- As we discussed on Friday, the Bucks are having trouble scheduling workouts for a number of the top prospects expected to be available when the Bucks pick eighth on Thursday night. Tom Enlund writes that there's not much they can do about it now:
"It's part of the draft process today that agents, players and family members of the players are making decisions together as to exactly what teams they will visit," said Hammond. "And within that comes the maneuvering by the agents of trying to protect their player's value.Enlund reports that the Bucks will likely only see some later-first round and second-round candidates today and tomorrow, meaning that the Bucks will go into the draft without having seen Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, Eric Gordon, or Danilo Gallinari. Of course, it won't really matter if they trade out of the first round entirely.
"So if they have a guy slotted 1 through 5, they're going to hold their stance on saying that's where they're at. If they start visiting teams at 8, 9 or 10, the word is going to be out that the player is slipping or something's wrong, or he had a bad workout, and now he's had to work out for teams out of his range. So it's just a big political maneuvering."
- Michael Hunt talks about the difficulty John Hammond may face in overhauling the Bucks' roster.
It would seem, then, that the Bucks’ priority for the draft Thursday night should be sorting out their roster mess over making a first-round pick. It’s unlikely they’ll get anyone who will offer immediate help at No. 8, so it might be more sensible to package the pick as an incentive to move at least one of their bad contracts.
Easier said than done, but that’s why they hired Hammond away from Detroit to sort out the disorder.
"Everything’s in play," Hammond said recently. "Was, still is and probably will remain that way probably right up until draft day. We’re going to explore every option that we can to improve our team, and, as we said, potentially maybe even move the pick."
- The JS chimes in on Ersan Ilyasova being back in Brewtown.
Ilyasova still owns a home in Mequon so he is back in town and, since the Bucks still own his rights, he has been working out at the team's training facility. But since he has the opportunity to make more money in Spain, he will probably be headed back there next season. "He's here and his family is here and he's working out," said general manager John Hammond. "At some point he'll be making a decision to either go back to Spain and play or maybe to remain in the NBA."
- Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News speaks vaguely about the Bucks' supposed interest in Anthony Randolph:
The Bucks are sending out strong signals that they like LSU's Anthony Randolph at No. 8. A legitimate 6-10, Randolph has been called a cross between Tayshaun Prince and Odom. But West Virginia small forward Joe Alexander, a hard-nosed worker, is seen as a better fit with new coach Scott Skiles.
- That seems to contradict the general sentiment about Randolph, who seems to be dropping as more and more research is done on him. For one, John Hollinger adds to the increasing mountain of statistical evidence that paints a gloomy-at-best picture of Randolph's future.
He can block shots, and the fact his team was such a mess probably didn't help his numbers any, but gambling on Randolph with a high first-round pick looks like the basketball equivalent of hitting on 19 in blackjack. Hey, maybe the dealer throws out a 2 and everyone thinks you're a genius, but chances are you're going to bust.Yikes! Then there's word from Chad Ford that Randolph's head could also be a question mark.
It appears he's going to be drafted in the middle of the first round at worst, but even that appears to be a terrible mistake -- there is no track record whatsoever of a player rated this poorly achieving pro success.
LSU forward Anthony Randolph's lack of strength has hurt him in workouts. While teams say he's got unbelievable upside, they also think they're going to have to wait for him to develop. He also hasn't tested great on some of the non-basketball related tests they give -- everything from personality to psych testing for leadership ability.Good times! So yeah, mark me down as fully aboard the Joe Alexander bandwagon (assuming Kevin Love is off the board).
- In other draft news, Jonathan Givony writes that the Sonics could surprise by picking Brook Lopez fourth.
Is Jerryd Bayless as much of a lock at 4 as everyone thinks? A number of NBA teams we’ve spoken with don’t think that’s the case. Almost everyone at this point in fact has Brook Lopez slated be picked by Seattle, with Bayless dropping slightly to the Knicks at #6. If Lopez doesn’t go 3rd, 4th of 5th, he will be taken by a team that did not work him out, as he only agreed to be seen by those three teams.This pick would stink of need from a Seattle perspective, but given it'd have a nice trickle down effect for the Bucks, let's hope it happens. Lopez infiltrating the top seven means that at least one among Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook or Eric Gordon would be available at eight.
- Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer somewhat inadvertently provides a big reason why a Redd-to-Cleveland deal might never happen.
Because NBA rules say Varejao can't be traded until Dec. 5 without his approval, that means the new team will probably have to sign Varejao to an extension in order for his agent to OK the trade. So the Cavs must: 1) Find a team that needs Varejao; 2) Get the team to give value in return; and 3) get Varejao to agree to the trade, and possibly sign him to a new deal. It's not impossible, but it is complicated.Would the Bucks be willing to sign Andy to a big deal (doubtful IMO), and would he accept a trade to the Bucks if they don't (also doubtful IMO)? I also wouldn't expect Dan Fegan to be thrilled about his client being traded to a team where he'd be competing for minutes with Yi Jianlian--another client of Fegan's. For what it's worth, Pluto still thinks the Cavs should try to package Varejao and Wally Szczerbiak for Redd. I'm seeing it as increasingly unlikely.
China beat Lithuania's B team 87-70. Yi Jianlian started 0/7 in the first half but rebounded to make 6/9 fg in the second and finished with 15 points and seven boards in 21 minutes.
- The Bucks are holding their annual draft party at Summerfest.