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Knicks like Ridnour, Salmons opts out, CDR meets Milwaukee

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Isola: Knicks favorites for Ridnour?
So tweets the New York Daily News' Frank Isola. John Hammond has made it clear that re-signing Ridnour is a major off-season priority, and Ridnour may well have overtaken John Salmons in terms of free agent importance following the addition of Corey Maggette and Chris Douglas-Roberts to the swingman ranks. If Ridnour departs, the Bucks will have plenty of backup-types to choose from: Keyon Dooling, Chris Duhon, Shannon Brown, Jason Williams, Carlos Arroyo, and...well, you get the picture. There's never a shortage of mediocre-to-poor point guards.

Woelfel: Salmons opts out, Weltman in demand
It's no surprise that Salmons will test the free agent waters--the mystery is what kind of market there will be for his services. The one obvious thing is that the odds of Salmons returning go up if teams like the Knicks, Nets, and Heat can spend their cap money on other teams' free agents. Salmons has also occasionally been connected with the Hawks if Joe Johnson departs, but keep in mind that the Hawks aren't likely to be under the cap unless they renounce Josh Childress (and his nearly $11 million cap hold), who is likely to return to the NBA after a lucrative two-year stint in Greece. Would the Hawks really prefer Salmons to Chill?

It also shouldn't be surprising to hear GM-less teams are interested in assistant GM Jeff Weltman. He's been Hammond's right-hand man since both came over from Detroit and would naturally be a big loss if Phoenix offers him the (well-deserved) job. If that happens we can only hope that the Bucks fare better than the Pistons did after losing both Hammond and Weltman two years ago.

WSSP: CDR speaks
Chris Douglas-Roberts was in town for his physical and introduction to the Milwaukee media today, continuing to say all the right things as he starts his new basketball life after two years in the hoops hell of New Jersey. What strikes me most isn't just that he's excited to be a Buck, but that he seems genuinely thankful just for the opportunity. Among other things, he says he's looking forward to playing more at his natural shooting guard position and getting his own key to the gym. 

"I'm from Detroit.  It's cold there and not much to do.  I really don't care about that.  I lived five minutes from New York and I can count on both hands the number of times I went out.

"People say 'he's on Twitter too much,' well that's because I don't do anything else.  Except play basketball and watch film."

My kneejerk reaction? His personality reminds me a bit of Brandon Jennings--a bit loud but honest, at times misunderstood, hard-working. I also had forgotten how terrific his college career was until I took a peek at his DraftExpress' profile. Though his pro scoring efficiency has been mediocre at best, he was lights out in his last year at Memphis: 25 pts/40 minutes, 54.1% shooting (from a guard!), and 41.3% from three. Statistically he doesn't offer much outside of scoring, but that's OK if he scores efficiently and lives up to the good defensive reputation he had at Memphis. As CDR would say, "Yes, yess..."

Sports Bank: Bucks’ top free agent targets
Jake McCormick previews some of the key names to watch out for as the Bucks hit free agency. For what it's worth, I'd guess that there's a high probability Delfino ends up starting on opening night regardless of which other swingmen are on the roster. My main concern with a CDR/Maggette pairing? Neither guy has proven to be much of a spot-up shooter and both could be better deployed as energizers off the bench. In contrast, Delfino is the classic complementary wing--he rebounds, defends competently, and you can park him in the corner while the big guns go to work (45.3% on corner threes last year). Less sexy, but potentially more useful as a starter (wait, did I just refer to Carlitos as "less sexy"?). And as we've noted a few times over the last week, Maggette averaged 20 ppg off the bench for the Warriors, so it's not like it'd be a new role for him.

BUCKS.com: Sanders' Improbable Journey
Truman Reed has a nice piece on Larry Sanders' terrific backstory. The Bucks definitely need

When asked for his account of the story and his recollections of Sanders’ introduction to basketball, his boyhood friend didn’t sugarcoat anything.

"He was horrible," Willmot said. "And when I say horrible, I’m saying … there’s the story about the JV game where he scored on the wrong bucket because he didn’t know they switched at halftime. That’s just mentally bad. But physically, he was horrible, too."

Dime: Maggette's game is "bad porn"?
Warrior fans are hilarious, even if their nickname for Maggette makes me feel less enthusiastic about the Bucks' big trade. The reasoning? "Sure, there’s penetration and scoring, but are you really happy with what you’re seeing?" ZANG.

JS: Jennings assists in any way he can
Charles Gardner catches us up on Brandon Jennings' offseason, which saw him in Milwaukee this week for Summerfest, throwing out the first pitch at a Brewers game, and giving his assessment of the Bucks' latest wheeling and dealing..

"We got some bigs," Jennings said after he concluded his duties at the "Bucks Experience" show at the Summerfest Sports Zone. "Larry Sanders is a guy who likes to rebound, run the floor and dunk, and I love playing with guys like that."

"He runs the floor," Jennings said of the 6-6 Maggette. "Even though he demands the ball a lot, that's all right, though. We're going to need somebody who can take over at the end of the game."