- John Hammond continues to add to his staff, with Billy McKinney being named the new director of scouting. Like seemingly everyone on the Bucks staff (Skiles, Hollins, Boylan), McKinney is a former point guard who played collegiately at Northwestern before playing seven seasons in the NBA. He's spent the past four seasons as a radio commentator with the Timberwolves, but had a long front office career before that:
McKinney began his front office career with Chicago in 1985, and in 1987, he was promoted to assistant vice president of basketball operations. In 1988, McKinney became the Timberwolves first director of player personnel. From 1992-95, he worked for the Detroit Pistons, two seasons as director of player personnel and one as vice president of basketball operations. McKinney joined the Sonics organization in 1995 and was named executive vice president of basketball operations for Seattle in 1998. In 2002, he added the title of general manager for the Storm and in 2004 Seattle won the WNBA Championship.McKinney and John Hammond both attended Zion-Benton High School in Illinois, though that's just the beginning of their experience together. Tom Enlund writes that McKinney later brought Hammond into the league as a scout for Minnesota in 1989, and they overlapped briefly in Detroit in the mid-90s as well. Enlund writes that McKinney represents the last major hire of the offseason.
"It’s kind of funny, though, because Billy has a little goatee and there’s gray in that goatee. There’s always one guy on the staff that’s called a graybeard, so we’ll call Billy, literally and figuratively, ‘Graybeard.’ "Welcome to Milwaukee, Billy. Given the draft is only weeks away and Hammond has been on the job for a couple months, it's somewhat interesting that McKinney wasn't brought in earlier. At least the Bucks should have some insight into what Minnesota is planning to do with the third pick.
The Bucks announced Tuesday that McKinney had been appointed to the position of director of scouting and will join Hammond, new assistant general manager Jeff Weltman and director of player personnel Dave Babcock as the main cogs in the team’s basketball operation.
- Chad Ford's Mock Draft 4.0 still has the Bucks taking Danilo Gallinari, after Kevin Love, Anthony Randolph and Eric Gordon.
It's tough to project the Bucks right now. New GM John Hammond is ready to make changes, but what kind? Their biggest need is at small forward, but this is probably too high for Donte Greene or Joe Alexander.Gallinari is currently in Treviso, Italy for the Reebok Euro Camp, and you can check out DraftExpress' video interview with him here. Seems like a nice kid. His slight hesitation when asked about leaving Italy next year makes me a bit nervous (after Fran Vazaquez and all), but it seems like people in the know think he's a near-lock to play in the NBA next year.
That leaves Danilo Gallinari, a point forward who can handle the ball and hit the midrange jumper -- and has winner written all over him. He's not the most athletic guy in the draft, but his upside might be too much to pass up here.
The other option is to go with Russell Westbrook. One thing Hammond wants to emphasize is defense, and Westbrook could be an excellent addition. He can play both guard positions and be a Leandro Barbosa-style scoring threat off the bench.
- Here's our take on lottery prospect Anthony Randolph.
- The Bucks aren't revealing yet who will be in town for workouts on Thursday and Friday, but HoopsHype has Mizzou senior PG Stefhon Hannah among those expected to work out June 23. A possible second-rounder, Hannah put up serious numbers in the Big 12 last year, averaging 14.7 ppg, 5.3 apg, 3.0 rpg and 1.9 spg on .430/.385/.758 shooting in just 29 mpg, but his season was ended in February when he broke his jaw in a bar fight. He was later arrested for third degree assault. To add insult to injury, he was then kicked off the Mizzou team for "lack of academic commitment."
On the court, Hannah had fine performances against both D.J. Augustin and Mario Chalmers in January. Hannah had 15 points, six boards and six assists in a 97-84 win over Texas and followed that up with 23 points and six assists in a 76-70 loss to Chalmers' Kansas team.
- Jim Paschke remembers broadcasting legend Jim McKay, who passed away last week at the age of 86.
- Check out the fanposts for some Bucks/Blazers trade talk (don't get your hopes up though, it's just us speculating a bit).