Cavs use LeBron video to make first pitch to Redd

Updated: July 2, 2005, 1:34 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

The Milwaukee Bucks didn't stop Friday at signing No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Bogut. They also presented free-agent sharpshooter Michael Redd with a maximium contract offer in the afternoon, ESPN.com has learned.

Michael Redd
Shooting Guard
Milwaukee Bucks
Profile
2004-2005 SEASON STATISTICS
GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
75 23.0 4.2 2.3 .441 .854

The Bucks, according to sources, have committed to paying the 25-year-old an estimated $80 million-$90 million over the next six seasons. Exact figures won't be available until July 22, when the league is expected to announce next season's salary-cap number, but what is known now is that Milwaukee's offer will indeed be $20 million-plus higher than anyone else's.

That's because the Bucks, as Redd's current rights-holders, can offer a six-year deal. Outside suitors for Redd can only offer five years.

That includes the Cleveland Cavaliers, who've made Redd their No. 1 target in free agency by offering a five-year max deal worth an estimated $60-70 million.

Redd would stun most league observers if he leaves that lucrative extra year on the table, but the fact he didn't immediately accept Milwaukee's offer gives Cleveland some hope. The Cavs are Redd's home-state team, and sources told ESPN.com the former Ohio State star was treated to a video plea to come to Cleveland from LeBron James early Friday morning.

Free-agent negotiations throughout the league commenced at 12:01 a.m. Friday. To make their pitch as early as possible, Cleveland arranged to have a video delivered to Redd at that time featuring a recruiting pitch from James.

Sources said Seattle's Ray Allen -- Cleveland's target if Redd stays with the Bucks -- received a similar video.

Teams can only sign incoming rookies until the new labor agreement takes hold July 22, since rookie salaries (like Bogut's) are determined by scale.

Redd can reach a oral agreement immediately with the Bucks or the Cavs or anyone else, but official free-agent signings are still three weeks away.

It's not yet known whether the Bucks' ongoing search for a coach will impact Redd's decision. Since firing Terry Porter during the NBA Finals, Milwaukee continues to chase ex-Minnesota coach Flip Saunders and came close to hiring TNT analyst Doug Collins.

Saunders, believed to be waiting to see if he has a shot at Detroit's job, remains a Bucks candidate. Collins, though, is said to have asked out of the search after initially showing interest in the job.

The Bucks are nonetheless optimistic about their future, having drafted Bogut and hoping that T.J. Ford can return from a year-long injury absence next season. Milwaukee is expected to try to bring back Allen if it loses Redd to the Cavaliers.

Marc Stein is the senior NBA writer for ESPN.com. To e-mail him, click here. Also, click here to send a question for possible use on ESPNEWS.

Marc Stein | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com
• Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics

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