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Woelfel: Ridnour likely gone

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Woelfel: Bucks concede Ridnour will likely leave
Lots of interesting stuff in Gery Woelfel's latest posting, most notably some official confirmation that Luke Ridnour is unlikely to be back. Not surprising given the chatter over the past week, but still kind of surprising given that the Bucks now have to take their $2 million bi-annual exception to the scrap heap and see what they can get.

Asked if the Bucks were still in the picture for Ridnour’s services, Hammond said, "I don’t think so. I think it’s going to be difficult for us.’’

The Bucks are likely to fill the void left by Ridnour through free agency. One free agent point guard the Bucks have shown some interest in is Marquette University point guard Travis Diener, who finished last season with the Portland Trail Blazers.

It's also a bit interesting the Bucks would publicly throw in the towel on Ridnour even before the luxury tax numbers come out, especially given the not-so-crazy four years and $12 million which he was reportedly willing to accept from the Lakers. But it's also possible that Ridnour has his heart set on more playing time with a team like the Knicks. Or perhaps the Bucks simply don't want to give a long-term deal to a solid backup who has no chance of starting except in the event of a Brandon Jennings injury.

In truth I'm not sure $12 million for Ridnour is any worse than the $32 million they're ponying up for Drew Gooden, but I'm glad the Bucks aren't trying to goldplate all of their role players. And as we've been discussing in the FanPosts, there's no shortage of uninspiring backup PG choices on the market, some of whom should still be available at more reasonable prices.

Woelfel also writes that Darington Hobson may miss Vegas with a slight groin injury, which would be a major bummer for all of us trying to figure out if he could be the Bucks' third string PG. Earlier in the day on WSSP, Woelfel also brought news that that the Bucks began to gauge the trade market for Ersan and Luc around the draft. Now with both forward positions significantly more crowded than they were a couple weeks ago, the speculation will likely continue.

That worries me a bit. Not because either guy is irreplaceable, but because their scrappy, hustling style seemed to be what the 09/10 Bucks were all about. And even if neither guy is starting material, they each bring unique skills that complement the rest of the Bucks' forward rotation. The Bucks don't have another wing defender close to Mbah a Moute, nor do they have any other PFs who can stretch the defense like Ilyasova. It's not clear what exactly they would fetch in a trade, but I'm hoping the Bucks could do better than simply filling their backup PG need with another retread.

JS: Maggette passes physical
Put all the conspiracy theories to rest--Corey Maggette is officially a Buck. Charles Gardner writes that he recently had his ankle scoped, but supposedly it's nothing serious. In case you're curious, has him listed as wearing #5 (Tim Thomas flashbacks!), which would be the first time in Maggette's career that he's worn something other than #50. It also means the Bucks' lineup continues to look increasingly like a soccer team sheet: every number from 1-10 is currently either in use or retired. Aside from Maggette, Larry Sanders (#8) and Darington Hobson (#9) are also going with the theme while Chris Douglas-Roberts is keeping his familiar #17. Both Sanders and Hobson wore #1 in college. (Thanks to Speedingtime for noticing the link)

Milwaukee Magazine: The Reborn Bucks
Howie Magner sees good things on the horizon for the Bucks.

While everyone else in the league trips over each other to dump talent in the name of offering as many max contracts as possible, Hammond and the Bucks are doing just the opposite. They’re acquiring talent at or near its value and building a team that’s more than the sum of its parts. They’re zigging when everyone else is zagging.

And while the headlines go to the Summer of LeBron or guys like Amar’e Stoudemire and Joe Johnson (who may both be a lot of things, but $100 million values is not one of them), the Bucks happily fly under the radar.

Wages of Wins: Free Agent Cheat Sheet
Via Dave Berri's blog, here's at least one analysis which shows the Bucks' free agent spending to be money well spent.

Courtside Analyst: Early Bucks win estimate
Ty's numbers have the current Bucks roster good for around 46 wins...check out the details for discussion of how he got it and the key underlying assumptions. Worth noting that he has Gooden as the positive producer some might expect, though hopefully his volatility in recent years can be largely explained by the fact that he's been playing largely at center. While he can play there, it certainly doesn't seem his best position. Highly Unlikely
The second part of Truman Reed's Larry Sanders profile provides some insight into John Hammond's draft night strategy. Maybe Billy McKinney wasn't completely lying with all that "trade down" talk about Sanders.

"I knew, right in our range, our fear was he was going to go before us. But we knew that if he didn’t go at 15, we were going to miss him. We talked about how far we could move back and still get him. We wondered if we could get to 18, 21 or 22, something like that, if we’d have gotten multiple picks, would he still be there? And we just thought that wasn’t going to happen. He was going to be gone. So I’ll tell you right now, the Milwaukee Bucks are very happy to have Larry Sanders."