Free Agent Watch
The Bucks haven't been linked with many free agents, but the rumored names have centered around two types: combo guards (Kirk Hinrich and Randy Foye) and space-eating centers (Jermaine O'Neal and, AS ALWAYS, Joel Przybilla). But the list of available free agents is dwindling, particularly in the case of the guards. In the past week Hinrich opted for a return to Chicago while Foye signed with Utah. Meanwhile, Carlos Delfino sounds hurt by the Bucks' apparent disinterest, though they don't seem particularly interested in any other free agent swingmen either.
"I expected to have at least a conversation [with Milwaukee]," Delfino told HoopsHype. "I ended up aggravating my injury because I wanted to play with the Bucks. It hurts me a little bit that they have not even reached out to me. That's life, things happen. I learned from the experience. Coach Scott [Skiles] and the owner [Herb Kohl] have been very good to me. The rest... I expected a little bit more.
The latter might be a bit surprising given both the Bucks' lack of size at shooting guard and the fact that they don't have any proven shooters other than Mike Dunleavy on the wing (I won't count Doron Lamb quite yet). But it's less of a stretch when you take a somewhat wider view of the Bucks' roster.
First, Beno Udrih's expiring deal makes him a prime candidate to be moved at some point before the trade deadline, so having another point guard-ish player would serve as cover if/when Udrih is moved in a deal that doesn't bring back a point guard. Moreover, we know that Scott Skiles has had a preference for mixing and matching his guards the past couple seasons, so the possibility of having five guards that can each play both on the ball and off it would have some appeal. See how easy it was to force ourselves into liking it?
Beyond that, the Bucks seem comfortable with the notion of Dunleavy, Luc Mbah a Moute and Tobias Harris divvying up the small forward minutes, an especially appealing idea to all of us who were left breathless by Harris' performance in Vegas last week. It's worth pointing out of course that Harris is hardly guaranteed major minutes with Dunleavy and Mbah a Moute around, but odds are that Harris gets his chances given that a) Dunleavy and Mbah a Moute haven't typically been good for much more than 25 mpg and b) neither will be mistaken for Mr. Duability. Mbah a Moute's offensive limitations have condemned him to the power forward position for most of his career to date, but word is that the organization thinks Luc could move to his more natural defensive position at small forward this year. Who starts is another good question: Dunleavy was the best player among the group last year, but Skiles preferred bringing him off the bench a year ago, throwing the starting position up for grabs.
As for the big men, most Bucks fans would probably prefer to see Larry Sanders and Ekpe Udoh used as the primary backups to Sam Dalembert, but there seems to be continued concern over Sanders' discipline on both ends, fears that were as acute as ever in Vegas last week.
No shortage of praise for Harris and John Henson following a very encouraging week in Vegas.
- SBN | Henson third on rookie rankings
- SBN | Harris makes all-veteran team
- NBA.com | Henson rises to third on Rookie Ladder
- ESPN | Las Vegas awards
- ESPN | Henson could be top five player in draft
Bucks.com | The Scout
How do teams actually scout, rank and interact with prospects leading up to and after the draft? Our man Alex Boeder talks to Billy McKinney for all the dirt. Really enjoyed this.