- ESPN's Chad Ford thinks the Bucks would go for Derrick Rose in the unlikely event they win the draft lottery. No argument here.
The Bucks spent last year's lottery pick on an athletic power forward with inside-outside skills -- Yi Jianlian. Would they pick another power forward in Beasley this year? Probably not.Mo Williams entrenched at the point? I wonder if John Hammond and Scott Skiles have been informed of this.
Now that John Hammond has taken over as GM, he's looking for a tough leader. Mo Williams may be entrenched at the point in Milwaukee, but if Hammond gets a shot at a franchise point guard, I think he's taking it.
- The lottery isn't until May 20, but if you mess around with ESPN's lottery mock draft , you'll see that Ford has the Bucks likely taking Texas point guard D.J. Augustin if they don't move into the top three. If the Bucks do luck out, Ford has them taking Michael Beasley second and Arizona guard Jerryd Bayless third.
Augustin had a fine career at Texas, but at 5'11" without great athletic ability, he would appear to have somewhat limited upside at the next level. Interestingly, Ford thinks the Bucks would pass on UCLA combo guard Russell Westbrook at the seven spot, but he has Westbrook going ahead of the Bucks' pick in the event Eric Gordon isn't available to L.A. I'd rather roll the dice on an athletic ballhawk like Westbrook or even the talented-but-raw Anthony Randolph than go with Augustin. Either way, it appears Ford's basing these picks mostly on his own logic, so odds are these things will change a lot in the next six weeks.
- The Bob Boozer Jinx dissects John Hammond's interview with Gery Woelfel.
Most Bucks fans have become painfully aware over the last five years that Redd is not Kobe, Lebron, or a few All-Star teams of players, from McGrady to Stoudamire to D-Wade to Joe Johnson. Yet somebody forgot to tell Michael who still thinks he's as good as his contract, which, to him, meant that last season he had the right to undermine the team on the court. Redd's "franchise" contract is now a lodestone keeping the Bucks in the Central Division cellar.I'm not quite so cynical towards Redd, who I'd have to guess will still be on the roster come November --if for no other reason than his contract makes him hard to deal. Still, I don't see a complacent player content with his paycheck, but rather a guy who worked as hard as anyone to become a great scorer, and then worked very hard to become more than that over the past year. But unfortunately he's simply not a guy who can single-handedly carry an offense and make other players better.
I'd guess that Redd is extremely driven by the desire to live up to that contract and the expectations that came with it. Which is partly why he feels the need to take over games late and why he did make a more concerted effort to pass and rebound this year; if that's what great players do, then he wants to do that. He probably saw Kobe, LBJ and McGrady and figured that while being a lights-out pure scorer had gotten him his contract, the only way to transcend his one-dimensional reputation was to shoot less and do everything else more--just like the "real" superstars. Often times people see that as the ultimate sacrifice for a big-name scorer, but in reality it's just as much about ego as being a ballhog that only looks for his own shot. And as Kobe Bryant showed this year, giving up your points in favor of passing more is all the rage. If Redd does return with the Bucks, it'd be a waste for him not to be the leading scorer; he's far too proficient compared to his teammates not to be. But the Bucks also can't afford for Redd to dominate the ball the way "real" superstars do.
- DraftExpress has word on what the NBA Player's Association expects the 08/09 cap numbers to be.
The most interesting thing to come out of the seminar might have been the insight that was revealed about next year’s cap figures and the NBPA’s plans regarding the upcoming CBA. Next year’s salary cap is currently being estimated at 58.5 million dollars, up from 55.63 million dollars. The luxury tax threshold is projected to rise to 71 million dollars, up from 67.865 million this year, and the Mid-Level Exception is expected to rise to 5.55 million dollars, up from 5.36 million. These are not final or official numbers at this point, but rather the NBPA’s estimations, as they were told to us.While the Bucks are capped out for the next couple years at least, the healthy boost in the luxury tax is a good sign considering the possibility that the Bucks will be in the $70 million salary range in 09/10. While attendance has been a bit down this season, the NBA people I've talked to have generally been very upbeat considering the league's booming international business and the strong playoff ratings.
- 411Mania chimes in on the Skiles hiring and sees major improvement ahead.
Skiles is a no nonsense, defense-first type of head coach, and he changed the culture there until this year, and made them a winning team after years of being near the bottom of the standings after the Jordan era ended in 1998. The thing that trumps this situation over the situation that he walked into in Chicago is that he already has a TON of talent with the guys that I listed above. Now he has to get them together, organize them, and help them reach their full potential. If Skiles is given as much control as I suspect, then the Bucks WILL be back in the playoffs this time next year and maybe with a 5th or 6th seed. The Bucks have the pieces of the puzzle…it's just putting the puzzle together. Maybe they shouldn't have hired Bill Simmons after all…
- You'll be surprised to hear that no Bucks received all-defensive team votes .