Draft mocks and rumors galore, Vegas Summer League schedule announced, Van Exel's promotion

USA TODAY Sports

The draft is officially one week away...so are we having fun yet?

Draft News & Notes
Hungry for draft news and analysis? Well, obviously.

  • ESPN: The WWL is doing their rundown of the best at each position: PG | SG | SF | PF
  • SB Nation: The Ridiculous Upside mock draft is in full swing, and given I was responsible for making the Bucks' pick I probably can't complain too much, right? Maybe not, but I can't say I was too excited about picking Shane Larkin at number 15. While I'm a big fan of his P&R game, I definitely worry that Larkin's midget proportions will fundamentally limit his long-term potential. Alas, I wasn't all that excited about anyone else once Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Shabazz Muhammad and Dennis Schroder were off the board, so I went with conventional wisdom and opted for Barry Larkin's kid. Feel free to complain about how wrong I was in the comments...
  • DraftExpress: Jonathan Givony's latest mock has the Bucks snagging Muhammad over Larkin (16), Sergey Karasev (18) and Schroder (21). I can live with that, and I bet most of you can too. Also be sure to check out some great situational stat breakdowns of the shooting guards (I like what I see from KCP) and point guards (some good things from Larkin, Schroder and Va Tech scoring machine Erick Green).
  • SI: Chris Mannix's mock 4.0 has KCP sliding to the Bucks. Isn't it pretty to think so?
  • Hoops World: The gang at Hoops World can't agree on which direction the Bucks will go: their four writers have Larkin, Karasev, KCP and Jamaal Franklin at #15.
  • Bucks.com: I never linked to the Bucks' Monday workout that featured first round bubble combo guards Nate Wolters (DX #26) and Erick Green (DX #22), but I can assure you that it most definitely did happen. The 6'3" Green led the nation in scoring as a senior at Virginia Tech while Wolters (6'5", 196 lbs) was a statistical monster (22.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 5.8 apg) as a senior at...WAIT FOR IT...South Dakota State (in fairness, they did make the tourney the last two seasons). Whether either guy can translate those numbers into a long-term rotation gig in the NBA is the obvious question, as the late first and second rounds are usually littered with older prospects who put up big numbers against lesser competition. It is interesting to note that both guys are rated as first round talents on Givony's big board, though he has both mocked in the early second.
NBA.com: Vegas summer league schedule announced
The Bucks kick off their summer league schedule on Saturday, July 13 in Vegas against the Nuggets, followed by games Sunday against the Hornets Pelicans and Tuesday against the Warriors. Starting Wednesday, the remainder of the week will be a tournament concluding with a championship game on Monday, July 22, but thankfully there are some losers bracket games to assure that each team gets at least four games. I will be in Vegas for the second weekend, so I find the playoff format fairly annoying given that I have no idea if or when the Bucks will actually be playing. And so it goes.

John Henson and Ish Smith are the only current roster guys I'd expect to see in Vegas (Henson confirmed he'd be heading back to Vegas on WSSP earlier this week), with the remainder of the roster made up of the Bucks' 2013 draft picks (currently the 15th and 43rd overall picks) and random veteran free agents (more on them below).

Bucks.com: Free agent mini-camp in full swing
Jim Paschke interviews Billy McKinney about the Bucks' three-day free agent mini-camp, the first time the Bucks have held such an event during John Hammond's tenure. McKinney cites the Bucks' wide open roster (seven guys under contract + their two draft picks) as motivation for the camp, and he expects to bring some of these guys to summer league in Vegas.

Behind the Buck Pass: Van Exel's Twitter game
New assistant Nick Van Exel is only seven years removed from being an NBA player, which is one major reason he's being counted on to take a leading role with the Bucks' youngsters. And while Twitter may not have existed during Nick the Quick's playing days, Preston Schmitt writes that the Kenosha native's Twitter game is on point.

The irony is that Van Exel himself wasn't always the easiest guy to coach. An often hot-headed competitor who had his share of clashes with coaches, Van Exel mellowed with age before paying his dues as a player development coach for three years in Atlanta. With the Hawks he slowly ramped up his scouting and game preparation responsibilities while biding his time watching games from behind the bench--the typical spot for player development coaches (Bucks fans probably remember Anthony Goldwire and Bill Peterson occupying that spot over the past few seasons).

But things will be different in Milwaukee, where he's joined Bob Bender as a full-fledged assistant to new coach Larry Drew. Charles Gardner writes that Drew continues to look for a lead assistant, a player development coach and big man coach to round out his staff, which will not include former lead assistant Lester Conner (who wasn't up for a third stint in Milwaukee). As for Van Exel, he'll play a key role in Drew's player-centric approach (the org's coding for "Larry isn't Scott Skiles, you guys!"):

"I retired in '06," Van Exel said. "I played against a lot of guys or a lot of guys have seen me play. I still know their lingo. I still can talk the way they talk and things like that. I don't dress the way they dress. I don't wear the tight clothes.

"But I get along with them and I'm honest with them. I tell them how it is."

FS Wisconsin: Buycks looks for his chance
Nice story from Andrew Gruman on local boy-makes-good Dwight Buycks, the former Marquette guard who is among the 23 players hoping to catch the Bucks' eye at their free agent mini-camp this week.

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