May 7, 2010, 8:30 AM EDT
The Bucks are just trying to keep the band together.
They liked the way last season ended. Well, except for that Andrew Bogut injury thing. But they were one of the hottest teams going to last month of the season and even without Bogut they pushed the Hawks to seven games. Next season Brandon Jennings should take a step forward as his skills and game mature, which means the Bucks should improve.
If they can bring all their key players back.
That starts with keeping John Salmons in house. He is expected to opt out of his $5.8 million deal for next year and test the free agent market in hopes of a bigger — and multi-year — deal. The Bucks have talked to his agent about an extension of the current deal that would keep him off the market, General Manager John Hammond told the Journal-Sentinel.
Hammond would not discuss specifics of the offer, but it is believed the Bucks have offered a maximum extension that would include Salmons’ opt-in year and three additional years for a total of nearly $27 million…
“He has some decisions he has to make,” Hammond said. “The first decision is does he opt out. You may expect him to do that. If that happens, he becomes an unrestricted free agent and we can’t have official conversations with him or his representative until July 1.
Carlos Delfino came up big for the Hawks last season. He is due $3.5 million next season but it is not a guaranteed contract (well, just $500,000 of it is). The Bucks could cut him to save money. They won’t, Hammond said.
One guy that will see a lot of interest on the free agent market is Luke Ridnour, who had his best season in the league as a Buck. Hammond said he does not know what is going to happen there.
The Bucks may have Michael Redd back. He has played just 51 games total the last two seasons due to tearing his ACL in consecutive years, but he could return next year.
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