Vegas won't be nearly as interesting with Brandon Jennings sitting out, but Gery Woelfel brings news of some familiar names on the Bucks' summer league roster. As you'd expect, draft picks Larry Sanders, Darington Hobson and Tiny Gallon are all expected to be in attendance for their new club, and the Bucks had also previously announced that both Darnell Jackson and former Badger Alando Tucker would be joining the squad. The other names are your usual mixture of guys I vaguely remember from college hoops, NBA journeymen and summer league veterans.
The Bucks are most intriguing up front, where Sanders, Gallon and Jackson will be joined by former Net Sean Williams and former Santa Clara center John Bryant. You may remember Williams had a very promising start to his career in New Jersey in 2007, but the wheels eventually came off and he had his fourth year option declined amid continued questions about his maturity, intensity, and every other intangible known to man. Sounds like we found a great mentor for Tiny (who also missed his flight to Milwaukee today). Meanwhile, the enormous (and plodding) Bryant was one of college basketball's most efficient players in 2009, averaging 18 ppg and 14.2 rpg for Santa Clara, but went undrafted before putting in a solid season in the D-League last year.The Jennings-less Bucks are short on star power in the backcourt, with athletic former UAB combo guard Paul Delaney as the purest point guard on the roster. Delaney was a last-minute addition to the 2009 Vegas Bucks after Dominic James was hurt in practice, and he not surprisingly didn't get much burn behind Brandon Jennings, Jodie Meeks and Salim Stoudamire. Former Dukie and one-time Warrior combo DeMarcus Nelson is also an option at the point, but it will be mostly interesting to see how much the Bucks test Hobson's purported point guard abilities. It seems like the 6'7" Hobson has the ball-handling skills for the job, particularly when he's guarded by swingmen, but no one's sure if he has the lateral quickness to keep up with quicker guards on the defensive end. Even if Luke Ridnour is re-signed, the Bucks will need an emergency PG on the roster, so it'd be nice if Hobson could fill that role--otherwise the Bucks have to sign someone else.
Tucker is hoping to resurrect his career after getting only minimal time in Phoenix the past couple years and had hoped Vegas would give him a chance to steal a roster spot with in Milwaukee. But with the Bucks adding Hobson, Corey Maggette and Chris Douglas-Roberts that suddenly seems far less likely. D-League sharpshooter Antoine Agudio averaged 15.1 ppg and made a terrific 43% of his threes for Albuquerque last year, but it looks like he's the only guy on the roster who can really shoot. The 6'3" Agudio is an undersized SG who was previously a standout scorer at Hofstra (22.7 ppg as a senior) and has made 41% or better of his threes in both pro seasons and all four of his years in college. Dude can shoot. Former Virginia Tech jumping jack Deron Washington worked out for the Bucks last year but is coming off a pretty middling season in the D-League.
Given the Bucks' recent injection of youth and relative paucity of roster spots, I'd be surprised if any non-roster players from the Vegas squad made the regular season roster. It seems more likely the Bucks go with lower risk veterans to round out the guard and big man rotations, but of course anything is possible. Jackson may be the most interesting guy to watch given the Bucks grabbed him off waivers from Cleveland late last season and his 10/11 salary is non-guaranteed. My guess is that he's eventually waived to create a roster spot in the same way Stoudamire was last year, but at least he'll get a chance to prove otherwise.
Vegas is generally a showcase for guards, so the Bucks may have a hard time replicating the success of the last two years, when Ramon Sessions and then Jennings quarterbacked the Bucks to impressive showings. It's also worth remembering that big men frequently struggle with the tight foul calls in Vegas, though Vegas rules allow 10 fouls before they finally send you to the bench. Summer League starts July 12 for the Bucks and concludes on July 18. I'll be reporting from Vegas for the last weekend of games, and you can watch all of them live on your computer for $10.95 at NBA.com.