- Gary & Cliff from WSSP talked to John Hammond this week. Among other things, Hammond shoots down Chad Ford's suggestion last week that the Warriors might offer Brandan Wright and the 14th overall pick for Yi Jianlian. GSOM offers some confirmation from the Golden State side of the equation.
- Hammond also spoke in that interview about the possibility that some mid-first rounders could have a greater immediate impact than players selected in the top ten. But he was also quick to point out that the draft isn't about the quick fix, which he reiterated in Tom Enlund's piece today about the Bucks' pick possibly being a project.
"Our goal is to win as many games as possible starting with this season and going forward," general manager John Hammond said. "Yet we always have to keep in mind that we cannot make short-term decisions in that thinking.
"That could apply in trades we make. That may apply to free-agent signings that we make and that could even apply in draft decisions that we make."
- Bucks.com also has video footage from last week's Brewers' tailgates that's definitely worth a look. Check out ten minutes of Scott Skiles and 17 minutes of John Hammond. Of note: Hammond doesn't think moving into the top two picks is possible and doesn't sound like he sees value in trading up beyond that either. He also mentions "toughness" as something he expects to get out of the Bucks' first round pick. Speculate away...
Via Paschketball, Yi Jianlian returned to action yesterday in China's 65-60 exhibition win over Croatia. For pictures and not-so-encouraging discussion of the game, also check out the Yao Mania forums or watch the game on a Chinese youtube-ish channel: Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4. I guess we should start with the encouraging fact that Yi is actually on a court again, moving well and not showing any obvious effects of the injuries that shortened his rookie season (from the video I saw). However, with Yao still missing, the Chinese started Yi at center and--like we saw this past season--he just doesn't look as comfortable on the block or finishing down low. His post play actually looked pretty solid by the end of last summer, but he had a hard time getting anything going down low in the NBA. Still, this is his first game in a few months so hopefully he comes around soon. The Chinese play Croatia again tomorrow and on Monday.
- No word on workouts for some of the bigger names still out there (Love, Westbrook, Gordon, Gallinari), but the JS recaps the potential second rounders who went at it on Thursday. Bucks.com meanwhile has some Q&A with the prospects.
- The Newark Star-Ledger's Dave D'Alessandro provides more evidence of Danilo Gallinari's reported New York-or-bust strategy.
And this is the way it's going to be for Danilo Gallinari: Either he gets drafted by the Nets or Knicks, or he's staying home.Of course, Gallinari could change his tune if the Knicks (5th) and Nets (10th) don't reciprocate his interest. There have been questions over whether Mike D'Antoni has any interest in Gallinari in the first place, and with Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson still on board in New Jersey, the 19-year old Italian might not be an obvious pick there either. Also of note is that D'Alessandro claims Kiki Vandeweghe was "especially impressed" with Anthony Randolph after watching the LSU product work out against Donte Greene, J.J. Hickson and Kosta Koufous.
"I like New Jersey and New York. I like those two places," the Italian forward said matter-of-factly after his one-hour, one-man workout with the Nets yesterday in East Rutherford. "Now I will work out for New Jersey and New York (today), then I don't know (about) other teams."
The reason being? He has all the leverage a teenager needs, in the form of a very lucrative multiyear offer from his team in Milan, so he doesn't have to play in the NBA at all.
- For what it's worth, Love canceled a workout scheduled with the Nets and doesn't have one scheduled with the Bobcats (9th). As the more recent mock drafts suggest, he's picked up some improved buzz following his Orlando combine results and seems likely to go 5th to Memphis or perhaps as high as 3rd to Minnesota. As a result, he might not even bother working out for the Bucks at this point.