Report: Jabari Parker has agreed to deal with Chicago

Jabari Parker is on the move.

The former No. 2 overall pick has agreed to a two-year, $20 million deal with the Chicago Bulls, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

“Jabari and I felt it was in the best interest of both he and the team to rescind our qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent,” general manager Jon Horst said in a press release. “We appreciate everything Jabari has brought to our team and our community over the last four years and we wish him well.”

Milwaukee was expecting to be able to build around Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo, but a pair of torn ACLs in Parker’s right knee largely killed that hope. The former Duke star has missed 145 games in his first four years because of the injuries. He played 31 games this season after being out for close to a calendar year, scoring 12.6 points and grabbing 4.9 rebounds per game.

“I am extremely grateful to the Bucks and the incredible fans of Milwaukee for showing me so much love and encouragement,” Parker said in the release. “Thank you to my teammates for being like brothers to me. Also, the medical and performance staff led by Troy Flanagan and Suki Hobson deserve my unending thanks for their dedication in helping me get stronger and healthier every day.”

Parker’s injury history and Milwaukee’s salary cap situation made a big contract unlikely on the Bucks’ part. There is also potential future deals for guards Malcolm Brogdon, Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton. All of it made for the end of Parker’s time in Milwaukee.

Report: Bucks agree to terms with Lopez

The Milwaukee Bucks may have a logjam at the center position for the time being.

According to ESPN the Milwaukee Bucks have agreed to terms with veteran center Brook Lopez. The deal is reportedly for one-year worth $3.4 million as Milwaukee’s bi-annual exception.

Lopez is a 10 season NBA veteran with career averages of 17.9 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. He spent the first nine seasons of his career with the Nets before joining the Los Angeles Lakers via trade prior to the 2017-18 season.

Last year Lopez averaged a career-low in points with 13.0 per game but shot 34-percent from 3-point range.

The Bucks now have Thon Maker, John Henson, Tyler Zeller, and Lopez under contract for next season at the center position. It could be possible that the team moves on from Zeller, as his contract is not guaranteed.

Giannis Antetokounmpo named NBA 2K19 cover athlete

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo received good news on Monday when he was officially named the cover athlete for NBA 2K19.

Antetokounmpo picture will be featured on the cover of the standard edition of the game which is set to release in September. The game also will have a special cover for the 20th anniversary of the game which features Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James.

Antetokounmpo becomes the first ever international player to be named the cover athlete. He joins the likes of James, Steph Curry, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose, Paul George, Kevin Durant, and Chris Paul as active players that have graced the game’s cover. Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Kevin Garnett are among the retired players that have been featured as well.

With LeBron James leaving, the east is for Giannis’ taking

The Milwaukee Bucks have not had the best player in the Eastern Conference since 1974 when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar took home the league’s MVP award as a member of the Bucks. Since then the conference has been dominated by the likes of Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James.

With James’ announcement on Sunday that he is joining the Los Angeles Lakers via free agency, the Eastern Conference is now up for grabs. James had been on the team that represented the conference in the NBA Finals each June from 2011 until 2018.

The door is certainly open for the talent-laden Boston Celtics, the young and exciting Philadelphia 76ers, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Antetokounmpo now becomes the presumptive best player in the Eastern Conference, with a chance to enter his prime with a wide-open conference.

There is still talent in the conference, for sure, but there’s no doubting that each of the – at the very least – top five players in basketball now reside out west. Antetokounmpo very well may be the highest-ranked player in the east.

There’s certainly competition, as players like Al Horford, Kyrie Irving, Joel Embiid, and Ben Simmons all play their basketball in the Eastern Conference. But of those players, there’s not a single one of them that Milwaukee would even think about swapping with Antetokounmpo, and it would be tough to argue that their respective teams would not jump at the chance.

Antetokounmpo still has plenty to work on in order to reach his ceiling. There’s no doubt his passing has room to grow, as does his ability to score from the outside as well as his basketball IQ.

Like their star, the Bucks have plenty of room to improve the roster as they attempt to win a playoff series for the first time since the spring of 2001. Milwaukee is in a cap-space bind for the time being, but the future of Antetokounmpo is bright.

Earlier in 2018 Lakers’ President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson was fined by the NBA for tampering as a result of comments me made regarding Antetokounmpo. Those comments seemed to be good natured and unworthy of a fine according to public opinion.

“He’s going to be like an MVP, a champion,” Johnson told ESPN. “This dude, he’s going to put Milwaukee on the map. And I think he’s going to bring them a championship one day.”

While Johnson isn’t directly helping to build the Bucks into a contender, he just did help Antetokounmpo become the best player in the conference. Now it’s up for Antetokounmpo to take things from there and put Milwaukee on the map.

Bucks center involved in on-court fight

Milwaukee Bucks center Thon Maker was playing for team Australia in a FIBA World Cup qualifying game against the Philippines.

Australia was leading the Philippines by 31 points when a fight broke out on the court.

Maker was on the floor when the altercation began and found himself squarely in the middle of things.

For his part in the altercation, Maker was one of four Australian players ejected. A total of nine players from the Philippines were thrown out as well and then had to continue with only three Filipino players remaining on the floor. Two of the three players for the Philippines fouled out and the game was then called with Australia leading 89-53.

Reports: Ersan Ilyasova returning to the Bucks

Ersan Ilyasova is coming back to Milwaukee.

The 31-year-old forward has agreed to a 3-year, $21 million deal, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Ilyasova spent his first seven seasons in the NBA with the Bucks before being traded to the Detroit Pistons in the summer of 2015. Over the next three seasons, Ilyasova spent time with the Orlando Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder, Atlanta Hawks and the Philadelphia 76ers.

A big that could help space the floor for Giannis Antetokounmpo, the 6-foot-10 Ilyasova did average 10.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game last year while shooting 36-percent from 3-point range.

Ilyasova’s familiarity with new Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer — the two were together in Atlanta — likely played some role in the two sides coming together.

Giannis Antetokounmpo finishes sixth in MVP race

The 2017-18 season was a bit underwhelming for the Milwaukee Bucks as a team, but forward Giannis Antetokounmpo certainly lived up to expectations.

Antetokounmpo finished in sixth place in the voting for the 2018 NBA MVP. Houston’s James Harden was the winner, finishing with 86 first-place votes.

Antetokounmpo was sixth behind Harden, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, and Russell Westbrook.

James finished with 15 first-place votes, and no other player received a single first-place vote. James also had 79 votes for second-place, the most of any player.

As for Antetokounmpo, he finished one point behind Oklahoma City’s Westbrook. Westbrook totaled 76 votes, while Antetokounmpo finished with 75.

Kevin Durant, DeMar DeRozan, LaMarcus Aldridge, Jimmy Butler, Stephen Curry, Joel Embiid, and Victor Oladipo rounded out the voting.

In his fifth season Antetokounmpo was named an NBA All-Star for the second straight season while averaging 26.9 points per game and 10 rebounds. Antetokounmpo was also named second-team All-NBA.

Milwaukee Bucks select Donte DiVincenzo in first round

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks selected guard Donte DiVincenzo with the No. 17 overall selection in the 2018 NBA Draft.

DiVincenzo, a product of Villanova, was named the 2018 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player as he helped to lead the Wildcats to their second national championship victory in three seasons.

In his junior season DiVincenzo averaged 13.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game while shooting 48.1 percent from the floor including 40.1 percent from 3-point range.

DiVincenzo is comfortable in both catch and shoot situations as well as creating his own shots off the dribble.

“The workout with Milwaukee, I just went out there and visited,” DiVincenzo said at the draft after he was selected. “It was toward the end and we sat down and talked for awhile. I talked to chaco [Budenholzer], and I saw with the front office and a couple other players were there. Malcolm Brogdon was there working out, so I got to talk to him a little bit. Everyone was just welcoming. Everybody was great. They were great people and they really took interest in me. They treated me great there. I’m just thankful to be a part of their organization.”

DiVincenzo was named the Sixth Man of the Year in the Big East for the 2017-18 season. He played in all 40 of Villanova’s games this past season, starting 10 of them. The 6-foot-5 guard was also named as a 2016-17 Big East All-Freshman Team selection.

“He’s obviously a sixth starter, but he brings whatever we need,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said about DiVincenzo earlier this year. “If we need a scoring punch, he brings it. If we need defense, he brings it. To have a sixth guy like that is invaluable.”

“Very excited to add a player like him to our roster,” Milwaukee general manager Jon Horst said after the selection. “Man of high character, highly competitive, athletic, has good size for a combo guard, can shoot the ball and is a proven winner.

“Donte was our guy, if you were up there and saw the election in our room when he got [to No. 17]. We were worried about it. We thought he was going to go a bit before us.”

DiVincenzo was rumored to be selected with the No. 16 pick by the Phoenix Suns — one spot ahead of Milwaukee — but the Philadelphia 76ers called them to trade for Zhaire Smith instead.

Sterling Brown to sue Milwaukee police

Milwaukee Bucks rookie Sterling Brown was arrested over a dispute involving a parking violation in Milwaukee on Jan. 26. Brown was tased and arrested during the incident.

Brown is expected to file a federal civil rights on Tuesday against the Milwaukee Police Department and the city with claims of wrongful arrest and excessive force.

During the incident Brown was parked illegally as he entered a Walgreens in Milwaukee. He came out to a police officer waiting for him and questions about his parking violation.

Brown did show identification and was not recognized as a member of the Bucks by the responding officer before backup was called for.

Later that day, Brown had noticeable facial bruising and markings when he spoke with the media prior to Milwaukee’s 116-91 win over the Brooklyn Nets. The body camera footage of Brown’s arrest and tasing can be found here.

Milwaukee Bucks NBA leader in season-ticket sales

There is often excitement surrounding a franchise when a new stadium, arena, or field is opened. That certainly applies to the Milwaukee Bucks as the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center is set to open for the 2018-19 NBA season.

That excitement is palpable according to ESPN’s Darrel Rovell as the Milwaukee Bucks are now the NBA leader in season-ticket sales for next season.

According to the report from Rovell, the Bucks have sold 8,400 season tickets and is on pace to sell 10,000 season tickets for the first time in franchise history. The Bucks have also sold out all 67 suites in the new arena.

The naming rights for the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center have not yet been sold but a deal is reportedly imminent.