ESPN | Chad Ford Mock Draft 5.0
No change from the Bucks' perspective in Chad Ford's latest mock--he once again has the Bucks going with diminutive Miami PG Shane Larkin, this time over Shabazz Muhammad (16) and Dennis Schröder (21) among others.
With their starting backcourt of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis both heading into free agency, the Bucks likely will focus on point guard. Larkin and Dennis Schroeder are the two most interesting candidates. Schroeder has more upside, but after dealing with Jennings for the past few years, they might opt for a more traditional guard like Larkin. Murray State's Isaiah Canaan also has a shot here. His impressive workout turned heads in Milwaukee.
The interesting new name here is Canaan (DX #41), Murray State's scoring point guard who worked out on May 31 with both Larkin and Schroder. Ford suggests he's also in the mix at 21 (Utah) and 23 (Indiana), but he's not in Ford's first round mock and 28th in Jonathan Givony's latest at DraftExpress. So I'm really not buying the notion that he's going to be the pick at 15, but keep the name in mind should the Bucks move down or acquire another pick later in the round.
So who is this guy? Well, the 22-year-old lit up the Ohio Valley Conference last season (22.4 ppg, 4.3 apg, 58% true shooting), but he brings all the usual question marks that you'd expect of an older prospect who tore up a lesser conference. He's also not particularly big (6'0" in shoes, 6'4.5" wingspan) and finished rather poorly last season (56%) considering his competition and the fact that he can jump out of the gym (40.5" vertical, does stuff like this). Also working in his favor: his last name is pronounced CANNON.
Sheridan Hoops: Larkin it is
Our bud Joe Kotoch also has the Bucks going with Larkin, though he has both Schröder and Muhammad off the board by the time the Bucks pick.
Fox Sports Wisconsin: Former Hawks assistants Nick Van Exel and Bob Bender join Drew's staff
As expected, Larry Drew has added a couple of familiar faces to his bench, bringing former Washington head coach Bob Bender and Kenosha native and one-time all-star Nick Van Exel with him from Atlanta. Brandon Jennings has been compared to the gun-slinging Van Exel on more than one occasion, so it was of course interesting to see the Bucks' restricted free agent tweet something positive about Van Exel ("Nick Van though. Def was a big fan growing up. I gotta go bald w/ eyebrows 3 lines this year" h/t K.L. Chouinard) only to delete it a short while later.
WSSP | John Henson interview
Things change quickly in the NBA. A few months ago, John Henson was a promising rookie struggling for burn on a team led by two ball-dominating guards. Now? He's regularly mentioned as the Bucks' second-most important asset and a key building block for the immediate future, which is a big reason why the Bucks had him make the radio rounds on Tuesday starting with Chuck and Wickett on WSSP (here's Part 2).
Nominally it was to pitch the "Fish with John Henson" promotion they're running, but in a broader sense it was a marketing pitch for the latest iteration of the Milwaukee Bucks. Henson's a pro at it, too, as he chatted casually about a wide array of topics: his positive start with Larry Drew, how he's managed to add 12.6 pounds, his affinity for Sidney Moncrief, his friendship with workout partner Larry Sanders, how he's in Milwaukee because he likes it here (!) and a bunch of other stuff. Note to the Bucks: we need to hear more from Henson going forward.
Bucks.com: Free Agent mini-camp kicks off
The Bucks kicked off their three day veteran free agent mini-camp last night, and the list of familiar names in attendance is fairly interesting. Among the names are a host of semi-recent first and second round picks, most of whom never panned out with their original teams and have seen significant time in the D-League. Among them: Craig Brackins (#21 in 2010), Damion James (#24 in 2010), Dominique Jones (#25 in 2010), Tyler Honeycutt (#35 in 2011) and Terrico White (#36 in 2010), most of whom did pre-draft workouts for the Bucks back in the day. I'd guess at least a couple of these guys end up on the Bucks' summer league team in Vegas, though whether we see them signed to real contracts is a separate question. It's certainly not inconceivable that the Bucks might take a flyer on one of them going into training camp, particularly given that a) a number of them are only a couple years removed from being considered promising young prospects and b) the Bucks will have a half dozen roster spots to fill this summer. Stay tuned.
The Point Forward | Free-agent case study: Milwaukee Bucks
With Monta Ellis now officially heading to free agency, Rob Mahoney takes a look at the shapeless amoeba known as the Bucks' cap situation. Here's the money line:
This summer is a valuable opportunity for the stagnant Bucks to plot out an actual course rather than stockpile middling assets, though doing so will require difficult decisions from general manager John Hammond and the potential departure of seemingly valuable players. Such is the nature of a league where retaining moderate talent isn’t always worth the corresponding opportunity costs, particularly in the case of a team that very much needs to reshuffle its assets.