Imig: Don't expect Hammond to shake up the roster
There weren't any startling revelations from John Hammond's Tuesday media session, though anyone hoping for an offseason shake-up probably won't be thrilled by all the focus on continuity and injuries. That said, did we expect anything different? After all, the Bucks were in fact the most injury-ravaged team in the league, and it's not in any GM's interest to bad-mouth the roster he had spent the past couple seasons overhauling.
Part of that is self-interest, but there's a practical side to it as well. Unlike Larry Harris (remember the Jamaal Magloire situation?), Hammond understands the importance of not publicly putting guys on the trading block. So if anyone's asking, Corey Maggette is in fact still in the Bucks' plans--though he probably shouldn't be unless Scott Skiles is actually going to play him. And then there's the question of Michael Redd:
“He’s only been a Milwaukee Buck,” Hammond said. “He knows nothing else. He has an interest in maybe coming back and finishing his career here. I think that’s something that we have an interest in as well.”
I'll still be fairly surprised if Redd ends up returning, but then again I've been saying that for about 18 months. Either way, the fact that Redd has played just 134 minutes since January 2010 makes it rather difficult for anyone to know what he's still capable of doing on the court, as his ten game return this spring offered little insight into whether he could still be an effective NBA player. The bottom line: if Redd is going to successfully reinvent himself as a role-player it might be easier to do it in a town where he isn't carting $90 million worth of baggage around with him.
Woelfel: Hammond, Weltman check out European prospects
On Monday we touched on the strong international flavor in this year's draft, and the good news is that the Bucks are doing their homework. Gery Woelfel writes that Hammond and assistant GM Jeff Weltman were in Europe last week checking out potential top ten picks Jonas Valanciunas (6'11" C/PF, Lithuania), Donatas Motiejunas (7'0" PF, Lithuania), and Jan Vesely (6'11" SF/PF, Czech Rep.), who along with Enes Kanter and Bismack Biyombo will likely make the lottery feel very international.
And as for the whole matter of Ersan Ilyasova possibly looking for a change of scenery, Hammond had a pretty good answer.
Asked about Ilyasova's situation, Hammond said, "He's under contract.''
ESPN Radio: Hammond talks to Homer
Hammond also did a segment on Homer yesterday, hitting on many of the same themes that Imig covered in his piece. But also give credit to Homer for asking some tough questions.
Hunt: Bucks need to shore up offensively
Last summer I questioned Michael Hunt's assertion that the acquisition of Corey Maggette and signing of Salmons/Gooden meant the Bucks needed to focus on improving their defense, but he seems to have come around since then. Then again, as a preseason optimist I'm probably not one to talk, and Hunt's plan for the summer is a solid blueprint for how the Bucks can reasonably shore up their roster. It's not particularly sexy and won't win them a title, but it's a start and it doesn't require any luck--something the Bucks will most certainly need to transform the current roster into something resembling a title contender.
Hammond has a busy couple of months in front of him before the league probably shuts down July 1. From the draft, he's got to find someone ready to play now. He's got to find a backup center and backup point guard so the franchise's cornerstones don't erode. And he needs to find someone to take the last two years of Corey Maggette's contract off his hands.
Woelfel: Hobson weighing options
Remember Darington Hobson? Surgery on both hips robbed the 37th overall pick of summer league and training camp, and it eventually cost him his roster spot when the Bucks signed Brian Skinner on December 2. But Hobson hinted at an eventual return to the Bucks immediately after getting waived and was spied at at least one Bucks game later in the season. So it's no surprise that agent Stu Lash told Gery Woelfel his client is very much open to resuming his abbreviated career in Milwaukee.
"We have no malice or animosity toward the Bucks,'' Lash said. "They have been very good to Darington. And Darington likes it there.
"We got to do our due diligence and find out if it's the right fit for the Bucks and for us.''
I'm not entirely convinced there will be room for Hobson next season either, but the first order of business will be figuring out what to do with the swingmen currently on the roster. The Bucks currently have 10 players under contract and will likely need to bring in at least two swingmen, a center and a third PG to replace Earl Boykins. As far as last year's swingmen, Salmons looks more or less immovable right now, Carlos Delfino will be back, Maggette is up in the air, and Luc Mbah a Moute is a restricted free agent. Even assuming the departures of Redd and Chris Douglas-Roberts, there's a good chance the Bucks pick up a wing in the lottery, which would of course work against Hobson re-signing in Milwaukee. On the other hand, if the Bucks used their lottery pick to fill their need for a backup center, the door would be that much more open for Hobson to snag a roster spot.
Personally, I'd love to see Hobson get a chance to show why many believed he would be a late first rounder on draft night, and the Bucks probably would like to get some value out of at least one of their three 2010 second round picks. Still, Hobson's lack of top-shelf athleticism and questionable shooting means he wouldn't address the Bucks' key issues, and all indications are that he'll once again spend most of the summer on the shelf, this time recovering from his other hip surgery. That will necessarily complicate the task of determining what exactly he's capable of doing against NBA competition, increasing the likelihood that he comes to camp with a non-guaranteed deal.
Bucks.com: Milwaukee Bucks 2010-11 Postseason Guide
It's a long summer--gotta pass it somehow.