Tom Barrett and Charlie Sykes arena buzz, latest mock drafts, Bucks like Exum?

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

JS | Walker: Barrett comments on arena discussion
No surprise here: Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett still doesn't think public funding of a new Milwaukee arena is exclusively a Milwaukee County problem. More importantly: who doesn't like chili?

"It’s like making chili right now. There’s never an exact recipe. As mayor of Milwaukee, my position is, of course I want the Bucks to stay in Milwaukee. But the entertainment serves all of southeastern Wisconsin. The poor are concentrated in the city. You can’t have the high percentage of people living in poverty carrying the load."

The obvious problem for Barrett (and the Bucks): Ozaukee, Racine and Washington counties have already dug their bunkers in anticipation of a battle over a Miller Park-like regional sales tax, which leaves us at something of an impasse for the time being. Milwaukee doesn't want to foot the bill for an arena that figures to benefit citizens of surrounding counties, while those counties understandably don't want to plow potential tax revenue into a project that will pull consumer spending into Milwaukee. Both sides have merit, and don't expect anyone to even consider budging until more specific plans for an arena are proposed--you know, basic things like location, price tag, public funding requirements, potential funding mechanisms, etc.

Save Our Bucks: Answering questions raised on the Charlie Sykes Show
The Save Our Bucks crew discuss some of the questions raised during Monday's Charlie Sykes Show, including issues surrounding the team's competitiveness, the affordability of NBA games, and the importance of the private sector having "skin in the game" when it comes to accountability. Some good discussion here, and reflective of the kind of open, constructive dialogue that we'll hopefully see more of going forward.

ESPN | NBA Mock Draft
Chad Ford continues to make mock drafts, though he doesn't seem to know much more about the Bucks' intentions than anyone else at this point.

Now that the Bucks are for sale, everything about their future is a little up in the air. It's unclear whether the new owners will keep John Hammond and David Morway on. They have two years left on their contract and were actually fighting their owner Herb Kohl the past few years. They wanted to rebuild, but Kohl didn't. Injuries forced the issue this year; it would be ironic if they lost their jobs after delivering the Bucks their first real chance at landing a superstar. Either way, I don't think there's a clear-cut favorite right now. They were leaning toward Joel Embiid before his back injury and could still end up going that way if Embiid comes out with a clean bill of health at the combine. Jabari Parker is the choice if they want someone who can help them win now. But I think the spot is still Wiggins' to lose. He's not the most NBA-ready, and he doesn't have the size or appeal of Embiid. But he has the highest upside of any of the Bucks and could be a monster on the floor next to Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Note that Tyler Lashbrook has the same top four (Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Dante Exum and Joel Embiid) in his SB Nation mock, while Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress continues to keep Embiid ahead of Parker at #2. Related: Joel Embiid would need a backiotomy before I dropped him all the way to #4, but that's just me.

And for those counting down the days, we're now just 22 days away from the 2014 NBA draft lottery.

ESPN | Chad Ford: Bucks among teams that like Dante Exum
Here's Ford in a chat discussing the Magic's potential interest in a point guard:

Exum and Marcus Smart are the guys for them. They would've taken Smart No. 2 last year, but I think Exum has moved ahead. Lakers also really like Exum. So do the Jazz and Bucks.

So basically the Bucks like everyone, which is also probably the best message to be broadcasting until you actually make the pick. No sense in tipping your hand, and also no sense in making up your mind with the Chicago pre-draft camp and individual team workouts still weeks away.

JS | Direction of Bucks' rebuilding efforts remains in limbo
Speaking of not knowing anything, the JS reaffirms that nobody seems to know anything about the future of the Bucks' current front office and coaching staff.

But will the current Bucks management team - led by general manager John Hammond and coach Larry Drew - still be in place in a month? Or will the new owners make sweeping changes when they take over?

Nobody knows the answer yet, and last week Edens said he and Lasry could not make contact with current team officials until the sale was approved.

Hammond declined to comment when contacted.

A league official said there was no clear time frame for the sale to be completed.

See also: our podcast on this very topic.

FanPosts | Bucks jersey brainstorming!
There's been no official talk about it, but the arrival of new ownership naturally brings hope of new Bucks' jerseys (last updated in 2006) and logo (largely unchanged since the '90s).

My two cents: I NEED to see the Irish rainbow brought back, green is still the best (and most distinct) primary color, those big-font '71 Hardcourt Classic jerseys would be a great source of inspiration, red needs to play a small role (or possibly be replaced by orange), and a cursive font alternate would be great. Aside from the stuff discussed in the comment thread, I also like this concept that Galen Zink posted on our Facebook page (speaking of which, have you liked us yet?).

Bloomberg | Lasry as Bucks Owner Can Tap Pal David Robinson for NBA Know-How
Interesting connection here: Marc Lasry advised Spurs legend (and my first favorite NBA player) David Robinson on setting up his private equity fund; now Robinson may have a chance to provide Lasry some advice. But the real money line from this article?

Robinson said Lasry, who was on the basketball team at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1977 and 1978, probably wouldn’t be "overly hands on."

"He’s one of those guys who understand what his role is, who he is and what he can accomplish," the 1994-95 NBA Most Valuable Player said of Lasry. "He’ll make good decisions for this franchise."

Bucks fans have been dreaming for years of an owner who was smart, super-rich, committed to Milwaukee and willing to defer basketball decisions to basketball people, so I'd say Lasry is off to a very good start, eh?

SportsBusiness Daily | Big markets--and Milwaukee--take big hits in local viewership
The Milwaukee Bucks revolution may have been (mostly) televised, but that doesn't mean anyone was watching. On top of their league-worst record and league-worst home attendance, the Bucks also broke the Bobcats' stranglehold on the league's worst TV ratings:

This season’s biggest drop among teams’ RSN marks occurred in Milwaukee, where the Bucks not only posted the league’s worst record on the court but also scored the NBA’s lowest local rating and lowest viewership. Bucks ratings on FS Wisconsin dropped a whopping 65 percent from last year, with the team averaging a 0.50 rating and just 5,000 homes per telecast. It marks the first time in five years that a team other than the Charlotte Bobcats posted the league’s lowest local viewership.

Grantland | Goldsberry: Shots! Shots! Shots!
Kirk Goldsberry delivers some fun visualizations showing the NBA's best shooters, with an appearance from left wing assassin Khris Middleton.

FiveThirtyEight | In the NBA, It’s Not Whether You Win or Lose, It’s Whether You Beat Vegas
Nate Silver does not bring good tidings for Larry Drew's future in Milwaukee.

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