Woelfel: Hayward in next week, Sampson in mix with Clippers
Gery Woelfel writes that Gordon Hayward will be in town on June 16 for his much-anticipated (or depending on your perspective, much-feared) workout, lining up against Oklahoma St. scoring guard James Anderson. Woelfel reports that New Mexico St. forward Darington Hobson and Marquette swingman Lazar Hayward are also scheduled to be there, while Ridiculous Upside says Mississippi St. combo guard Terrico White will also be there.
Just as interesting is who won't be working out for the Bucks: Kansas center Cole Aldrich and Texas combo guard Avery Bradley. It's not exactly clear from Woelfel's article why, but as we saw in 2008, it's often difficult for teams to schedule workouts with players hoping to go earlier in the draft. Both Aldrich and Bradley may not view the Bucks as an ideal destination either, given the presence of Andrew Bogut and Brandon Jennings. By the same token, the Bucks could also be less interested for the same reason.
Woelfel speculates that Aldrich could be the once-certain lottery pick who freefalls into the mid-first round, though my guess is that's still unlikely. If he falls out of the top ten, Toronto would seem an especially good destination given Chris Bosh's likely departure will allow Andrea Bargnani to quit pretending he's a center and slide over to PF. That said, if Aldrich did fall there is a good case to be made for lining up a talented young big man to back up Andrew Bogut on the cheap. I'm not as big of a fan of Bradley--for a scorer he really didn't do much of it as a freshman and it doesn't sound like he'll ever be a real PG--but I know there's been some love for him in the comments recently. He's supposed to be an outstanding defender and a better shooter than he showed in college, but I can't really vouch for it.
Woelfel also writes that Kelvin Sampson is apparently getting interest from the Clippers, a week after his name was linked to the Cavaliers' head coaching job.
The scuttlebutt from the West Coast is that several Los Angels Clippers players are lobbying management to hire Bucks assistant coach Kelvin Sampson as its next head coach.
2009-10 Milwaukee Bucks Win Chart
Ty has crunched the numbers on his modified win score data for the 09/10 season and has the Bucks' biggest contributors as Andrew Bogut and Carlos Delfino, while Brandon Jennings doesn't fare nearly as well. Not too surprising given his horrendous scoring efficiency. Before looking at the data I recommend first reading the definitions of what they're supposed to mean.
ESPN: Motiejunas out, Seraphin still in?
I didn't see Lithuanian big man Donatas Motiejunas being a good fit for the Bucks at 15, but his withdrawal from the draft could still impact Milwaukee's planning. Despite a weak frame and a relative lack of experience in the Italian league, Motiejunas was considered a likely lottery pick for much of the season, and if he had gone in the top 14, it would have meant one more option for the Bucks when they select. Then again, if Motiejunas was a lock for the lottery he would probably still in the draft. Instead he'll spend another year in Italy getting stronger and working on his game.
On the flip side, French PF/C Kevin Seraphin has not yet pulled out despite worries about a knee injury limiting his workouts this month. Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress is in Italy for the EuroCamp and tweets that Seraphin looked fine and measured 6'9" in shoes, 264 pounds, and with a center-like wingspan (7'3") and standing reach (9'1"). Meanwhile, Chad Ford writes that Seraphin will stay in the draft if he's a lock for the first round, which as of now still seems likely.
DraftExpress: Paul George Workout and Interview
These workout videos always feel kind of like infomercials, but I guess they're better than nothing. I think most of us could get behind George at #15, but the better question might be if he'll last that long.
The most impressive part of George’s workout from our perspective was the potential and intensity he showed on the defensive end -- something we rarely saw at Fresno State. His outstanding size, length, lateral quickness and instincts give him the potential to develop into a Trevor Ariza-type defender. He’s capable of defending up to three positions at the NBA level, and is fully capable of impacting a game on that. George’s anticipation skills were on full display. He was able to block shots, get into passing lanes, contest jumpers and generally touch everything in his area.
Bucks Beat: Bucks learning from Alexander mistake?
At one of the recent draft workouts, Paul Imig asked Bucks' director of scouting Billy McKinney what the Bucks have learned from the Joe Alexander experience. It's a great question, so it's unfortunate that McKinney dodged it for the most part.
"Just because a player might not work out for a team, it doesn’t mean he’s not going to be a good NBA player at some point," McKinney said. "Even though Joe didn’t work out here, he was an asset here that brought us something that we needed that we didn’t have.
"There’s always a bright light, even in a dark cloud."
As for any notion that draft prospects Luke Babbitt or Gordon Hayward resemble Alexander coming out of college, McKinney said, "They’re both completely different players than Joe."
My personal view of what the Bucks should have learned? 1) Be wary of players who haven't proven they can defend a specific position 2) If you're gambling on a raw or risky talent, make sure it at least has star potential (see the Jennings pick) 3) Do whatever you can to make sure the player is coachable and has the capacity to learn. It's easy to forget that Alexander's on-court productivity, though underwhelming, was by itself not that surprising. After all, even the Bucks admitted on draft night that he would be something of a project. But his inability to learn and accept coaching was both surprising and likely the main reason for the Bucks' decision to decline his first option year last fall, effectively ending his tenure with the Bucks after just one season. You don't do that simply because a guy's game has some rough edges--plenty of lottery picks fall into that category.
Bucksketball: Philosophical thinking
Jeremy put together a nice summation of John Hammond's drafting history--both in Detroit and Milwaukee--and the most common theme is readiness. No disagreements here.
Milwaukee seemed to have thought that Brandon Jennings’ one year in Europe made him a little more NBA ready than the other prospects they were considering at 10th in last year’s draft, specifically Jrue Holiday. In addition, Milwaukee had a significantly larger amount of work done on last year’s draft than they did on the previous one.
Milwaukee had time to scout Jennings and the other picks they were considering thoroughly throughout the season in preparation for the 2009 draft, whereas the whole staff was only completely assembled in the weeks before the 2008 draft. That placed more significance on workouts leading up to the 2008 draft, an area that Alexander and Anthony were both able to thrive in. But the workouts are now just pieces of the draft puzzle the Bucks have been working on all season, leading up to the big day this year. Production will likely once again take a more significant role when the Bucks decide who will be wearing the green and red next season.
The unfortunate part about the 2008 draft process--aside from the end result--is that the Bucks couldn't seem to get anyone aside from Alexander and Randolph in for individual workouts. Guys like Brook Lopez and Jerryd Bayless big-timed the Bucks and refused to come in for workouts, which might have left the Bucks a bit flat-footed when both slipped on draft night. The Bucks have had better luck since then, but Woelfel's story reaffirms that you can't work out everyone. And given the importance of understanding how a player will fit into your organization as a person, that can be a big deal.