JS | Bucks are full of optimism
Charles Gardner writes that much of the Bucks' roster has already gotten a headstart on camp with informal workouts at the Cousins Center, with Ersan Ilyasova, Tobias Harris, Joel Przybilla, Larry Sanders and rookies John Henson and Doron Lamb all getting in work over the past couple weeks. And though he looks leaner than he did as a college freshman two years ago, Harris has in fact beefed up to around 235 pounds.
"I come out here every day and guard smaller guards, get better on defense, so when I play against the 3s in the NBA I'll be fine," Harris said. "That's where I see myself (at small forward) and it's where the coaches see me."
So in summary, Tobias continues to do and say all the right things, and hopefully it will pay off come November. But for now it's just September, so let's not expect the world of him quite yet--the guy's still just 20 years old--and let's not pepper Scott Skiles with tomatoes if Tobias doesn't play 30 minutes on opening night. Check out Jim Paschke's video coverage over at Bucks.com for more.
Marquis Daniels' deal not done yet
Gardner also reports that the Bucks are still "in discussions" with Marquis Daniels' agent to bring the former Celtic, Pacer and Maverick to Milwaukee, though a deal has not yet been finalized. Gary Washburn's original report suggested Daniels would sign a guaranteed deal for the veteran's minimum ($1.229 million for a player with nine years experience), though it's worth noting that only $854k (the min for a two year vet) counts against the Bucks' cap number and the league pays for the remaining difference.
In case you're curious, that's a cap quirk which has been around a while--basically it's a way to guarantee veterans more money without giving teams an incentive to sign younger guys just to save cash (and cap space). Gery Woelfel also reported the two sides were working on a one-year deal, but so far nothing official.
In the grand scheme of the universe, a Daniels signing wouldn't really move the dial on expectations for the upcoming season, but it would give Skiles a bigger guard he can throw at opposing scorers to complement the smaller, more offensive-minded Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis, Beno Udrih and Doron Lamb. It also gives us something to talk about in late September, when everything tends to take on more importance than it otherwise would. Even so, I asked Jeff Clark from our SBN sister site Celtics Blog whether Daniels had anything left in the tank, specifically if he could add value by defending bigger guards. Jeff tweeted in response: "defense is his best skill - 2s & 3s - his offense is quirky and streaky at best." So there you go.
Also worth mentioning: Daniels is just 18 months removed from a scary fall that left him temporarily paralyzed and could have ended his career. Like former Buck T.J. Ford, Daniels eventually underwent surgery to correct a narrow spinal column that had resulted in frequent stingers since he was a child.
"My strength and my grip and everything is a lot better than it had been in the past. It was something I was born with that I didn't know. I was having symptoms here and there.
"Once a couple injuries happened, they were like, 'You can't play no more.' I was like, 'I'm fine. I can walk.' My doctor gave me the surgery and said I could play again.
Daniels' offensive numbers have gone in the tank in recent years, so don't expect much beyond good effort, defensive versatility and another solid veteran presence in the locker room. Which to be honest is perfectly OK for a 15th man. The obvious downside is that a Daniels signing would likely cut into minutes that might otherwise go to Lamb and to a lesser extent Harris, though at this point I'm not overly worried about that side of things. Lamb in particular needs to first prove he's a legitimate NBA rotation player--I'm optimistic, but let's not forget that he's still just a 20-year-old second round pick.
Hoops World | 2012-2013 Milwaukee Bucks Season Preview
The Hoops World crew has a wide range of opinions on the Bucks, projecting them to finish anywhere from second to fifth in the division depending on who you ask. Which raises a separate question: why bother projecting divisional rankings without also projecting conference rankings?
More bits and bobs:
- Bucks.com | Alex kicks off his look at the four factors with effective field goal percentage.
- JS | Don Walker digs into the state's decision to issue the Bradley Center a $5 million grant in late August.
- FanPosts | Really nicely done (and long mix) of Monta Ellis' best days in Golden State and his transition to Milwaukee.
- Celtics Blog | A sneak preview of Marquis Daniels' towel-waving skills?
- Twitter | Luc Mbah a Moute: medicine man.
- Twitter | Happy 55th Birthday to Bucks assistant/all-time great Sidney Moncrief.
- Bucks.com | This season's Energee! dance team has been announced.