According to a report on ESPN.com, the Bucks love themselves some Big Apple ballers, namely J.R. Smith and Chris Copeland. Their interest in Smith is “strong”.
The Bucks have the cap room coming their way to outbid the Knicks and make a run at both.
The most Smith can make in New York is $5.58 million with early Bird rights. He declined his player option of $2.9 million earlier this month, making him an unrestricted free agent. For Copeland, who is now a restricted free agent because the Knicks extended an qualifying offer to him on Tuesday, the highest amount he could receive is $3.18 million — the Knicks’ mini mid-level exception.
If nothing else, the 6’6″ Smith and 6’9″ Copeland would help the Bucks with their floor spacing as both possess excellent three-point strokes. On the other hand, the duo may also create some positional redundancy as adding Smith would likely indicate an end to the J.J. Redick experiment. (/Tobias Harris wail/)
Smith, 27, hit 35.6% of his three-point attempts last season while coming off the bench in all 80 games he played. He’s also, umm, a character.
Copeland, who attempted 5.8 threes per 36 minutes and converted 42% of them, plays a style quite similar to Ersan Ilyasova’s. Though they might struggle a bit together defensively, an Ersan/Copeland pairing would be the ultimate experiment in frontcourt three-point shooting.
Copeland, who will turn 30 in the upcoming season, has just one NBA season to his name after playing overseas for five years.
As is often the case, the question is: How much do the Bucks have to overpay to get free agents to leave a bigger market for Milwaukee?