Sunday , Sep , 16 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Why Cleveland Cavaliers & Milwaukee Bucks Are Squeezing Restricted Free Agents Like Anderson Varejao, Sasha Pavlovic, & Charlie Bell

Okay, that’s an exaggeration. But consider that Cleveland continues to squeeze Anderson Varejao and Sasha Pavlovic. And now negotiations between Charlie Bell and the Bucks have gotten so ugly that the combo guard refuses to re-sign with Milwaukee-under any circumstances …

Right now, there’s one thing worse than the American mortgage industry: being a restricted free agent in the NBA.

Okay, that’s an exaggeration. But consider that continues to squeeze and . And now negotiations between and the Bucks have gotten so ugly that the combo guard refuses to re-sign with -under any circumstances.

"They told me they were going to take care of Mo Williams and that they would take care of me, but they haven’t," Bell said during a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "I’m either going to sign an offer sheet with another NBA team, or I’m going to accept a great deal to play in .

"I don’t want to go back to Milwaukee. I’m really disappointed in how this has turned out, but I don’t see any way I could play for the Bucks again because my heart just won’t be in it."

There are a couple of reasons why restricted free agents are having a tough time. First, the entire free agent market is slow. No player, with the exception of Rashard Lewis and Mo Williams, received a homerun contract this summer. This has trickled down to restricted free agency. Second, teams are realizing you don’t build through free agency. They’ve seen San Antonio and Detroit win NBA Titles by drafting well and swinging smart trades.

Varejao and Pavlovic are in a tough spot, while Bell, after working so hard to get his shot in the NBA, will likely return to Europe.

Bottom line: Milwaukee and Cleveland have leverage over their restricted free agents. And, without offers being tendered from other teams, they intend on using it and low-balling their players.

Will Vaerjao and Pavlovic re-sign with Cleveland? And will Bell return to Milwaukee? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts.

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