Tuesday Notes: Decoding Hammond, 2nd round workout, Yi vs. Lithuania

  • Bob Wolfley at the JS comes through with some quotes from a John Hammond interview with Fox Sports Radio this afternoon. Yesterday we broke down the Randolph vs. Alexander debate, and with everyone predicting the Bucks will choose Alexander, Hammond is saying all kinds of nice things about Randolph.
    "We like him very much. He's a tough one because some people have said, and it's really kind of hard to argue, if they say the top tier of this draft is (Derrick) Rose-(Michael) Beasley 1-2. . .Some people say, and time will tell, maybe three or four years down the line from now, maybe the next best player could be a guy like Anthony Randolph. He's 6-10, handles the ball, passes it. Very, very skilled guy, just extremely thin right now. But, boy, in time he could be a special player. That would be a tough decision if he's looking you in the eye with the eighth pick."
    The good news is that you can interpret it pretty much anyway you want. If you like Randolph, then clearly this is Hammond glowing about a guy that he likes--and perhaps trying to butter up Bucks fans for what could be an unpopular pick. If you like Joe Alexander, then you can say Hammond is simply talking up the guy he doesn't want so as to throw other teams off the scent.
  • The Bucks had eleven prospects at the Cousins Center on Tuesday for another day of workouts, with Alabama PF (and Bratwurst favorite) Richard Hendrix probably the most notable name in the group. Plenty of Wisconsin connections as well, as Mike Taylor, Brian Butch and Draelon Burns were also in the house.
  • If you're looking to emotionally prepare yourself for a Joe Alexander pick, check out video from his ESPN appearance, where he's asked about the Bucks and says pleasant things about Milwaukee. TrueHoop also has an interesting read by Todd Gallagher on Alexander's development into a lotto pick. Having watched Alexander since his days as a freshman scrub, Gallagher points to Alexander's Big East Tourney performance as indicative of the stunning progress he's made:
    Because of Hasheem Thabeet and UConn's massive frontline, which congested the lane and led the NCAA in blocks once again, Alexander broke out a series of latter year MJ moves. Jab step, one dribble, jump shot. Post up, square up, elevate.

    This is a very mature way of playing the game and there aren't many college players who have the physical ability and are refined enough to do it. It's certainly a departure from when Alexander was a stringbean newbie who had no concept of how he was being defended and wanted to beat everyone off of the dribble through a series of hideous And-1 moves.

    And he's a killer. When he talked trash about Duke after beating them in the NCAA tournament, that was the Joe Alexander WVU fans saw the entire second half of last year. Maybe that's from Huggins, maybe that's inborn, but the guy is not going to be intimidated.

  • The Sonics, Grizzlies, Knicks, Blazers and Suns probably head the list of teams that could affect the Bucks' draft strategies should they keep the 8th pick. Seattle has long been assumed to be taking one of the guards, but now they're also being connected with Brook Lopez (for some reason).  That would push one of the guards or Kevin Love down to the Bucks, something that no one seems to be talking much about. Would the Bucks really pick Alexander or Randolph ahead of Love, Jerry Bayless, Russell Westbrook, or Eric Gordon?

    In the absence of any trades, Memphis is still the most likely destination for Love, though Gordon and Danilo Gallinari have also gotten mentions.  New York has been touted as a possible destination for pretty much everyone, including Alexander. That's probably more of a longshot, though it'd be more likely if the Knicks could swing a deal for Memphis' pick.

    And though they both pick behind the Bucks, the Suns (15th) and Blazers (13th) both reportedly like Alexander and may be willing to trade up to get him. The Suns could take Alexander ahead of the Bucks' pick if they were to pull off a rumored trade for the Clippers' 7th pick. Or maybe not.
  • Then again, maybe the Bucks won't be picking anyone in the first round on Thursday. If you follow RealGM then you've probably noticed the discussion about a supposed deal that could go down on draft night; for a good recap, start here. The basics are that it wouldn't include Bogut or Yi, probably can't involve Mo because he's BYC, and would likely involve dealing the 8th pick as part of a package for a veteran player.  Wichmae is the poster who started it all with a trail of hints, his every word spurring Greenspan-ian levels of scrutiny. I won't pretend to know if there's anything to it but I've met Wichmae, so I can attest to him being a real person and a good dude. He certainly doesn't have a reputation for rumor-mongering, but who knows what's really going on with the Bucks right now.
  • Charles Gardner blogs that Dwyane Wade likes O.J. Mayo and alludes to the possibility of the Bucks using Charlie Villanueva or even (gasp!) Yi Jianlian to swap picks with Minnesota for the purpose of drafting Mayo. What about Sessions as bait?  I'm kinda surprised this got its own blog entry, as the Bucks were rumored to be interested in Mayo last week but couldn't get into a private workout with him. In general this seems like something of a longshot,  but maybe Gardner has an inkling that something could still go down and wants to cover his bases?  I'm Ron Burgundy?
  • Ty serves up his list of mixed-bag prospects, which includes Alexander.
    He only had 3 positive Win Contribution performances out of the 10 and those all happened to come against the lowest ranked among the "10 Best" -- Oklahoma (32nd ranked), Winthrop (27th ranked), and Notre Dame (42nd ranked). If you look at his performances against the highest ranked -- Georgetown and Louisville -- both are very poor. Thus, Alexander scares the hell out of me.
  • Yi Jianlian scored 26 points (8/15 fg, 10/11 ft) along with five boards  and two blocks in 26 minutes as China once again defeated Lithuania's B team 110-92
  • Truman Reed at Bucks.com opens up his history book and wonders: will number eight be great?
  • The Bucks had their annual "media appreciation game," unfortunately our invite got lost in the mail.
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