- Tom Enlund writes that Jon Horst is the latest member of the Pistons front office to defect to Milwaukee, taking the title of Director of Basketball Operations after spending three seasons in basketball ops for Detroit. Horst joins GM John Hammond and assistant GM Jeff Weltman in making the trip across Lake Michigan. I won't act like I know anything about Horst's credentials aside from the fact that he comes from a stellar organization and is clearly someone Hammond knows well. That alone is a good thing.
While Kohl's hiring of Hammond has been the starting point of a busy Bucks' offseason, don't underestimate the importance of Hammond expanding the Bucks front office by bringing in some of his Detroit colleagues. For one, having more people with basketball backgrounds around decreases the likelihood that decisions are made by people unqualified to do so. Moreover, Hammond bringing in his own guys further establishes the new GM's influence over the shape of the organization, something that was altogether unclear following the dismissal of Larry Harris. And it says something that Hammond has been able to lure two more guys away from a fantastic organization like Detroit to try to build something in Milwaukee. The Bucks were in desperate need of an organizational makeover and they've gotten exactly that in the last month.
- Dave Dean was also promoted to director of basketball administration following seven seasons in scouting and player personnel. Lastly, Bulls' assistant trainer Marc Boff has been hired as the Bucks' new athletic trainer.
- After spending the first two months of the season in the thick of the rookie of the year race, Yi Jianlian's poor finish saw him miss out on both all-rookie teams. Yi finished with 13 votes, ranking second behind Joakim Noah in the "also receiving votes" category. I wouldn't argue with that, though I think second team members Jamario Moon, Thad Young and Carl Landry all had better seasons than first team members Jeff Green and Al Thornton. Also, Ramon Sessions didn't get a vote, yet Javaris Crittenton and Acie Law did. Moral: it's better to play poorly for 50 games than well for 20.
As usual, voting was apparently based mostly on scoring stats, which is why Green and Thornton (both double-figures in ppg) made it despite being nowhere close to Landry, Moon and Young in per-minute or overall efficiency stats. Not surprisingly, those three played valuable roles on playoff teams, while Green and Thornton were able to shoot a lot playing on terrible teams. Bobby Simmons, Dan Gadzuric and Awvee Storey all had higher PERs than Green. Not a good sign.
- In the past the Bucks have made a big deal out of their lottery visits, includng soliciting fans for good luck charms. Gery Woelfel reports that John Hammond will be representing the Bucks on stage when the lottery results are announced May 20, but he's clearly not hoping to make a habit of it.
"I don’t know what to say about it,’’ Hammond said. "I don’t want to go there. I don’t like being in the lottery.’’ Hammond will be on stage for the televised portion of the Draft Lottery. The other Bucks’ representative, who will be in the backroom for the actual lottery drawing, will be Jon Horst, the team's newly-hired director of basketball operations. Horst, like Hammond, worked for the Detroit Pistons before joining the Bucks.
- A day after the NBA's all-defensive teams were announced, the San Jose Mercury News' Tim Kawakami dishes out his no-defense team Starting at shooting guard: Michael Redd.
Possibly pound-for-pound, minute-for-minute the worst defensive player in the league on sheer talent and effort. For instance, this year he had 13 blocked shots and 65 steals in 2,702 minutes.
How bad are those numbers? Baron Davis had 43 blocks and 191 steals in 3,196 minutes. Boris Diaw had 39 blocks and 61 steals in 2,308 minutes. Caron Butler had 20 blocks and 128 blocks steals in 2,314 minutes. And none of those guys are ever going to be first-team All-Defenders.