Thursday, September 20, 2007

Bucks Match Heat's Offer For Bell

Charles Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports the Milwaukee Bucks have matched the Miami Heat’s offer for guard Charlie Bell.
Bell's agent, Mark Bartelstein, said he talked with Bell today and that the 6-foot-3 guard was "kind of digesting it."

"This is all part of the business," Bartelstein said. "They (the Bucks) realize Charlie Bell is a heck of a player, a huge piece of their present and future. They decided they wanted and needed to have Charlie with them."
I have been atypically optimistic about Bell’s chances of staying in Milwaukee throughout most of this ordeal.

Fom September 15:
“For now however, the NBA, and in this case the Bucks, have the upper-hand. Bell could slip away, but there is reason to be optimistic that he'll stay in Milwaukee.”
And from September 17:
“It’s safe to say Larry Harris and the Bucks know this, and judging by the team’s suave handling of the Yi situation, they aren’t likely to suddenly cave in and overpay for Bell. That increasingly makes it look like Bell won’t be playing for the Bucks this year, but I’ve cautioned before, and still maintain, that there’s a possibility he’ll ultimately resign, with the fact that he's a restricted free-agent playing a big role in that possibility.”
I must admit however, Bell’s public pleading to the Bucks to not match the Heat’s offer almost turned me into a disbeliever.

In an offseason of a lot more boom than bust, the Bucks again delivered.

The bad news is that apparently they could have signed Bell at a lower price if they would have negotiated the terms more seriously, and faster.

The good news is that possible playoff discussion can now be reintroduced in Milwaukee.

The offseason must be considered at least a mild success now. Resigning Mo Williams was the first priority, and that was accomplished. And now, the Bucks have locked up two players, Yi Jianlian and Bell, whose public desire to play elsewhere has been sometimes outrageously intense, sometimes intensely outrageous. As a small-market team and with little public pressure relative to the giants of the NBA, management has steadfastly proved their tenacity and intent to win is level with anyone.

And the relationship between Bell and the Bucks is repairable, with the $18.5 million working effectively to expedite any necessary healing process. However, as a sidenote, for those who have been following the Bell MySpace page part of the story, his mood today is currently “sore.”

Many considered the Royal Ivey acquisition a sign that Bell would not return. Now that he is back in the fold, cutting the active roster to twelve becomes a little more difficult. Here is one shot at the opening-night depth chart:

C- Andrew Bogut/Dan Gadzuric
PF- Charlie Villanueva/Yi Jianlian/Jake Voskuhl
SF- Desmond Mason/Bobby Simmons
SG- Michael Redd/David Noel
PG- Mo Williams/Charlie Bell/Royal Ivey

In this scenario, the three inactive players to produce the necessary fifteen total are Lynn Greer, Awvee Storey, and Ramon Sessions.


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