Hoops Report: Marshon Brooks returning for workout on June 21
Ryan Feldman reports that Marshon Brooks' last workout ahead of the draft will be on Tuesday in Milwaukee, following up on his June 12 workout for Bucks' officials in Chicago. However, Feldman reports that the fast-rising Brooks is likely facing an uphill battle to be the Bucks' selection on Thursday.
Alec Burks is unlikely to get past the Milwaukee Bucks at No. 10. Although they are bringing in Marshon Brooks on Monday for a second look, he would have to be overwhelmingly incredible to change the minds of the Bucks front office. They intend on drafting Burks if he's available.
John Hammond and Billy McKinney missed the June 12 workout while they were in Treviso, so bringing Brooks back makes perfect sense if the Bucks have any interest in either taking him at #10 or picking up a second first rounder slightly later in the draft. Brooks reportedly got the better of Burks in Charlotte, but given the time frame is so close to the draft, the Bucks likely won't have the benefit of seeing Brooks work out against another top prospect on Tuesday.
While I can understand the safety of drafting a shooter like Klay Thompson, I have to admit I've always had a soft spot for the home run potential of players like Brooks and Burks, both of whom have shown they can be dynamic, multi-dimensional scorers at the collegiate level. The case has been made for Brooks as the draft's most polished all-around scorer, but he's also 30 months older than Burks and has battled the usual bias against late-blooming college players. Thompson had seemingly moved into poll position for #10 over the past week, but it seems like the public perception of a guy's stock always rises right around the time he works out for a team. For further reading, Jeremy has a good read on the Burks vs. Thompson philosophical debate.
WSSP: Woelfel likes Thompson, but expects Burks to be the pick
Gery Woelfel also expects Burks to be the pick, though both Woelfel and Sparky prefer Klay Thompson. Fair enough...he's the safe pick, and I won't begrudge anyone wanting the more polished guy who if nothing else can spot up and make jumpers. At a minimum, I can see Thompson being a Francisco Garcia-type wing player, which is probably a higher floor than Burks.
But I have to say I found it rather baffling when Woelfel invoked the name of Shawn Respert in explaining why Burks--he of the inconsistent jump shot--might struggle to transition to the NBA. Remember, Respert was a 6'1" shooting guard whose biggest strength was that he could shoot from anywhere inside halfcourt. He hit at least 43% of his threes every year at Michigan St., made 47% as a senior and sunk more triples per game that season than Jimmer Fredette (119 in 28 games vs. Jimmer's 124 in 37 games this year). But Respert's career was derailed by stomach cancer that was kept under wraps until much later, and his combination of PG size and SG game would have prevented him from being a great pro anyway. I'm guessing Gery threw it out there just to discredit a guy he doesn't like (the perils of live radio), but here's to hoping casual fans don't go ballistic on draft night because they think the Bucks just drafted Shawn Respert 2.0.
Second round offers plenty of guards
We've spent next to no time talking about the Bucks' second round options, but I like the look of the point guards who could be available when the Bucks pick 40th. While I don't see Keyon Dooling as any worse than most other backup point guards, you'd expect the Bucks to add another PG in the offseason to replace the surprisingly productive Earl Boykins, and there are plenty of guys currently projected in the second who fit the bill. Many of them won't last to the Bucks' pick, but Shelvin Mack, Josh Selby, Darius Morris, Nolan Smith, Norris Cole, Andrew Goudelock, Diante Garrett, and Isaiah Thomas are all options who could fill an immediate need as the third PG (note: Goudelock and Garrett have worked out in Milwaukee). Don't get me wrong, I always like the BPA philosophy anywhere in the draft, but last year showed that it can be a numbers game with second rounders and the Bucks will most certainly not want a repeat of last season's second round results.
ESPN: Green room list unveiled
The NBA revealed its list of players invited to wait in the green room on draft night, with Bismack Biyombo, Brooks, and Jordan Hamilton the most notable exclusions. On the flip side, Chris Singleton and Markieff Morris stand out as perhaps the most surprising inclusions. The NBA doesn't make these picks in a vacuum, so there's certainly something that can be read into who's in and who's out, but the green room hasn't been a good indicator for the Bucks of late. If I remember correctly, Brandon Jennings (because he left) and Larry Sanders (not invited) were the first non-green room guys in '09 and '10, respectively.
Yahoo: NBA Mock Draft 3.0
Skilled but decidedly unsexy, Marcus Morris was the first lottery prospect to work out in Milwaukee and perhaps not surprising that's made him somewhat forgotten as we move closer to draft time. But Jonathan Givony's latest mock is a reminder that we probably shouldn't assume a wing player will be called by David Stern at number ten.
Thorpe: Klay Thompson's jumper makes him a valuable commodity
David Thorpe offers his assessment of Klay Thompson.
Thompson may not be very athletic now, but he is certainly gifted running ball-screen action, where he's able to get all sorts of great looks. That requires many hours of practice, and it's clear Thompson has put in the hours because he's an expert at using the screen to create the driving angles he needs to get penetration or to create enough space to launch an uncontested jumper.
ESPN Ultimate Standings: Bucks slide from 67 to 93
ESPN once again ranked all 122 pro franchises on a number of factors, and the Bucks not surprisingly took a tumble this year. Don't blame it on Wisconsin, though: the Packers ranked number one. Thanks to Andy Kamenetzky for letting us contribute a couple quotes.
NYTimes.com: Lockout II - In N.B.A., Effects Are Immediate
It doesn't seem like there's a great chance the NBA and players' union agree to a new collective bargaining agreement ahead of July 1, but that's probably to be expected. With billions of dollars at stake for the two sides, are the consequences of not agreeing to a deal by July really significant enough to force major compromise by both sides? I'd argue no. Players don't get paid during the summer and summer league (one of my fave things in the summer) has already been canceled, so the carrot probably isn't there for either side. But that's not to say there won't be very real consequences of a labor stoppage in the short term. As Howard Beck writes, teams are already cutting loose some long-time employees, and the underlying business of the game will take a notable hit:
Adam Silver, the deputy commissioner, said recently: "Our business partners — both our marketing partners and our licensees who need to plan in the normal course of business — are unable to make their usual media buys, place orders. And so the uncertainty is having a great impact on our business."
ESPN: How Eastern Conference teams should approach offseason, draft
Tom Haberstroh looks at the Bucks' offseason needs.
Thanks to the Bucks' stifling defense, they were on the brink of the playoff picture anyway, and could use a shot creator on the wing in the worst way. With the 10th pick in the draft, look for the Bucks to target a shooting guard (Washington State's Klay Thompson would be a good option) on June 23. Marcus Thornton (restricted free agent) would be a good fit if Sacramento doesn't reel him back.