The Milwaukee Bucks have signed guard Charlie Bell to a multi-year contract, General Manager Larry Harris announced today. Bell originally signed an offer sheet with Miami on September 17, and because of his restricted free agent status, the Bucks had one week to determine whether to match the Heat offer.
“From a basketball standpoint, signing Charlie was an easy decision. He is a terrific player and a very important part of what we are doing both this season and in the future,” said Harris. “We’ve said all along that we wanted to have him remain on our team. Charlie is a high-character individual first and foremost, and he gives it his all in practice, in games and in the community.
“Once again, this decision continues to show Senator Kohl’s commitment to winning and to the community by keeping Charlie on our team,” Harris added.
Bell, 28, enjoyed a breakout season for the Bucks last year, posting career-high averages of 13.5 points, 3.0 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 34.7 minutes per game. He scored double-digits in 60 games, including 20 games of 20 points or more. He ranked 5th in the NBA in steal-to-turnover ratio (0.92:1) and T-32nd in steals per game (1.18). Bell (6-3, 200) scored a season-high 28 points on three separate occasions and was also the only Buck to appear in all 82 games (64 starts).
“It’s been a long and emotional process for Charlie and his family throughout the summer,” said Bell’s agent, Mark Bartelstein. “The Bucks, however, have demonstrated how important Charlie is to their team, both now and in the future.
“Senator Kohl, along with Larry Harris and the Bucks organization, continue to prove that they will do whatever they can to bring a winner to Milwaukee,” Bartelstein added.
Not drafted out of Michigan State University, Bell originally signed with the Bucks on August 8, 2005 and averaged 8.4 points, 2.2 assists and 2.0 rebounds during the 2005-06 campaign.
“I look at Charlie as that final piece of the puzzle,” said Head Coach Larry Krystkowiak. “Charlie is a consummate pro who gives us versatility at a number of positions. He is a tough, hard-nosed player who never takes the easy way out. I’m really excited about the make-up of our roster as we head into training camp next month.”