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Friday Bucks Notes

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  • First thing's first: best wishes to Gery Woelfel as he recovers from bypass surgery.
  • It's finally official: Mike Redd is an Olympian. John Hammond doesn't sound too concerned about having three of his players risking injury in the Olympics:
    "Of course you'd be concerned for the health and well-being of your players, but we're not in the same position as some other teams," Hammond said. "You have a healthy Mike Redd, and you have two younger pieces in Andrew and Yi who can physically take the wear and tear of the Summer Olympics and be ready to go 100% once the season starts."
    Of course, there's always the possibility one of those guys is no longer a Buck come August.
  • Chad Ford pegs the Bucks among a number of teams interested in trading up to snag O.J. Mayo.
    The Bucks have been trying to move up in the draft to add some star power to their team.

    In particular, we've heard Mayo's name associated with the Bucks. The Bucks have been trying to get into that seven-team Mayo workout in Chicago on Saturday to get a closer look.

    Bucks GM John Hammond has gotten a lot of calls, with other teams especially interested in Yi Jianlian and Charlie Villanueva. Mo Williams and Michael Redd are also in play in Milwaukee right now.
    For a rather hilarious discussion with lots of speculation about this and other deals, check out this RealGM thread.  While Mayo's freshman season at USC had its ups and downs, I love his size, poise and potential as a two-way player in the NBA. However, I'm less clear who the Bucks offer up to get him.  Charlie Villanueva probably isn't very appealing to the Wolves, as they're trying to get Al Jefferson back to his more natural PF spot anyway. Mo Williams might be of some interest, but any trade for him wouldn't be able to be finalized until July because of his BYC status. Michael Redd makes no sense for a young rebuilding team like Minnesota. How about Ramon Sessions? The Wolves could use a pure PG not named Telfair, and they got a good look at him when he dropped 25 points and 14 assists on them in the final game of the season. Add in the 8th pick and Minnesota could draft Brook Lopez, helping them fill both their center and point needs. The Bucks would likely have to throw in some more and it'd be more complicated to make the salaries work, but there could be something there.
  • talks to Ersan Ilyasova, fresh off a strong finish to his first season with FC Barcelona. So, you're a hotshot baller playing in one of the world's most amazing cities. Ersan must be living it up in Spain, right? Think again:
    I’m here right now because I have a house in Mequon. I’ve been working out and meeting the new coaches. I like them a lot. I think they can teach me lots of new things. It’s great for me to work out here in the summer. We will see what will happen next year. My agent is working on it now, so we will see.
    John Hammond mentioned at the Brewers' tailgate that the Bucks are still very interested in Ersan and have been monitoring his progress, but it certainly sounded like the expectation was for him to spend one more year with Barca before reassessing how he might fit in with the Bucks. That's also the safest response for Hammond to give, since predicting Ersan's return would both impact the Bucks' leverage in contract negotiations while also hinting at the Bucks' other offseason plans. My guess is that the Bucks will let the draft and trades play out, using Ersan as a fallback option at the forward spot. For instance, if the Bucks were to draft Joe Alexander and keep both Simmons and Mason, there'd be little reason to bring back Ersan as well. But if the Bucks take a guard or big man in the draft and use Desmond Mason's expiring deal in a trade, Ersan suddenly becomes much more useful. Either way, the fact that he's already back and meeting with the new staff says a lot--about Ersan's hopes of returning as well as the Bucks' continued interest in making that hapen. With the notable exception of Dave Babcock, the front office and coaching staff are almost completely different since the last time Ersan was in town.
  • Celtics vs. Team USA: who ya got?
  • Time name-checks Yi Jianlian in an article about the growing popularity of basketball in China.