Herb Kohl's senate decision sparks arena talk, Andrew Bogut denies talks with Cibona

JS Editorial: It's time for a new arena
Could the combination of Herb Kohl deciding not to run for re-election and the likelihood of a more favorable collective bargaining agreement be the trigger for a legitimate conversation about a new arena? I'm not holding my breath, especially given the team's disappointing performance last year and the continued sluggishness of the economy. Still, it's encouraging to see this editorial from James Causey in the Journal-Sentinel, if only because it means someone's talking about the issue.

Look at Miller Park today. The Brewers can pull in more than 3 million fans a season, and you can go to the ballpark to shop or dine even when there is no game scheduled.

"We have to decide if professional basketball has that same pull," Sheehy said.

If the answer is yes, then short term there needs to be a partnership between the city, state and business community to improve the Bradley Center over the next five years. Not only will improvements to the facility benefit the Bucks, but also the events and shows that use the arena.

In case you're curious, Forbes ranks the Brewers as the 22nd most valuable baseball team at $376 million in 2011, more than twice what they were worth just seven years ago. That also compares favorably to the Bucks' dead-last ranking in the NBA at $258 million.   

Sporting News: Bogut denies interest in playing for Cibona
Like every other NBA player currently under contract, Andrew Bogut probably won't be able to play abroad next season even if the lockout kills part of the season. Still, that won't stop NBA players from flirting with the idea, nor will it apparently prevent some European clubs from starting rumors themselves. Witness the suggestion from Croatian club Cibona that Bogut and his father were in discussions to join the club next season. Bogut quickly laughed off the rumor via Twitter and said what every Buck fans wants to here:

As of today my only concern is getting my elbow right and working on my game this offseason.

Hunt: Feeling good about the Bucks' future
It's been a while since the word "optimism" was used in the same sentence as Milwaukee Bucks, but Michael Hunt is among those singing a more upbeat tune following Kohl's announcement last week.

I really get the feeling now that Kohl is committed to finding a way to get a new arena with private funding and community involvement. He's probably closer than ever before to doing something like he did in Madison, where he gave the first $25 million to get the Kohl Center up and running for his alma mater. It may take a few years - and the Bucks are not in dire shape at the Bradley Center anytime soon, as long as the place gets the maintenance it needs - but I really believe the franchise is headed in that direction. Once an arena is in place, keeping the team here would no longer be an issue for an ownership group.

Inside Milwaukee: A Milwaukee Bucks Bombshell?
Howie Magner offers his take on Kohl's decision, and like Hunt he's not seeing it as a sign of impending doom.

My take on the future of the Bucks has always started with one underlying premise: Kohl loves the franchise like a child, the same way he loves Wisconsin, and he'll do everything in his power to keep the two loves together.

ESPN: Lottery Night
The draft lottery is on ESPN tomorrow night at 7:30 central time, with ESPN3 showing it online as well. Don't worry, we'll have a lotto thread up so we can all discuss the crushing disappointment of not getting the first overall pick (1.1% chance). Live together, die alone, people.  

RealGM: History of the BC
Over at RealGM, forum moderator PaulPressey25 has a great read on the soap opera behind the BC's origins.

DraftExpress: NBA Draft Combine Participants List
No major surprises in the list of 54 invitees to the annual pre-draft camp in Chicago. Jonathan Givony also has a good breakdown of who will be at the adidas EuroCamp in June.

Ford: Burks is smooth
It's May, which means ESPN's Chad Ford is a traveling man. I try not to get too carried away with these workout stories--agents and coaches don't invite Ford to these things so he can tear guys apart--but that doesn't mean they're completely useless. Ford wrote today about the rising stock of Turkish mystery man Enes Kanter and high-scoring Providence guard Marshon Brooks, and he also had a blurb last week about Colorado guard Alec Burks.

One scout in attendance on Thursday compared him to DeMar DeRozan -- a great athlete who will make a living slashing to the basket even without a great jump shot. DeRozan may be more explosive than Burks, but Burks has a fluidity to his game that DeRozan still lacks and, at this point in the process, Burks is the better shooter.

DX: Kawhi Leonard workout and interview
Both Ford and the DraftExpress gang are seeing promising things from San Diego State forward Kawhi Leonard.

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