I don't know what it means for a "mixtape" to be "official," but Brandon Jennings' lockout exploits are pretty fun no matter what you want to call them. Now let's hope he saved some of that dunking for the regular season...
Woelfel: Leuer expected in town for camp, Bucks interested in Shannon Brown
Gery Woelfel writes that agent Mark Bartelstein expects Bucks second round pick Jon Leuer to opt out of his contract with Fraport Skyliners and be back in Milwaukee this coming week to prep for camp. While most players with existing NBA deals have already left their European teams, Leuer helped Frankfurt to a much-needed win yesterday with a season-high 27 points (9/15 fg, 4/7 threes, 5/6 ft). Woelfel stops short of saying Leuer will definitely be signed for the season, but presumably he wouldn't be leaving Frankfurt unless he expected to make the team. Curious what if any kind of assurances have been made on that front...after all, it's been a strange couple years for Bucks second round picks.
And while the Bucks have no shortage of combo guards on their roster, Woelfel reports that they have also inquired with Bartelstein about another one of his clients, Lakers free agent Shannon Brown. Though undersized for the two, the explosive Brown is an excellent finisher (66% at the rim last year) and a streaky threat from deep (as he showed when he smoked the Bucks for 21 points in Milwaukee last season). However, it's also telling that the Lakers don't seem too concerned with losing Brown, and to be honest I'm not sure how this move adds up for the Bucks either (see more on the roster musical chairs after the jump).
In case you had forgotten, Bartelstein has made a nice career out of destroying the Bucks' cap situation, having helped Mo Williams, Bobby Simmons and Charlie Bell land deals totaling over $100 million with the Bucks. I hope he still sends holiday cards to Larry Harris and Herb Kohl.
WSSP: Ted Davis talks Bogut trades, Ilyasova's return, Jennings improvement, Skiles' offense
Ted Davis might rely on the Bucks for his paychecks, but he isn't pulling any punches when talking about the ups and downs of the 10/11 squad and what might lie ahead. This one starts off a bit slowly, but the second half is pretty insightful.
Among other things: both Davis and Woelfel expect Ersan Ilyasova back in Milwaukee for camp, which would be good news regardless of whether or not his long-term future is in Milwaukee. I'm not in the camp that considers Ilyasova indispensable, but he's a useful player who could get rotation minutes on virtually any team. Even if the Bucks are just going to move him--and supposedly they were trying ahead of the draft--it's a lot easier to get another team interested in Ersan if he's not sitting around his house in Istanbul trying to play hardball. Like Leuer, Ilyasova played with his European team this weekend, totaling 19 points and 10 boards in Anadolu Efes' first Turkish league loss of the season. Unlike Leuer, Ilyasova has a contract with the Bucks and precious little leverage in trying to force the Bucks' hand.
What I'm having a harder time with is how the Bucks' roster spots will add up if Ersan, Leuer and Darington Hobson all end up on the roster. Add in Tobias Harris and the other guys with guaranteed contracts and you've got 14 guys. Add in Luc Mbah a Moute and you've got 15. Now how about the Bucks' lack of a backup center? Or the need for a shooter at the 2/3? Essentially the Bucks would have to rid themselves of one or both of Keyon Dooling and Ilyasova to properly rebalance the roster. That's certainly doable given both guys have modest deals and can be useful elsewhere, but the bottom line is that the Bucks still have some tweaking to do over the next three weeks.
Oregonian: Former Blazers center Joel Przybilla will weigh free agent options
The big question about free agent big man Joel Przybilla is health, but Jason Quick writes that the possible/probable Bucks free agent target has in fact been playing basketball since August following the knee injuries that limited him to 36 and 31 games the past two seasons.
"I can play. I feel great. This is the best my body has felt in a long, long time,’’ Przybilla said. "But I honestly don’t know if I will play. We’ll see. We’ll see what my options are.’’
NBA.com: Bucks need more inside offense from Bogut
The always-excellent John Schuhmann provides a terrific statistical overview of what went right and (mostly) wrong for the Bucks last year.
Gardner: Skiles knows importance of positive results for Bucks
From Charles Gardner:
"Beno (Udrih) finishes at a very high percentage (in the paint)," Skiles said.
"And we can improve the fast-break game, scoring off the defense. We blew way too many chances when we had an advantage, and we just didn't convert enough stops into easier baskets. Then it can become a struggle in the half court."
As you may recall, Alex has previously written about the Bucks' surprising lack of pace in 10/11, which came in spite of a) Skiles' own history of teams that pushed the ball and b) the Bucks' seeming success in games played at faster paces. Elsewhere, Gardner also did a short email interview with Andrew Bogut, who is departing from Australia for Milwaukee on Tuesday.
Woelfel: Hammond preparing to put together roster
Speaking of which, how about an official statement on the Bucks' intentions with regard to Luc?
"We appreciate Luc and what he's done for us as an organization, and what he stands for," Hammond said. "We have every intention of bringing Luc back."
Basketball Jones: Boston
Good times on Friday night at the last US date in The Basketball Jones' cross-country roadshow. Had the pleasure of meeting Skeets, Tas, Trey, Matt and company on Friday and grab some lunch with them on Saturday, and I'm pleased to report that my buddy Jonah Keri was one of the guests and kindly brought up my bordering-on-irrational distaste for Brian Scalabrine.