- Charles Gardner reports that Andrew Bogut is hopeful of reaching agreement on a contract extension before he heads off to Australia's Olympic camp. Bogut is already locked in for $6.3 million next season, the last year of his rookie deal. For the Bucks' own fiscal safety let's hope they can lock him up for no more than five years and $60 million. That puts him in the ballpark of where Chris Kaman, Samuel Dalembert and Tyson Chandler signed a couple years ago, and would prevent the possibility that Bogut become a restricted free agent in the summer of 2009.
- Gery Woelfel reports that Scott Skiles plans to hire new assistants, meaning Jim Todd, Brian James and Tony Brown appear out after one season in Milwaukee. Both Todd and James had previously coached in Milwaukee, but given the way the team inexcusably tuned out Larry Krystkowiak's staff this year, it's understandable that Skiles would want to replace the old regime with his own guys.
"He’s a good coach; I have the utmost respect for Scott,’’ James said. "He told me this is the first opportunity where he’s been a head coach where he could bring in his own staff. "So it’s disappointing, but I understand the situation."
- However, it appears for the moment that player development assistant Bill Peterson will stay--which we had been hoping would be the case. Peterson has been credited with helping develop both Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash while with Dallas, and he played a similar role working with Ramon Sessions the past few months.
- So who will Skiles bring with him to MIlwaukee? One notable name being reported is former Indiana and Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson , fresh off being fired midseason in Bloomington for yet another NCAA rules violation. Marc Stein reports New Mexico State assistant Craig Neal and former Buck and D-League coach Joe Wolf are also in the running. A friend of Gregg Popovich, Sampson was last seen working as an advisor to the Spurs the past couple months.
- Sampson's hiring could also be interesting given Indiana freshman guard Eric Gordon--who developed a close bond with Sampson at Indiana--is among the names being mentioned as possible picks if the Bucks stay at the seventh spot of the June draft. Gordon was among the nation's most highly-touted freshman this season, but despite his 20.9 ppg average faded notably down the stretch this year. Gordon's strong but on the short side for a two guard (6'3"), and while he's an explosive finisher with limitless range, he also doesn't rebound and will never be a point guard.
- Skiles' right-hand man in Chicago, Jim Boylan, will certainly be in the running as well. Boylan was fired last week after he served as interim Bulls coach after Skiles' departure.
- The Bradley Center board has discontinued its search for a naming rights sponsor, following a letter from Jane Bradley Pettit's daughter. Give Lynde Bradley Uihlein and her husband some credit--they seem to understand that scraping a few million dollars out of naming rights does nothing to make the venue a long-term solution for the Bucks, Admirals and Marquette basketball. This latest news has also restarted discussion of possibly merging the Bradley Center and Wisconsin Center District , a concept that most recently died in 2005.