- Tom Enlund reports there's no real news on the assistant coach front. Still looks like former Bulls assistant/interim coach Jim Boylan , former Indiana coach/telemarketer Kelvin Sampson , former Grizzlies' assistant Lionel Hollins , and D-League coach/Dairy Queen owner Joe Wolf will join development coach/holdover Bill Peterson.
"We’ve come to agreements with everybody," said Hammond. "We just haven’t signed contracts yet. We’re in the process of getting contracts back, basically as we speak. So I would say maybe by tomorrow (it will be done) or if not, then maybe by Monday.
- Chatting over at ESPN, Chad Ford wonders if Dan Fegan may once again try to force Yi Jianlian out of Milwaukee.
Too early to tell. [Yi] was great at the start of the season and fell off the map in the second half. I wonder if his agent Dan Fegan is going to push for a trade now that John Hammond is on board and the team will be emphasizing toughness. I still think Fegan prefers to get Yi into a market with more Asians.This rumor isn't altogether new, but this is the first time I can recall someone in the media saying it. Unlike Larry Harris, Hammond doesn't seem the type to advertise whom he wants to trade, but his glowing assessment of Yi last month certainly suggests he would prefer to give Yi a second season in Milwaukee.
"I absolutely love his game," Hammond said. "I think his upside is off the charts. I don't think he's afraid to stick his nose in there. I think he will rebound the basketball. If you ask him to go in the post, I think he will do that. When you have a big guy like that who can go out on the floor and stretch the defense, those guys are invaluable."Combine Hammond's apparent admiration with the organization's obvious investment in the Yi brand, and the only remaining concern (aside from Yi actually "becoming good") is whether Scott Skiles is similarly optimistic. Skiles has plenty of experience with young bigs, having coached Tyson Chandler, Eddy Curry, Joakim Noah and Tyrus Thomas--albeit with mixed success--in Chicago. And while Yi clearly has much work to do if he's going to live up to his advanced billing, his willingness to work on both ends should give him every chance to earn Skiles' trust. With Charlie Villanueva probably on the way out, the interesting part will be watching whether the Bucks bring in any real competition for Yi at the PF spot.
- The Bob Boozer Jinx continues to push for a Redd-to-Cleveland trade.
I was (and still am) quite serious about the anatomy of the Michael Redd trade to Cleveland. The Cavaliers get Redd; the Bucks get 21-year-old shooting guard Daniel Gibson and the Wally Szczcerbiak contract (one more year at $12 million). Keep it simple, get it done.Various flavors of Redd-to-Cleveland have been mentioned for weeks , but here's the latest discussion, which also talks about a Mo Williams deal. All these ideas are complicated by the fact that Gibson isn't even under contract with Cleveland for 08/09 (he'll be a RFA), which means Gibson would have to agree to a new deal as part of a sign/trade when free agency negotiations start in July. Moreover, Mo and Varejao are BYC until July 1. So any deal involving Mo, Gibson or Varejao would have to come after the draft. The Cavs could then still trade the rights to the player they pick, but you almost never see picks traded during the summer after draft night--in large part because a pick is more valuable to a team when they can use it themselves.
A few posters on realgm came to similar conclusions - Bucks would have to get Gibson or F/C Anderson Varejao or both; Cleveland would require that the Bucks take Wally's contract, no way around it. The Cavs cannot afford to keep both Redd and Wally at shooting guard. The realgm-ers also added to the mix the Cavs #19 pick in the 2008 draft.
- Varejao especially would be an attractive piece since he's an excellent rebounder, solid man defender of both the 4/5 spots, and also one of the better big defenders of the pick/roll. Given the Bucks' desperate need for team defenders, Varejao would be a solid option as a starting 4 or (if Yi starts) as a top notch backup to both big spots. Varejao has a player option for 09/10 at $6.2 million, so he's effectively an expiring deal next year for $5.8 million. Ironically, Dan Fegan also represents Varejao, and I'm sure he'd be thrilled if two of his clients were competing for minutes. So in a way the least attractive part of acquiring Varejao might be the excuse it provides Fegan to campaign for Yi's departure. Either way I'd still take Josh Howard/Jerry Stackhouse for Redd every time if possible.
- Mo Williams finally had surgery on his thumb this week, an injury he played with for most of the season. In spite of wearing that wrap across his hand, he established career-highs shooting from the field, three point range, and the line (.480/.385/.856). He's expected to be fine by camp...whether it's in Milwaukee or elsewhere.
- The Bucky Channel continues its Bucks Survivor series. If you're not voting for Charlie Villanueva this week I don't really know what to tell you.
Friday Bucks Notes
By Frank Madden