Milwaukee Bucks officials did their due diligence Wednesday.
With NBA teams now allowed to contact agents, Bucks officials made several telephone calls inquiring about their clients. One of the people they contacted was Raymond Brothers, the agent for Racine native Caron Butler.
Butler, who played last season for the world champion Dallas Mavericks, is one of the most coveted players available on the free-agent market.
The 31-year-old Butler is coming off major knee surgery, but that apparently hasn't deterred interest in him. In fact, some of the NBA's premier teams, including the New York Knicks, Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs, discussed Butler's future with Brothers.
The Mavericks have also made it clear they want to retain the 6-foot-7 forward who was one of their best players before rupturing the patellar tendon in his right knee against the Bucks January 1 in the Bradley Center in Milwaukee.
Butler played 29 games last season for the Mavericks, averaging 15 points. For his career, Butler is averaging 16 points and 5.9 rebounds.
The free-agent signing period begins Dec. 9.
* The Bucks also called Bill Duffy, who represents unrestricted free-agent center Joel Przybilla.
The Bucks believe Przybilla, who is an excellent defender and shotblocker, would be the ideal backup to starting center Andrew Bogut.
Przybilla, who started his NBA career with the Bucks in 2000 and ended last season with Charlotte, told The Journal Times over the summer he would be receptive to signing with the Bucks.
The Bucks aren't the only suitors for Przbyilla. Portland would also like to sign the 7-foot-1 center and it is believed the Boston Celtics, who are attempting to shore up their frontline, have interest in him. About six teams have more than a passing interest in Przybilla, although the Bucks appear to be the front-runners for his services.
* Michael Redd will be resuming his pro career this season but, for the first time since entering the NBA in 2000, it won't be with the Bucks.
Redd, an unrestricted free agent, is a cinch to join another team when the signing period begins Dec. 9. Redd, who has had two major knee surgeries in recent years, is drawing keen interest from a slew of teams, including some NBA-title contenders.
According to some league officials, Chicago, Boston, New York and Miami all have Redd on their radar.
* There has been some speculation Bucks forward Ersan Ilysasova might want out on the final year of his contact to play overseas this season.
But barring an unforeseen development, the young forward has every intention on being in Milwaukee early next week. Ilyasova is expected to join several other Bucks, including Bogut and Brandon Jennings, for informal workouts.
Training camps don't open until Dec. 9.
* Dwayne Wilson, who had been the Bucks equipment manager the last six years, has taken a similar job with the Sacramento Kings.
* Like all NBA teams, the Bucks will play two preseason games, both against the Minnesota Timberwolves.