- Gery Woelfel fuels the rumor mill with talk of the Bucks actively shopping both Michael Redd and Charlie Villanueva.
Rest assured, there are going to be a slew of changes before the June 26th draft. Several teams have already been fervorishly working the phones, laying the groundwork for potential trades. One of those teams is the Milwaukee Bucks.OK, so none of that's really surprising, but it's nice to know John Hammond is (as expected) rolling up his sleeves and getting to work. Gery doesn't mention Mo Williams, but that could simply be because he's talking about pre-draft discussions and Williams will be difficult to trade before July 1, when he loses his BYC status. Any pre-draft dealing is however complicated by the fact that a number of guys who might be involved in trades--like Josh Howard or Anderson Varejao--are BYC as well. Moreover, player options for 08/09 don't have to be exercised until after the draft, meaning those players can't be traded in the meantime.
In the last week, several officials from both the Eastern and Western Conferences acknowledged the Bucks have been gauging the interest other teams may have in some of their players. The most notable one is All-Star shooting guard Michael Redd.
Redd is unquestionably the Bucks’ best player, the one who would bring back the most in a trade. However, while Redd is one of the most prolific scorers in the league, some teams are reluctant to take on his sizable contract. Redd will make $15.78 million and $17.04M over the next two years, respectively.
- Woelfel also mentions "increasing speculation" that Ersan Ilyasova could return to Milwaukee as soon as next season. As we noted a couple weeks ago, Ilyasova has come on strong for Barcelona in the past month or two, and he kept that up last weekend when he helped Barcelona advance to the Spanish league semifinals with back-to-back wins over Iurbentia Bilbao. Ersan tallied eights points and five boards the 92-83 Friday win and then scored 14 along with seven rebounds in Sunday's 75-64 win.
Barcelona next faces DKV Joventut, which features ACB leading scorer (and future Blazer) Rudy Fernandez, Spanish point guard sensation (and likely 2009 lottery pick) Ricky Rubio, as well as former Buck David Noel. Noel had been playing in Tulsa with the Bucks' D-League affiliate when he reached an agreement to leave for Europe. He has played just five games for Joventut since arriving, but scored eight points in Joventut's last playoff game.
- Tom Enlund writes that John Hammond was philosophical following the Bucks' lack of lottery luck.
"I guess we're disappointed to a certain extent but it could be worse," said general manager John Hammond, who represented the Bucks on the stage during the televised portion of the program.
"Slipping one slot, you know . . . we'd have loved to have had seven but we feel OK about having eight, that's for sure."
- Charles Gardner reports that Hammond is still optimistic about the talent available at eight, but as you might expect, the Bucks are keeping their options wide open.
After the lottery concluded, Hammond said: "Going from 7 to 8 is somewhat disappointing but nothing you get overly concerned with. We liked the seventh slot going into the lottery but still feel very good about having the eighth pick."
On Monday, Hammond had said he would not rule out trading the pick. "We have to be open to any or all discussions," he said.
- The Bob Boozer Jinx is cool with using the pick as trade bait.
No saviors for the Bucks in this draft, but the chances of picking up a decent player with a lower pick are fair. The #8 pick is just good enough to sweeten any number of trade opportunities that might come along. Let it dangle.
- Ryan Reed at 82games breaks down how past lottery picks have fared. The key takeaway is that very few superstars come out of the bottom half of the lottery, but that's not to say good players can't be found at the eighth spot and lower. In the ninth spot alone, Dirk Nowitzki, Amare Stoudemire, Tracy McGrady and Shawn Marion panned out pretty well. So while the list of players picked at number eight is rather underwhelming, the more important fact is that plenty of great players have been available at that spot (you just have to be smart enough to pick them).