JS: Bogut readying for camp, Maggette working his way back
In case anyone missed the discussion about this in the comments already, Charles Gardner served up some more encouraging news on Andrew Bogut this week.
"I think I definitely will be involved with camp," Bogut said. "I just have to learn how to take hits again and fall; that's going to be my biggest obstacle.
"I've taken a couple days off to rest my elbow because this is the most work I've done in six months. By the time we scrimmage and do all those things, my elbow is pretty much shot. I don't want to force it right now.
It was such a bizarre injury that I'm not really sure if and how it might impact Bogut's game by the time the regular season rolls around. Will his righty hook be less effective, or will he find a way to shoot even worse from the free throw line? Will it somehow limit his appetite for contact down low? I don't know. It'd be nice if he just declared himself 100% and we could move on, but it does seem like it may be a bit of a process before we get there. Given his impact on all aspects of the game, I'm just hoping he manages to stay on the court.
Meanwhile, Skiles says the Bucks won't be rushing Corey Maggette back into contact drills after his mid-summer ankle surgery. Maggette is shooting and going through workouts, but the Bucks don't want to throw him into the fire too soon. And as TheJay observed earlier this week, that also gives Skiles more convenient justification to start Carlos Delfino, who I've argued should be the starter anyway. To recap: it's not really about talent so much as fit. Delfino can space the floor for the Bucks' primary offensive options (Salmons, Bogut, Jennings) and he takes care of business on defense, while Maggette is essentially just a stone-cold scorer who seems better utilized off the bench where he can get more touches. Aside from that, I'll be curious to see how quickly he figures things out on defense, particularly given the "defense optional" approach he got used to in Oakland. Missing camp time won't help on that front.
Amick: Bucks in the mix for Dampier (via Speedy)
Now this would be interesting. As much as Drew Gooden, Larry Sanders, and Jon Brockman might be able to spell Bogut in the pivot, none of them is a true center--not like Erick Dampier at least. And despite the Bucks already having 15 guaranteed contracts (plus Tiny Gallon) on their training camp roster, the word from Sam Amick is that the Bucks and Rockets are now in the running for Dampier's services, after the Heat appeared to pull out over the last day or so. At 35, Dampier is a bit of an NBA greybeard, but he remains a productive big man who crashes the boards hard and is keenly aware of his offensive limitations (62%+ shooting each of the last four seasons).
The tricky part is that the Bucks would have to eat one of their guaranteed contracts--Earl Boykins and Darington Hobson being the obvious candidates--just to give Dampier the minimum $1.352 million.
And that in turn would put the Bucks ever-so-slightly over the luxury tax threshold--by about $208,000. [Update: we've mentioned before that the NBA reimburses teams for the difference between veteran minimum deals and the second year minimum ($854k), and so long as only the $854k figure also counts against the cap the Bucks could sign Dampier. Like Boykins, he would get paid $1.352 million but the Bucks would get about $500k of that paid for by the league. However, they'd still have to cut someone like Boykins or Hobson to open a roster spot.]
From his team choices, it would seem like Dampier wants to play on a winning team, so the question is whether he prefers more money in Houston (which has the BAE) or perhaps a clearer-cut backup job in MKE. Not that I expect Yao and Brad Miller to be extremely durable, but when healthy I don't know if Dampier would even play. I think he would in Milwaukee, and it's not like the Bucks have a surplus of true centers right now. It's possible the Bucks look to swing a smallish trade to open up a roster spot, but I don't have any bright ideas on that front.
ESPN: NBA Basketball Power Rankings
Marc Stein has the Bucks 10th in his preseason power rankings. Sure, whatever.
Don't be surprised to see/hear folks picking the Bucks to win the Central. Can't go that far until we're sure about Bogut's recovery, but this is a team deserving of coverage/chatter it won't get in the Miami/Boston conference.
OnMilwaukee: New Bucks forward Brockman gets his own burger
You've probably already seen this by now, but our pal Paul Imig had a nice story on the Brockness Monster Burger currently being served up at A.J. Bombers.
"I think a lot of times some of the NBA players aren't thought of as normal guys. I'm just a normal guy. I like to come out and eat burgers."
B/R Interview: Milwaukee Bucks' Darington Hobson on the 2010-11 Season
Zach Herring interviews Hobson, who offers up this interesting nugget among others:
Since the first day I walked into the Training Facility, there have been two guys, Andrew Bogut and Keyon Dooling. The main one being Keyon Dooling. We have a lot in common, he has battled injuries. It has been a great relationship but Bogut has also helped me out as well.
BUCKS.com: Cooking Up Something New for the 2010-11 Bucks Season
Becks Kenaw takes a peek at the 10/11 Bucks:
"I like being out here and seeing what we’ve got going," Bogut said. "I like the pieces, I’m excited about coming into the season. It’s very exciting with the moves we’ve made in the off-season. This is probably the biggest step forward off the floor personnel-wise we’ve made since I’ve probably been here."