It might help to have a sign posted on S. Lake Drive near the Cousins Center.


The Milwaukee Bucks are reshaping their roster this summer and with just seven players under contract, openings are available.

It's a nice problem to have because the Bucks will have room under the salary cap to make some moves when free agency opens July 1.

But it also means Bucks management must make careful choices in next week's NBA draft and with its free-agent signings.

The situation also presents a great opportunity for the 23 players taking part in a three-day, free-agent camp that concludes Thursday.

"We're hoping some of the players we're looking at will be invited to Vegas with us (for summer league), possibly signing a player out of this camp," said Bucks director of scouting Billy McKinney.

"We haven't done this since we've been here. And given the fact we have just seven players under contract, we thought we'd start looking at different ways to find players, hopefully that we could sign for reasonable amounts of money."

The Bucks learned Monday that guard Monta Ellis has officially opted out of the final year of his deal, which was worth $11 million for next season.

The seven players under contract are Ersan Ilyasova, Drew Gooden, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Ekpe Udoh, Larry Sanders, John Henson and Ish Smith.

Gooden was not in the rotation last season, and Smith was the fourth guard after being acquired from Orlando in the J.J. Redick trade, meaning only five regular contributors are under contract.

The Bucks do hold a $1.5 million team option on forward Gustavo Ayon and have until June 29 to exercise it. Point guard Brandon Jennings is a restricted free agent and shooting guard Redick and sixth man Mike Dunleavy are unrestricted free agents.

So there are some jobs open in Milwaukee, something not lost on the players taking part in the free-agent camp.

One of those making a good impression the last few days is former Iowa State power forward Craig Brackins, who was chosen 21st overall by Oklahoma City in the 2010 draft, or just six spots after the Bucks grabbed Sanders.

Brackins was traded twice before playing sparingly during two seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers. He then headed to Italy to play with a professional team in Biella, located in the northwestern part of the country.

But he broke his shooting hand in November, had surgery in January and was sidelined until May. He made a brief comeback at the end of the season with the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Development League.

"I'm just trying to show I'm still versatile and still can play," Brackins said after Wednesday's session. "The Bucks would be a great opportunity.