- Tom Enlund writes that Ersan Ilyasova could indeed be in the Bucks' plans this summer. This further confirms what we wrote about the Ersan situation last week, namely that the former second rounder offers the Bucks a solid fallback option should they be unable to replace Charlie Villanueva via trade or draft. Enlund also has a line about the luxury tax being expected to drop to $68 million, which would be something of a disaster scenario from the Bucks' perspective. What's unclear is if the Bucks are feeding him that or if he's just recycling the figure that was floated around a few months ago.
- On the more optimistic side, Gery Woelfel still expects the tax to be at $71 million. Looking around at luxury tax talk, the two numbers seem to form an upper- and lower-bound for where the tax is likely to be set. We won't know the cap numbers officially until the free agent moratorium ends on July 8.
However, Woelfel is also the bearer of some not-so-good news: Malik Allen ($1.3 million) and Francisco Elson ($1.7 million) are expected to take their player options for 09/10. I've been assuming that in all the cap scenarios I've mentioned, but I was still holding out faint hope that Elson at least might push his luck in free agency. While the pair make just $3 million combined, the Bucks could have saved over $2 million by replacing them with guys on the rookie minimum. That might not be a preferred scenario either, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
Additionally, Woelfel reports that Salim Stoudamire's deal for next year is only partially guaranteed, though that doesn't mean a whole lot--he's a minimum level player as is, so the only way you could save a small amount of money would be by cutting him and picking up a younger player. But if part of Stoudamire's deal is guaranteed then that likely wipes out the majority of any possible saving anyway.
- Woelfel also notes that in-state products Jerel McNeal, Wes Matthews, and Marcus Landry will all be in town for workouts in the next week. Both DX and NBADraft.net have McNeal projected at #49 overall, while NBADraft.net has Matthews slotted at #52.
- Andrew Bogut blogged on May 1st that he's awaiting another MRI on his back:
To keep you all posted I have still not started working out even though I am itching to do so. Rest is the best thing for me at this stage. I will have another MRI in 2 weeks to make sure the bone has fully healed then go from there.
- Andy Katz gets some insider perspectives on the 2009 draft class. John Hammond has said he expects the Bucks to get an immediate contributor from their lottery pick, but it doesn't seem others are expecting as much given the talent available:
"The biggest problem with this draft will be the expectations for players where they're being picked," one NBA personnel source said. "Usually, when you're picking a player in the top 10, you're thinking that you're getting a starter or an impact guy. But you're likely getting a role player. The same kind of role player may be at 7 and 15."
- Many players don't like watching the playoffs if they're not participating--but not Charlie Bell. There's pretty much nothing about the Bucks in here, but take a look to see Charlie's take on the playoffs, which you can also get in real time at his Twitter page.
- Jim Paschke is now also Twittering.
Weekend notes: Ilyasova on the Bucks' radar, Allen/Elson likely staying, Bogut's back, draft chatter
By Frank Madden
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