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Notes: Memphis deal, See Joe Dunk, Jones on Bucks, Ilyasova update

Where will Joe be dunking his cookies a week from now?

  • Ronald Tillery of CMI Memphis offered another nugget today on the Conley rumors:
    1.) The teams are still talking but Milwaukee is in a holding pattern because of a reluctance to part with Alexander, which ultimately may not prove to be a hindrance because this deal appears to be more about Sessions for the Griz.

    2.) The Bucks, while interested in Conley, are showing no sense of urgency to pull the trigger now with the NBA’s trade deadline still several weeks off (Feb. 19). Perhaps the Bucks want to first gauge interest in Richard Jefferson.

    Meanwhile, over at RealGM Dan has mentioned another rumor that the Bucks could be waiting to see if Alexander is named the final contestant in the dunk contestant tomorrow, which would theoretically up his value a smidge.  Sounds a bit hokie, but Dan's been right many times before.
  • Speaking of Joe, I've totally dropped the ball on the See Joe Dunk campaign, which has offered a fun distraction the past few weeks.  Kudos to the Bucks' staff for putting all those together.  Plus, it was nice to see Joe has a sense of humor.  I'm a big fan of the cookie sketch, too (above).
  • Skeets and Tas talk...Bucks???
  • I always seem to be talking about scoring margin, so I'm a big fan of these cool charts put together by Obsessionism (shame they can't spell our city's name, though).  It takes a minute to digest, but a cool way of visualizing the Bucks' performance over the past five years.  Way too much dark blue last year... 
  • Despite all the talk about needing to make a decision on Charlie Villanueva's future, I've neglected to mention a dark horse candidate to replace him in the Bucks' rotation next year: Ersan Ilyasova.  In 24 mpg for Barcelona, Ilyasova is averaging 10.3 ppg and 8.1 rpg (third in the Spanish ACB) on .473/.378/.742 shooting.  Barca is currently tied for second in the league.  He's putting up similar numbers in the Euroleague: 10.1 ppg and 7.1 rpg in 21 mpg on .463/.462/.810 shooting.  Gery Woelfel wrote last week that Bucks scouting director Billy McKinney was in Spain last week to watch Ilyasova play.
    McKinney watched Ilyasova play and went out to dinner with him. He came away suitably impressed with the combo forward.

    "He played very well,'' McKinney said. "He's a nice, multi-dimensional player. I don't have any doubts he can play well at the NBA level.''

    "It was good to see we have a very viable asset playing in our system.''

    Also remember that Dave Babcock--who played a major role in selecting Ilyasova in the '05 draft--told our man Charlie Bury last summer that the Bucks were very much hoping to see Ilyasova back in a Bucks uni.
    Babcock maintains that Ilyasova is still very much in the Bucks plans, and quite possibly would have been back with the team this summer if money weren't an issue. "If our financial situation was better we would have re-signed him," stated Babcock.  "Everybody here likes him. Our hope is to get (Ilyasova) back with the Bucks next year."
    Even though the Bucks have early Bird rights with Ilyasova--meaning that they can match the offer of any NBA team--the more likely challenge is getting Ilyasova back to the NBA in the first place. In Europe he'll be able to make at least a few million per year tax free, which would require the NBA equivalent of an MLE-type deal (at least) that the Bucks can't afford--and which other teams probably wouldn't offer either.  Given Ilyasova's wife is from Milwaukee and he has a house here, it's possible the Bucks could get him for a discount if he really wants a return to the NBA.  It would also blunt the loss of Alexander should the Memphis deal happen.