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BUCKS BEAT: Bucks get commitment from Przybilla

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The Milwaukee Bucks have taken another significant step toward upgrading their interior defense.

The Bucks received a verbal commitment Monday night from unrestricted free-agent center Jeol Przybilla, one of the league’s better defensive centers.

The 7-foot-1 Przybilla agreed to a one-year deal. He is expected to sign the contract later this week.

Przybilla’s decision comes one week after he met with Bucks general manager John Hammond, Bucks coach Scott Skiles and Bucks assistant manager Jeff Weltman in Milwaukee.

“We’re excited about this,” Bill Duffy, Przybilla’s agent, said in a telephone interview Monday night. “Joel had a great meeting last week with John Hammond, Scott Skiles and Jeff Weltman and they told him that he not only would bring great value on the court, but that he could help them with his leadership and stability.

“We think it’s a perfect fit.”

Przybilla, 32, almost joined the Bucks last season when he was also an unrestricted free agent. Instead, he opted to sign with Portland, where he had played from 2004-2011.

With the Trail Blazers last season, Przybilla appeared in 27 games, starting 19 of them. He averaged only two points but grabbed 5.1 rebounds in 16.6 minutes a game. He is also a top-notch shotblocker and help defender.

Before committing to the Bucks, Przybilla had also seriously entertained offers from Dallas and Portland.

“Joel sees a need there in Milwaukee and he likes where the Bucks are going,” Duffy said. “Last season, with the strike and coming off the (knee) injury, he was a little reserved about coming back.

“But now I sense a whole new commitment from him.”

Przybilla is expected to complement veteran center Samuel Dalembert, another defensive specialist whom the Bucks acquired in a trade with the Houston Rockets earlier this summer.

* Less than a month after having played in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, Bucks rookies John Henson and Doron Lamb are back there again.

This time, Henson, a power forward who was the Bucks’ first-round selection, and Doron Lamb, a shooting guard who was their second-round selection, are participating in a camp overseen by Tim Grgurich, one of the most highly-respected coaches in the game.

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