Woelfel: Tucker joins Vegas squad
Last year's edition of the Vegas Bucks was a pretty fun squad--Brandon Jennings excelling in the role of headliner, Jodie Meeks (remember him?) impressing in support, Joe Alexander flashing some never-to-be-fulfilled upside, with Amir Johnson and Luc Mbah a Moute also making the trip. This year's squad? Who knows. Jennings wasn't sure he'd be participating when asked after the Hawks series ended, Mbah a Moute sounds more interested in going to the World Cup, and the other guys are all ancient history as far as the Bucks are concerned. We do know Darnell Jackson and his non-guaranteed contract will be there, and we can now add a second (and rather familiar) name to the roster: former Badger Alando Tucker.
In his third year, Tucker split time between the Suns and Wolves this past season, but he's mostly struggled to find garbage time minutes since the Suns picked him 29th overall in 2007, mixing in some strong D-League performances with his NBA benchwarming. He left a good impession on Suns fans but never found a spot in the rotation and was mostly an after thought on a bad Minnesota squad before getting released in March. His efficiency numbers were somewhat respectable, but they don't have too much meaning given how sparingly he's played.
"The Bucks called and we discussed and broke down the situation,’’ said Kevin Bradbury, Tucker’s agent. "We had two or three other teams inquiry about Alando, too, but it came down to what he (Tucker) wanted to do.
"He was excited about the possibility of playing before some of the same fans who rooted for him at Wisconsin and the potential to make the roster.’’
Ford: Watching Anderson and Brackins in Vegas
Chad Ford is doing his annual hype tour of pre-draft workouts, which included a stop on Wednesday at Joe Abunassar's gym in Vegas to check out a bunch of first round prospects: Avery Bradley, James Anderson, Lance Stephenson, and Craig Brackins. We haven't really talked about Anderson much, so let's start with him:
Anderson isn't the quickest nor the most explosive athlete, but he uses his size, toughness and a knowledge of how to get to the basket and get separation to pour in the points. While he wasn't a showstopper in the drills portion on Tuesday, when they rolled out the ball for 3-on-3 play on Wednesday, he dominated. No one who guarded him could do much to stop him. He even displayed an underrated skill -- his ability to hit the open man when the defense collapses in the lane.
I think Anderson's range is pretty well set at this point. It probably starts with the Raptors at 13. The Milwaukee Bucks should have major interest at 15 and he most likely won't get past the Chicago Bulls at 17. Harris, however, is tougher to project, but should go somewhere between 25 and 40.
Ford also brings news that Brackins' vertical has been measured at a surprising 40"--rather outstanding for a 6'10" guy with range on his jumper. But isn't it a bad sign when everyone who's watched you play doesn't think you're particularly athletic? Brackins has always been an intriguing talent, so it will be interesting to see if workout season boosts him back into the first round discussion after a difficult junior season at Iowa State. The Bucks won't have to wait long to take a look for themselves--he's visiting town on Monday.
If you have Insider, be sure to also check out Ford's Monday report from LA, where he saw Paul George (also coming to Milwaukee on Monday), Jerome Jordan, Jarvis Varnado and Jordan Crawford. Here's a teaser about George:
George is closer to Chandler than McGrady at the moment, but it's clear that he's the type of player who could explode with a little coaching. He's been in the gym with former NBA big man Don MacLean for the past three weeks working on the little things that separate the good wings from the great wings. Specifically, he's working on creating his own shot -- ball handling, first step and getting separation off the dribble.
In the workout we saw, George was terrific. He showed deep range on his jump shot, exploded to the rim and had terrific quickness. Scouts have had questions about his consistency and toughness. They've also worried about his love affair with the 3-pointer. But it was also clear that he was rarely pushed at Fresno State.
BDL: Jennings says 'Milwaukee reminds me of Italy'
Trey Kerby is skeptical...though I'm also skeptical of Trey questioning Italians' love of sports. Seriously?
NBA Draft.net: Hayward mocked at #15
Why do I have the feeling we could be seeing the start of a mock draft trend? Much as it may scare a large proportion of the Bucks' fan base, It seems like everyone is hearing the front office likes Butler combo forward Gordon Hayward.
DraftExpress: Finding a Niche for Kevin Seraphin
French big man Kevin Seraphin was one of the names discussed back when we first started talking about the draft, so be sure to check out Jonathan Givony's long piece on him over at DX.
Seraphin clearly has things to work on. His activity level and intensity seem to fluctuate quite a bit from game to game (leading to some inconsistent performances), he has limitations stepping away from the basket, his ball-handling skills are crude, and his mid-range jumper is very much a work in progress – all hints that his future position is clearly center, where his bulk and length should compensate for the inch or two he lacks in prototypical size for an NBA 5-man.
Defensively, Seraphin is much more useful at this point. He shows a much greater comfort level on the defensive end, where he’s a terrific presence inside the paint with his superb combination of length, strength and athleticism. He displays nice timing when rotating from the weak side and is especially effective at hedging pick-and-rolls, while still having the mobility to recover back onto his man thanks to his nimble feet and nice lateral quickness. He’s difficult to post up due to his wide frame, and he puts in a good effort on top of that. This puts him in a pretty rare class of prospects when considering his physical tools.