- It seems like ever since Yi Jianlian was drafted, the good people at ESPN have been talking about getting him out of Milwaukee. Fortunately the latest rumor from Chad Ford is not that Yi wants out but that the Warriors are still very interested in the guy they were hoping to get last year when they traded Jason Richardson to the Bobcats for the eighth pick.
While Wright played well for the Warriors toward the end of the season, they still covet Yi, according to sources. If the Warriors were to offer Wright and the No. 14 pick for Yi, that might be too much for the Bucks to pass on. The team is in rebuilding mode and might be ready to accept a two-for-one deal.Wright rarely got off the bench last year, but to his credit put up a rather exceptional 17.29 PER in just 376 minutes (in contrast, Yi was at just 11.28). He was mostly a garbage time guy, playing in just 15 games that were decided by 10 or fewer points. More importantly, at 6'10" and only a shade over 200 pounds, it's unclear if he'll ever have the body to be an effective PF. I prefer Yi to Wright, but even so Wright AND the 14th pick is a lot of value considering how little Yi's accomplished so far.
Of course, there's probably a reason why Golden State would be eager to package Wright with another lottery pick in spite of Yi's tumultuous first season. That reason might be Don Nelson, who was reportedly very high on Yi last year and barely let Wright get off the bench--perhaps to the chagrin of GM Chris Mullin. Personally I'd like to see Yi get at least another season in Milwaukee, though if Kevin Love slipped to the Bucks at eight I'd be willing to reconsider. Check out GSoM for discussion from the Warrior viewpoint.
- Speaking of the Warriors, Wright and Love, the San Jose Mercury News' Tim Kawakami blogs that Mullin might be willing to give up Wright for a chance at the UCLA big man.
I’d trade Wright–painful as that might be for Mullin–to get a shot at Love. I would. I’d want something more back than just the 8th pick from Milwaukee to do it, but I’d do something like that.
I’m told the Warriors will not be trading Wright, period, this summer, but Mullin also said on the record twice last year that he wouldn’t be trading Jason Richardson… then he traded Jason Richardson for Wright.
- ESPN analyst (and UW grad) Andy Katz profiles West Virginia forward Joe Alexander, who isn't about to speak ill of a potential lottery suitor:
"I really like Milwaukee, and I think I'd be a good fit for them," said Alexander, who said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins told him to find a spot that fits so that he can get the playing time to be productive. "When I look at the way I played at the end of the season, I look at that as my game now. It wasn't just a fluke. I know what I can do. I can play with anybody at any time and have enough skills to go with anyone. I think I can make an immediate impact."I'm not sure Alexander would be a good value at eight, but you gotta love his insane athleticism and killer work ethic. Katz's article suggests he had a workout with the Bucks on Wednesday, but Alexander was actually in New York that day. According to Gery Woelfel, he will be in Milwaukee on Sunday to work out along with Syracuse's Donte Greene.
- According to HoopsHype, Xavier guard Stanley Burrell (no, not that Stanley Burrell) will be working out in Milwaukee tomorrow. A 6'3" combo guard, Burrell earned Atlantic Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors and was named to multiple national all-defensive teams as a senior last year. Of course, he doesn't have much to offer on the offensive end (9.7 ppg and 3.8 apg on .391/.393/.823 shooting), which is why he's getting next to no attention. Strangely, he averaged over 12 ppg in each of his first three years before slumping to single digits last year on a very good Xavier team. In Orlando he showed great size (6'6.5" wingspan) and strength (21 reps of 185 lbs) for the PG position, but whether he can run an offense with a vague degree of competence seems to be another question.
The first thing you notice about him is his chiseled frame—clearly indicating the amount of time he’s spent in the weight room. Beyond his strength, he looks very fundamentally sound, mature, and is also a very good shooter. Defensively, he is off the charts as you would expect considering his status as Atlantic-10 Defensive Player of the Year. He might have been the hardest working player here in the various drills, and seemed very genuine in the way he cheered his teammates on. He’s a confident guy, and also very well spoken. As a very undersized shooting guard, without incredible ball-skills or athleticism to compensate, it’s probably going to be tough for him to make the NBA. But it’s not tough to envision him finding a lot of success overseas, and continuing to improve over the next few years thanks to his work ethic.Sounds very Charlie Bell-ish to me.
- The Bratwurst writes Wright/14th pick for Yi probably makes the Bucks better next year, but the long term is more complicated. Also check out Brett's defensive IPM rankings, which are pretty cool. Between that and Ty's defensive win score stats, Bucks fans have no shortage of number crunching being done for their fave team. It also means I feel no obligation to do this sort of thing myself (thanks, guys).
- I didn't hear it myself, but apparently Gery Woelfel mentioned on WSSP that a team ahead of the Bucks in the lottery could be interested in packaging their lottery pick for Michael Redd. Memphis should have zero interest in a veteran, high-priced guy like Redd, while New York would seem an unlikely destination given they're supposedly trying to clear cap space for the summer of 2010 when LeBron, Wade and company are free agents. The Clips make a lot more sense given they are in desperate need of a shooter and are possibly losing Corey Maggette this summer. In the longer term it's probably easier to just pick Indiana Eric Gordon and save their money for someone else, but with Brand and Kaman in their prime the Clips could throw caution to the wind and gamble on a more proven commodity like Redd. Not likely, but possible--and it's the best chance we've got of bringing Bradley Center favorite Tim Thomas back to Milwaukee. Awkward!
- While it might seem like Milwaukee's history with Chinese basketball began at the 2007 draft, Don Walker reports that the Beijing Ducks discovered Milwaukee way back in 2005--well before anyone Wisconsinite knew the name Yi Jianlian. They're now back in Milwaukee for a month of training with US coaches.