Monroe leads Bucks to preseason win over Bulls

CHICAGO — The Milwaukee Bucks got 15 points from backup center Greg Monroe in a 93-91 preseason win over the Chicago Bulls Monday night.

Monroe led all scorers in the game, despite playing 17 minutes off the bench. It wasn’t  a new role for Monroe, who was relived of his duties as a full-time starter in the last half of the 2015-16 season. There had been rumors all offseason that Monroe could potentially be traded after the Bucks regressed from their surprise 41-41 season in 2014-15.

Michael Carter-Williams was also involved in some trade rumors, but played like the former Rookie of the Year coach Jason Kidd traded for during the playoff run two years ago. He was one of just two players in last night’s game to record a double double, finishing with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Taj Gibson was the other, giving Chicago 11 points and 12 rebounds.

The Bulls eased newcomer Dwyane Wade into game action, limiting him to 12 minutes where he added six points and recorded two steals. Milwaukee was one of many teams to pursue Wade in the offseason, hoping they could bring the 12-time All Star back to where he played his college days at Marquette University.

The Bucks are fresh off a week of training camp held at the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison and return to the state capital on Saturday night for the next preseason game against the Dallas Mavericks at 7:30 p.m.

Bucks wanted Wade but not at the expense of their future

MADISON | The Milwaukee Bucks wanted to sign Dwyane Wade but not at the risk of stunting what they believe to be solid and steady growth as a franchise.

That was the word from team president Peter Feigin when he joined “The Zone” on Sunday morning from Las Vegas where the Bucks are in the midst of NBA Summer League action.

“We wanted to be very careful not to get overzealous to bring Dwyane back [to Milwaukee],” Feigin said of the former Marquette star. “We wanted to be very smart about it.”

Milwaukee was among several teams that got a meeting with Wade last week in New York before he ultimately surprised everyone by spurning the only team he’d known in his 13-year NBA career — the Miami Heat — and signed with his hometown Chicago Bulls on a two-year, $47-million deal.

It was a contract that Milwaukee couldn’t come close to matching without making a significant move — likely moving center Greg Monroe and his $17.1 million salary — to create cap room. Feigin said there were talks about making the necessary moves, but doing so would have undermined what they’ve been trying to build with a young core under a new ownership group and a state-of-the-art arena coming in a few years.

“We did not want to sell-off two good parts of the team, a first-round draft pick and get desperate,” Feigin said. “We’re very happy with the base we have.”

While there were some that believed Wade was just using Milwaukee and the Denver Nuggets as leverage in getting the contract he wanted, the Bucks truly felt his interest was genuine.

“I think Dwyane’s agents, and Dwyane himself, came to us and said Milwaukee was one of his go-to options. He loved the young team,” Feigin said. “To Dwyane’s credit, he spent a lot of time talking with [co-owner] Marc Lasry and with [general manager] John Hammond, and it was very sincere. It’s a big, big move in the league to think about getting a Dwyane Wade. We were 50-50 at best just because of our constraints on the salary cap.”

Instead of paying Wade, the Bucks spent some of their available salary cap room to acquire guard Matthew Dellavedova (four-year, $38 million contract) from the Cleveland Cavaliers in a sign-and-trade deal and added forward Mirza Teletovic from the Phoenix Suns on a three-year, $30 million contract.

“At the end of the day, it’s OK,” Feigin said of not getting Wade. “It really helps us next year, because unless there are major changes, it puts us, going into next year, in a terrific [position with] cap space to add yet another big salaried guy, which could be a game-changer.”

Wade to sign with Chicago Bulls

MIAMI — Dwyane Wade’s decision has reportedly been made, as the Associated Press revealed the former Marquette star and Chicago native will commit to sign with his hometown Chicago Bulls. This news came the same day he reportedly met with Milwaukee Bucks management.

According to the AP, Wade will sign a two-year deal with the Bulls for $47 million.

“This was not an easy decision, but I feel I have made the right choice for myself and my family,” Wade wrote in a letter to the Heat, released to The Associated Press.

The three-time NBA champion will be tasked with helping to bring a title back to the Chicago, where the Bulls have yet to reach an NBA Finals since Michael Jordan’s second retirement in 1998.

Wade meeting with Bucks back on

MILWAUKEE — Free agent guard Dwyane Wade recently cancelled a meeting with the Milwaukee Bucks scheduled for Wednesday, but reports now indicate Wade will meet with the Bucks in New York Wednesday afternoon.

The Bucks likely won’t be able to match offers from other teams, with Wade looking for a $50 million contract. The Chicago Bulls have come the closest to meeting Wade’s demands, offering a two-year contract with a partial guarantee. None of the teams reportedly still in the chase (Chicago, Denver, Miami) have offered a three-year deal, although the Nuggets have been able to surpass the $50 million threshold.

Former Bucks sharpshooter and former Wade teammate with the Heat, Ray Allen, has reached out to the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers about an NBA return. He last played in the 2013-14 season where he averaged 9.6 points per game.


UPDATE: Dwyane Wade cancels meeting with Bucks

UPDATE: Zach Lowe of ESPN reports that Dwyane Wade has cancelled his meeting with the Milwaukee Bucks, citing unnamed sources. He’s also cancelled meetings with some other teams during this free agency period.

Rumors had also been circulating that LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers were hoping to meet with Wade.

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks will reportedly meet with veteran free agent Dwyane Wade on Wednesday to discuss a potential return to the city he called home during his college days at Marquette.

The Miami Heat have offered Wade a two-year, $40 million contract after the Golden State Warriors signed one of Miami’s main targets, Kevin Durant. Many analysts believe the Bucks can sway Wade to come to Milwaukee by offering a third year on their contract offer, but they wouldn’t be able to match Miami’s dollar offer because of Greg Monroe’s contract. NBA writer Frank Madden believes Milwaukee’s odds at landing Wade hinge mainly on moving Monroe and his $17 million.

It’s still possible Milwaukee gets some shooting help,  after reports surfaced that the Cleveland Cavaliers likely won’t match the Bucks’ four-year, $38 million offer sheet for Matthew Dellavedova. The deadline for the moratorium period is 11:01 p.m. CT on Wednesday.