics, and averaged 9.3 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 72 games (19 starts). He was acquired by the Celtics in exchange for Courtney Lee on Jan. 6, and while with Boston, set season highs of 29 points – including a career-high 12 field goals made – on Feb. 26 vs. Atlanta and nine assists vs. San Antonio on Feb. 12.

Originally selected by the Indiana Pacers with the 11th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, Bayless was traded to the Trail Blazers prior to his rookie season. Over his six-year career, Bayless has spent time with Portland, New Orleans, Toronto, Memphis and Boston, and has recorded career averages of 8.5 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 381 games (59 starts). He has been to the playoffs three times with Portland (2009, 2010) and Memphis (2013), averaging 9.8 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 23 games (two starts).

Bayless played one season at Arizona in 2007-08 where he became the first freshman in school history to lead the team in both scoring (19.7 points) and assists (4.0). In 2007, he was named a McDonald’s All-American as a high school senior at St. Mary’s (Phoenix).

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed second round draft pick Johnny O’Bryant, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

The 36th overall selection in the draft, O’Bryant (6-9, 256) appeared in all five games for the Bucks’ entry in the 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas and averaged 8.2 points and 5.4 rebounds in 18.2 minutes per contest. In the summer league finale vs. Golden State on July 18, O’Bryant posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

A native of Cleveland, Miss., O’Bryant played three collegiate seasons at Louisiana State University, averaging 12.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists over his career. He was named to the All-SEC First Team by the coaches in 2013 and 2014, and earned All-SEC Second Team honors from the AP in 2014. O’Bryant is one of 14 LSU players to record at least 1,000 career points (1,157) and 700 career rebounds (702). He recorded 25 career double-doubles as a Tiger and scored 10+ points in 28 games his junior season. He also led the team in scoring his sophomore season, averaging 13.6 points per game.

Enjoy these video highlights of Milwaukee Bucks rookie Jabari Parker from 2014 summer league:

Bucks land Kendall Marshall via waiver wire

The Milwaukee Bucks have been awarded the contract of guard Kendall Marshall (6-4, 195) on a waiver claim, General Manager John Hammond announced today. Marshall was waived by the Los Angeles Lakers on July 18.

Appearing in 54 games for the Lakers in 2013-14, Marshall, 22, averaged 8.0 points, 8.8 assists and 2.9 rebounds per contest. In his best stretch of the season in January, he tallied at least 10 assists and scored at least 10 points in five consecutive games. He ranked fifth in the NBA in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.18) and shot a career-high 39.9 percent from the 3-point arc. Prior to being called up by the Lakers, Marshall appeared in seven games for the Delaware 87ers of the NBA D-League and averaged 19.4 points, 9.6 assists and 4.7 rebounds.

Originally drafted by Phoenix with the 13th overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft, Marshall appeared in 48 games for the Suns as a rookie and averaged 3.0 points, 3.0 assists and 0.9 rebounds per game. Prior to the 2013-14 campaign, Marshall was traded by Phoenix with Marcin Gortat, Shannon Brown and Malcom Lee to Washington for Emeka Okafor and a 2014 first round draft pick. Marshall, Brown and Lee were waived by the Wizards on October 28, 2013.

Marshall played two seasons (2010-12) at the University of North Carolina where he teamed with current Bucks forward John Henson. As a sophomore, Marshall averaged 8.1 points, 9.8 assists and 2.6 rebounds and was named AP Third-Team All-America, The Sporting News First-Team All-American and received the Bob Cousy Award as the top collegiate male basketball point guard.

Bucks sign first round draft pick Jabari Parker

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed first round draft pick Jabari Parker, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

All first round draft picks are guaranteed to receive a contract, assuming they want to begin their NBA career right away. Therefore, this signing is standard operating procedure, and was expected.

The second overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft, Parker played one collegiate season at Duke University, where he was a consensus First Team All-America selection. While with the Blue Devils, Parker also earned honors as a First Team All-ACC member, ACC Rookie of the Year and USBWA National Freshman of the Year. His 19.1 points per game and 8.7 rebounds per game were both Top-50 in the nation, with the points per game average marking the fourth-highest effort ever by an ACC freshman. He is the fourth freshman in ACC history to lead the league in rebounding.

With 670 points and 306 rebounds, Parker became the 14th player in Duke history to record 600+ points and 300+ rebounds in the same season, and he is just the sixth ACC freshman to ever reach the 600-point plateau. He is also the first Duke freshman to lead the team in both scoring and rebounding. Parker posted a career-high 30 points (10-of-17, .588) to go along with 11 boards in a win vs. UNC on March 8. The 30-point effort was the most by a Duke freshman in the 238 games played in series history against the rival Tar Heels.

Additionally, Parker received First Team All-America honors from The Associated Press, NABC, USBWA, Sporting News and Sports Illustrated. Parker was a finalist for the Naismith Trophy, Oscar Robertson Trophy and John R. Wooden Award, and he was honored as the top freshman in the country through the Integris Wayman Tisdale Award by the USBWA. He was named ACC Rookie of the Week a record 10 times and was on the All-ACC Academic Team.

A native of Chicago, Parker attended Simeon Career Academy, where he led Simeon to four IHSA Class 4A state championships and averaged 18.4 points and 10.4 rebounds as a senior. He was named the 2013 Jordan Brand Classic Co-MVP, is a two-time Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year and Illinois Mr. Basketball winner, and was named National Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior. Parker has also played for USA Basketball, earning gold medals at the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship and the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.

Pre-NBA Jason Kidd basketball success

Here’s the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporting on new Bucks head coach Jason Kidd, with a look back at his pre-NBA days:

pre-NBA Jason Kidd basketball success

Kidd has been making basketball headlines since he played for Bay area youth teams and starred for St. Joseph Notre Dame High School in Alameda, Calif., in the early 1990s.

Frank LaPorte, Kidd’s high school coach, told the San Francisco Chronicle in 1991: “As an eighth-grader, Jason Kidd was the talk of the town.”

In his senior season, Kidd led his team to a second straight state championship, averaging 25 points, 10 assists, seven rebounds and seven steals. He was named the Parade, USA Today and Naismith prep player of the year in 1992. In January 2012, he was selected as one of the 35 greatest McDonald’s All-American high school players.

Kidd was recruited by the top college programs in the country, including Kansas when Roy Williams was coach there.

“Jason was one of the three best high school guards I have seen in my 15 years in coaching,” Williams said in 1993. “Derek Harper, Kenny Anderson and Jason.”

But Kidd, who was born in San Francisco, turned away from the giants and signed with the University of California.

As a freshman, he averaged 13.0 points, 7.7 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 3.8 steals. He was chosen national college freshman of the year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and made the 10-player All-Pac-10 team. His 110 steals set an NCAA record for a freshman.

Cal made the NCAA Tournament field and beat Duke on the way to the Sweet 16 before losing to Kansas. Midway through that season, Cal coach Lou Campanelli was fired and replaced by assistant Todd Bozeman. Kidd reportedly was among the Cal players who complained about Campanelli’s sometimes abrasive style. Cal athletic director Bob Bockrath fired him with 10 games left in the 1992-’93 season.

As a sophomore, Kidd averaged 16.7 points, 9.1 assists, 6.9 rebounds and 3.1 steals. He led the nation in assists with 272. He was chosen as a first-team All-American and Pac-10 player of the year.

Here’s the Associated Press, via the Minneapolis Star Tribune, reporting on the Milwaukee Bucks:

Bucks owners admit process in getting Jason Kidd could have been smoother

New Bucks owners Marc Lasry and Wes Edens admitted Wednesday that there may have been errors in how Jason Kidd was lured to Milwaukee.

That doesn’t mean they aren’t happy to have him as the Bucks’ new head coach.

Kidd was formally introduced Wednesday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Kidd said there were no hard feelings over his abrupt and surprising departure from Brooklyn, where he won 44 games and reached the second round of the playoffs as a first-year head coach but left after a failed bid for more front-office power.

His messy departure leaked to the media and Brooklyn agreed Monday to deal Kidd to Milwaukee for second-round draft picks in 2015 and 2019. The Bucks fired Larry Drew, who had no indication he wouldn’t be back for a second season.

The Milwaukee Bucks today named Jason Kidd as the team’s new head coach. The Bucks signed Kidd after the Brooklyn Nets agreed to release him from his contract in exchange for two second round picks in the 2015 and 2019 NBA Drafts. Kidd will be the 14th head coach in the history of the Bucks franchise. He joins Milwaukee following a 19-year Hall-of-Fame-caliber NBA playing career and, most recently, serving as head coach of the Brooklyn Nets.

“When you list the characteristics that make a successful head coach, you would include leadership, communication and a competitive drive,” said Hammond. “Jason used all of those traits to become a 10-time All-Star player in the NBA, and has now translated his on-court success to the bench. We welcome him to the Bucks organization and look forward to building a Championship-caliber team with him as our head coach.”

“Jason is a determined leader, a tough-minded competitor and a great teammate,” said Bucks owners Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry. “We believe his focus, vision and intensity will help him work alongside John and David (Morway) to rebuild the Milwaukee Bucks as we aspire to achieve excellence over the next several years. We are excited that Jason will call Milwaukee his new home.”

Kidd, 41, most recently served as head coach of the Brooklyn Nets where he guided the team to a 44-38 record, earned the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, and was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month twice. The Nets upset the three-seed Toronto Raptors in seven games in the First Round before falling to the Miami Heat in the Second Round.

Before becoming a head coach, Kidd enjoyed an exceptional 19-year NBA playing career, which included 10 All-Star Game appearances and an NBA Championship in 2011 as a member of the Dallas Mavericks. He was named to the All-NBA First Team five times, All-NBA Second Team once, to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team four times and All-Defensive Second Team five times. Kidd also won gold medals with Team USA in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

When Kidd retired in 2013, he ranked second all-time in NBA assists and steals behind John Stockton. His 107 triple-doubles are third all-time behind Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson. He also ranks third on the League’s all-time lists in minutes and 3-point field goals, sixth in games played, first among guards in rebounds and 71st in points scored. He joined Grant Hill as one of two players in the NBA to win the Joe Dumars Trophy – given to the winner of the annual NBA Sportsmanship Award – multiple times. Kidd received the honor following the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons.

The second overall pick of the Dallas Mavericks in the 1994 NBA Draft, Kidd shared Co-Rookie of the Year honors with Grant Hill. He played in 1,391 regular season games with Dallas, Phoenix, New Jersey and New York. His teams qualified for the postseason 17 times, and he played in 158 playoff games, including three trips to the NBA Finals (2002, 2003 – New Jersey; 2011 – Dallas).

Born March 23, 1973, in San Francisco, Kidd played two seasons at the University of California, where he averaged 14.9 points, 8.4 assists and 5.9 rebounds, and was a Consensus All-America selection in 1994.

jason kidd

Brooklyn Nets General Manager Billy King announced today that the organization has permitted Jason Kidd to pursue a coaching opportunity with the Milwaukee Bucks. In exchange for allowing Kidd to depart, the Nets will receive two second round draft picks (2015 & 2019) from Milwaukee.

The Nets’ search for a new head coach will begin immediately.

In one season as head coach of the Nets, Kidd led Brooklyn to a 44-38 record during the regular season and a first round playoff win over Toronto before losing to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Milwaukee Bucks fire coach Larry Drew

Milwaukee Bucks fire coach Larry Drew

Jason Kidd is coming soon to Milwaukee.

The Bucks have relieved Head Coach Larry Drew of his duties, the team announced today. It’s been widely reported that Nets head coach Jason Kidd is leaving Brooklyn and will take over the Milwaukee coaching duties.

Milwaukee Bucks General Manager John Hammond stated, “Despite the challenging season, Larry always handled himself and represented the Bucks in a first-class manner. Larry did the best he could in a difficult situation, especially given all of our injuries. I want to thank Larry for all of his efforts, and we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.”

Drew was named the 13th head coach in Bucks history on June 3, 2013.

Jason Kidd leaving Nets to coach Bucks

Well, this escalated quickly. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Jason Kidd leaving Nets to coach Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks have agreed to send two second-round draft picks to the Brooklyn Nets to secure the coaching rights to Jason Kidd, sources tell ESPN.com.

The Bucks had been offering one second-round pick, but the Nets initially wanted a 2015 first-round pick in exchange, a negotiating chip the Bucks originally dismissed.

A source told ESPN.com’s Andy Katz that the Bucks have only talked to Kidd about being the coach, not any kind of administrative position running basketball operations. The source said the negotiation was supposed to be between the owners, not involving any basketball personnel, before the story was leaked out by the New York Post. But the source said the negotiations are now being handled by Bucks general manager John Hammond and Nets GM Billy King.

Here’s the New York Post reporting a wild story that came out of the blue and has been confirmed by several other outlets:

Jason Kidd wants control of Nets, may wind up with Bucks

Apparently Jason Kidd isn’t satisfied with just coaching, but he’ll have to be if he stays with the Nets.

According to a league source, Kidd recently approached ownership with a series of demands, including the role of overseeing the Nets’ basketball operations department in addition to his head coaching responsibilities. The source said Kidd didn’t want general manager Billy King to be dismissed, but wanted to be given a title and placed above him in the organizational hierarchy.

Ownership declined to grant Kidd that kind of power, which is rare for any coach in the league to have. The source said ownership felt Kidd wasn’t ready for that kind of responsibility after having only one year of coaching experience — the team finished his first season on the bench with a 44-38 record, good for sixth in the Eastern Conference — and allowed Kidd to seek other opportunities.

The franchise then was approached by the Bucks for permission to speak with Kidd about the prospect of hiring him, and the Nets granted permission.

The Milwaukee Bucks selected forward Jabari Parker with the second overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. In the second round, the team took Damien Inglis (31st overall) and Johnny O’Bryant (36th overall), and traded the draft rights to Lamar Patterson (48th overall) to Atlanta for a Brooklyn 2015 second-round draft pick (via Atlanta).

Parker (6-8, 235), a 19-year-old early entrant candidate, played one collegiate season at Duke University, where he was a consensus First Team All-America selection. While with the Blue Devils during the 2013-14 season, Parker also earned honors as a First Team All-ACC member, ACC Rookie of the Year and USBWA National Freshman of the Year.

His 19.1 points per game and 8.7 rebounds per game were both Top-50 in the nation, with the points per game average marking the fourth-highest effort by an ACC freshman ever. He is the fourth freshman in ACC history to lead the league in rebounding.

With 670 points and 306 rebounds, Parker is the 14th player in Duke history to record 600+ points and 300+ rebounds in the same season, and he is just the sixth ACC freshman to ever reach the 600-point plateau. He is the first Duke freshman to lead the team in both scoring and rebounding. Parker posted a career-high 30 points (10-of-17, .588) to go along with 11 boards in a win vs. UNC. The 30-point effort was the most by a Duke freshman in the 238-games played in series history against North Carolina.

Additionally, Parker received First Team All-America honors from The Associated Press, NABC, USBWA, Sporting News and Sports Illustrated. Parker was a finalist for the Naismith Trophy, Oscar Robertson Trophy and John R. Wooden Award, and he was honored as the top freshman in the country through the Integris Wayman Tisdale Award by the USBWA. He was named ACC Rookie of the Week a record 10 times and was on the All-ACC Academic Team.

A native of Chicago, Parker attended Simeon Career Academy, where he led Simeon to four IHSA Class 4A state championships and averaged 18.4 points and 10.4 rebounds as a senior. He was named the 2013 Jordan Brand Classic Co-MVP, is a two-time Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year and Illinois Mr. Basketball, and was named National Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior. Parker has also played for USA Basketball, earning gold medals at the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship and the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship.

Inglis (6-8, 215), another 19-year-old early-entry candidate, hails from Cayenne in French Guiana, and played last season with Roanne as a rookie in France’s top league, Pro A. He averaged 4.6 points and 3.6 rebounds in 27 games. He grabbed a career-best 11 rebounds vs. Strasbourg and scored in double figures in three straight games in December. Inglis began his career at INSEP in France, where he averaged 10.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists over three seasons from 2010-13. He competed in the 2014 Nike Hoop Summit and has played for France in the U18, U17 and U16 Euros.

O’Bryant (6-9, 256) played three collegiate seasons at Louisiana State University, averaging 12.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists over his career. He was named to the All-SEC First Team by the coaches in 2013 and 2014, and earned All-SEC Second Team honors from the AP in 2014. O’Bryant is one of 14 LSU players to record 1,000 career points (1,157) and 700 career rebounds (702). He recorded 25 career double-doubles as a Tiger and scored 10+ points in 28 games his junior season. He led the team in scoring his sophomore season, averaging 13.6 points per game.

As a high school senior at East Side HS (Cleveland, Miss.), O’Bryant appeared in the 2011 McDonald’s All-American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic. He was also named a USA Today and Parade All-American that year.

The Bucks selected Patterson with the 48th pick, but traded his draft rights to Atlanta for Brooklyn’s 2015 second-round draft pick.

The Minnesota Timberwolves tonight selected guard Zach LaVine from UCLA with the 13th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

LaVine, a 6-5 guard, appeared in all 37 games, making one start, as a freshman at UCLA this past season. He averaged 9.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game, earning Pac 12 All-Freshman honors. He connected on 37.5% from three-point range, finishing the year with 48 made three-pointers, the second-highest made three-pointers by a UCLA freshman in school history. LaVine scored in double figures in 17 games, including nine of his first 10 contests.

Originally from Seattle, Wash., LaVine was a three-year varsity basketball letterwinner at Bothell High School. He was named the 2013 Associated Press Washington state player of the year after averaging 28.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game as a senior. His play earned him Class 4A All-State honors, in addition to being named Washington’s Mr. Basketball by the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association.

NBA Board of Governors approve sale of Milwaukee Bucks

The NBA Board of Governors has unanimously approved the sale of the Milwaukee Bucks to Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry.

“We are pleased that Wes Edens and Marc Lasry have been approved as the new owners of the Milwaukee Bucks,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “The Bucks and their fans will benefit greatly from their vast business experience, energy and strong commitment to Milwaukee. I would like to thank Senator Kohl again for his unprecedented and historic financial gift toward the construction of a new Milwaukee arena and for his outstanding service to the league and his community over his nearly 30-year tenure.”

The transaction is expected to close shortly.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the sale price of the Bucks is $550 million.

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on the Bucks:

Sale of Milwaukee Bucks likely coming soon

The $550 million sale of the Milwaukee Bucks to hedge fund billionaires Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry is expected to be finalized by the NBA on Thursday, a source involved in the process told ESPN.com.

In the wake of the Donald Sterling scandal, there was a push within the league to have an extra thorough vetting of the new owners, sources said. That process, however, is complete and the league’s Board of Governors will approve the transaction that was initially signed last month.

The timing of the sale will allow Edens and Lasry to take control of the team before next Tuesday’s draft lottery in New York, which was a priority. The Bucks, at 25 percent, have the highest odds to win the lottery after an NBA-worst 15-67 season. The high draft choice in what is expected to be a deep draft was one of the attractive selling points of the team.

Here’s the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Blog reporting on the Bucks:

A source with knowledge of the sale process said Monday the sale of the Milwaukee Bucks to New York investors Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens “is moving quickly.”

“It’s possible there will be news later this week,” the source said.

Former senator Herb Kohl is selling the team he has owned since 1985 to Lasry and Edens for $550 million, which includes assumed debt. In addition, Lasry and Edens have committed $100 million toward the cost of a new arena, as has Kohl.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in mid-April that he anticipated it would take about a month for the sale to be formally approved by NBA owners. It appears his timetable was right on target.

Ekpe Udoh starts online book club

Epke Udoh starts online book club

Ekpe Udoh will leave one positive lasting impression from this dreary season for the Milwaukee Bucks, and it has nothing to do with basketball.

Few, if any, NBA players can say they’ve started a book club over Twitter. Fewer still probably cite entertainment magnate Oprah Winfrey as a role model.

Udoh, a four-year NBA veteran, is thinking big.

“I want to be like Oprah. I want to be like Oprah’s book club,” the Bucks forward said Tuesday. “I’ll get there. It might take me a couple years, but I’ll get some buzz going.”

He’s off to a decent start in a relatively short time.

– Associated Press

Bucks sign forward Chris Wright

Bucks sign forward Chris Wright

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed forward Chris Wright (6-8, 225) to a multi-year contract, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

Wright had played with the Bucks on two separate 10-day contracts, the last signed on April 5. He appeared in seven games with the Bucks, averaging 6.0 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.0 steal in 15.4 minutes per game.

Prior to joining the Bucks, Wright played with the D-League’s Maine Red Claws, where he’s appeared in 41 games this season and posted averages of 19.8 points and 8.1 rebounds per contest. He’s notched 14 double-doubles on the year, including seven in his last 11 appearances. Wright also played for the Red Claws during the 2012-13 season, when he average 18.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, and has been named to the D-League All-Star Game in both of his seasons in Maine.

After going undrafted out of Dayton in 2011, Wright was selected by the Red Claws with the third overall pick in the 2011 D-League Draft. He appeared in four games for the Red Claws, averaging 17.0 points and 10.8 rebounds, before signing with the Golden State Warriors on Dec. 24, 2011. Wright appeared in 24 games during his lone NBA season and posted 2.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per contest. Earning the start in Golden State’s season finale, Wright tallied a career-best 25 points and eight rebounds while shooting 11-of-14 from the field on April 26, 2012, at San Antonio.

Wright wears #15 for the Bucks.

Here’s the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel blog with an update on Bucks center Larry Sanders:

Larry Sanders begins 5-game suspension

Bucks officials confirmed that fourth-year center Larry Sanders has started his five-game suspension for violating the league’s drug policy.

Sanders was not with the Bucks for their Wednesday game against Indiana and could not be at the arena, per NBA policy.

Sanders was suspended for a third positive marijuana test. He was out due to surgery for right orbital fractures and it was uncertain when his suspension would begin.

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