MILWAUKEE – When he looks back, Stephen Graham cherishes those six seasons in the NBA now more than ever. As a career journeyman with seven teams, Graham had earned three multi-year contracts, but the NBA’s lockout in 2011 prevented him from working out for organizations as a free agent in the summer and he eventually landed in the D-League and overseas.
At 31, playing overseas will always be an option for Graham, but he’s part of the Milwaukee Bucks’ roster in training camp this season. As much as he desires a contract into the regular season with the Bucks, he wants to settle into a home in the States and avoid the overseas traveling if possible now.
“Hopefully, I can make the team,” Graham told RealGM. “If things don’t work out, I got to keep moving. Hopefully, I can stay.”
The Bucks have 15 players under guaranteed deals, and they’ve been encouraged by the work ethics that Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nate Wolters have shown to begin their rookie seasons. Even so, training camp invite Olek Czyz also has impressed with his shooting and athleticism.
Over three preseason games, Graham has averaged nearly eight points and two rebounds. He scored 15 points in the Bucks’ preseason opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers and has played shooting guard through power forward due to recent injuries to Ersan Ilyasova and Ekpe Udoh.
“I’ve been playing pretty decent overall,” Graham said. “I’ve been out of position at the four because we’ve been having some injuries, but right now I’m in a spot where I’m just trying to get in.
“It’s been up and down my first time out of the league. I’m just trying to get it back together and find another home, another team.”