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Salmons and Gooden speak, Sanders signs, LeBron-sized hole in the Central

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No drama in Milwaukee on Thursday morning. We all knew John Salmons and Drew Gooden were going to be Bucks since last week, but they made it official at their Bradley Center press conference with John Hammond and Scott Skiles at their side. Notables from the presser:

  • When asked if Gooden would start at power forward, Skiles didn't mince words: "On July 8, it would be shocking to me if he wasn't." No surprise there considering how much money they just invested in him. The Bucks might not have a star at the position, but they're suddenly deep and versatile up front with Gooden, Larry Sanders and Tiny Gallon being added to a team that won 46 games with the platoon of Luc Mbah a Moute and Ersan Ilyasova at the 4.
  • The well-traveled Gooden also sounded happy that he would be able to play more at his natural PF position--and that he might finally stick with one team for more than a season or two. "They wanted to commit and I wanted a home."
  • Hammond was asked about the Bucks' backup PG plans but didn't offer any hints on what they were thinking--though it's worth mentioning that he didn't mention Luke Ridnour. However, he did underscore that the surprising success of 09/10 created increased urgency to improve the team over the summer. "We thought it was of the utmost importance that we not take a step backward."
  • Salmons was presented his famiiar #15, while Gooden will wear #0--the first Buck ever to wear the number. He also wore 0 with the Clippers, Grizzlies and Magic, but has worn #90 and #9 as well. 
  • Our buddy Dan at RealGM also posted that it's increasingly likely Gooden's deal isn't fully guaranteed. Don't get your hopes up too much--it's likely only the last year that would be non- or partially guaranteed. Better than fully guaranteed, though.

Sanders signs
Say what you will about the lunacy of free agency, but at least the signing of draft picks (not named Yi) is drama-free. Larry Sanders is now officially in the fold, presumably for the maximum-allowed 120% of his rookie scale. That amounts to a guaranteed $1.73 million in 10/11 and $1.86 million in 11/12, with two more team option years beyond that.

LeBron's move helps Bucks?
I'm not a fan of the Heat, but all those moving trucks headed to South Florida could help the Bucks.

Sports Bank: Profiling potential point guards options
With Ridnour increasingly expected to eave, Jake McCormick takes a look at what it means for the Bucks and who else might be on their radar.

It also could be a good thing that Ridnour is financially unavailable, given the Bucks’ offseason acquisitions have centered more around pure scoring ability than defense. Ridnour was nothing short of unspectacular defending his position, and mostly served as a spark that lit Milwaukee’s often stagnant offensive match in 2009-10.

Enlund: Jackson hustles to keep his spot
Tom Enlund has a good read on Darnell Jackson, who we all know faces a major battle to hang on to his roster spot.

"This is the most important summer of his life," said assistant coach Bill Peterson, who has been working with Jackson. "If he has a good month and a good summer league maybe our people will view him as a piece to the puzzle."

Said general manager John Hammond, "If there's one person in particular that you hope would benefit (from summer league), it would be (Jackson)."

Jennings in Spain
Brandon Jennings checks in from World Cup-crazy Spain, where he's doing a basketball clinic for kids. No trash-talking of Ricky Rubio that we're aware of. Like Brandon, I'll be rooting for the Spanish on Sunday.