Novak Still In Bucks Plans; Is Allen Too?

When NBA free agency commenced on July 1, there appeared to be one absolute given concerning the Milwaukee Bucks:

They were going to re-sign Steve Novak.

Bucks officials and Novak had made it abundantly clear after last season that a deal was in the cards and it was merely a matter of time before it would become official.

But here we are in the middle of August, six weeks into free agency, and Novak, the former Brown Deer High School and Marquette University standout, remains unsigned.

So, what gives?

Have the Bucks suddenly soured on Novak, a 10-year veteran whom they signed last February but only played in three games after suffering a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee?

Or, has Novak reassessed his situation and is now looking to sign with another team?

Not hardly.

Mark Bartelstein, Novak’s longtime agent from Chicago, made it abundantly clear Saturday that his client is focused on staying with the Bucks.

“There have been a few teams that we’ve talked to; you always got to keep your doors open,’’ Bartelstein said. “But we’re still talking with the Bucks and, hopefully, we’ll make a deal with them.

“Steve would love to stay in Milwaukee. It’s a very special place for him.’’


Speaking of free agents

Ray Allen recently told the Hartford Courant he would like to resume his playing career after a two-year hiatus.

Allen, who is 41, said he’d prefer playing for either the Bucks or Boston Celtics. The Bucks appear to be more than a tad interested in Allen, the Hall of Fame in-waiting shooting guard who played his first 6½ seasons in the NBA with the Bucks.

In an interview with WSSP (105.7 FM), Bucks president Peter Feigin acknowledged the Bucks wouldn’t mind having Allen’s services.

Feigin said, “Ray Allen lights everybody up,’’ and that “He (Allen) has been talking to (Bucks GM) John Hammond.’’

Feigin also added, “Ray Allen is someone who gives this entire organization a great shot in the arm.’’

Feigin’s comments on Allen start at the 10:33-minute mark of the interview, which can be found at:

Jim Tanner, who represents Allen, declined to comment on Allen’s interest in the Bucks.

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