JS: Bucks give guards a workout
French wing Evan Fournier and Memphis shooting guard Will Barton headlined Saturday's workouts at the Cousins Center, the second in a series of five expected draft workouts between last Thursday and next Wednesday. It's worth noting that both guys are expected to be late first to early second round selections, which means neither will likely end up in a Bucks uniform given Milwaukee's current picks at #12 and 42. But hey, things change.
Bucks assistant general manager Jeff Weltman and general manager John Hammond saw Fournier play in the 2011 Nike Hoop Summit game in Portland, and director of player personnel Dave Babcock scouted Fournier last week in the Adidas Eurocamp in Treviso, Italy.
"Anyone that can shoot the ball like that can help you," Weltman said after Saturday's workout. "So I think you start there and then you say, 'OK, now he's young. Where is he on his curve?'
"You never pin an expectation on a kid and say he's going to help us this year. But who knows?"
For more, check out the video at Bucks.com of Fournier and Weltman and Eric Buenning's recap at Bucksketball. After the jump we've got more on Jeremy Lamb, Terrence Ross, Tyler Zeller and Austin Rivers.
Woelfel: Big guards draw interest
Gery Woelfel reports the Bucks registered their interest in Barton in Chicago, and like Fournier he could fill the Bucks' interest in acquiring a bigger guard to complement Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings. Perhaps more interestingly, Woelfel also writes that Connecticut guard Jeremy Lamb could be visiting Milwaukee soon.
Lamb sprained an ankle during a workout in Toronto Thursday and canceled his workout with the Bucks; Waiters has shut down all workouts after having received a draft "promise", presumably from Phoenix, and Ross canceled his appearance for unknown reasons.
There is a reasonably good chance Lamb will still work out for the Bucks, possibly as soon as next week.
Though you'd expect the smooth scoring Lamb to be in the conversation for the Bucks' 12th overall pick, up until now there hasn't been too much talk about the sides' respective interest in one another. As for Ross, he had been expected to work out with the Bucks and has generally been projected in the middle of the first round, so it's a bit curious to see him pull out at this point given there's been no talk of him having a lottery promise. He was last seen working out in Philadelphia late last week, and has also met with the Wizards, Raptors, Nuggets and Hornets.
Behind the Buck Pass: Interview with BC Chairman Marc Marotta
Must-read interview here: Jake McCormick talks to Bradley Center Chairman Marc Marotta over the challenges and opportunities associated with maintaining the BC, as well as what it will take to find a long-term solution. Really great summary of where we are and why a new arena will be needed.
Jennings extension talks to begin in July
While Woelfel included a note in his story that the Bucks have not started extension talks with Brandon Jennings, Gardner clarified with Bucks GM John Hammond that it's with good reason: teams can't negotiate class of 2009 extensions until July 1.
I remain skeptical that the two sides will find common ground on extension this summer, but that's not to say deferring a new deal until 2013 is a bad thing. Remember: Jennings will be a restricted free agent next summer, giving the Bucks the chance to match any offer sheet he receives.
Bucks.com: Jennings' improvement
Speaking of Brandon, Alex has a great piece up over at Bucks.com about his progress over the past three seasons--and how he's looking forward to 12/13.
HoopsHype: Delfino eyes Milwaukee return
Carlos Delfino (hernia) is still hopeful of representing Argentina at the London Olympics, and he's also hopeful of re-signing with the Bucks:
"I felt very involved with the club in the last three years, had a good time and would like to stay. Overall, those three years were positive and would like to remain with the team."
Hammond spoke of bringing Delfino back at his end-of-season presser, so it seems like there's mutual interest in bringing the Argentine back for a fourth season in Milwaukee. Delfino has been a regular starter for Scott Skiles in spite of injuries and inconsistency, so it's no surprise that he would want to come back. One or two years at $2-3 milion per would be OK with me, though it's just as important that the Bucks use him in a manner consistent with his overall talent level.
He's been one of Skiles' "guys" since arriving in Milwaukee, and he's useful as a glue guy: he spaces the floor, is a willing defender, and does the little things that are easy to take for granted. But as we've discussed in the comments, the biggest problem is that the Bucks have typically leaned on him for much more than that. He's averaged between 29 and 32 minutes each of the past three seasons, but had an atrocious +/- last season (-11.6), as the Bucks were light years better with Mike Dunleavy on the court. Let's hope Tobias Harris is working on his spot-up three this summer, because otherwise we could be watching Delfino once again steal minutes from the Bucks' promising youngster.
Draft Odds & Ends
- Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio writes that the Bucks are leaning towards Tyler Zeller, and would also like to re-sign Kwame Brown, who was acquired in the Andrew Bogut trade but never suited up to injury. Note that the Bucks currently have 12 players under contract, not including either of their 2012 draft picks or any of their free agents (Brown, Delfino and Ersan Ilyasova). Woelfel previously reported that the Bucks were open to re-signing Brown, whom the Bucks also worked out a few years ago before he signed with the Pistons.
- Scott Howard-Cooper writes that despite an ankle injury that limited him at the Chicago combine, John Henson still plans to work out for the Bucks, Rockets, Cavs, Pistons and Sixers.
- For more on Zeller, be sure to check out DraftExpress' latest video scouting report. I normally have a strong bias against older prospects, but I have to say I'm developing a soft spot for Zeller (and I feel almost ashamed to admit it). The fact that he's a smart, high-skill guy who moves exceptionally well would seem to make him a very low risk prospect even if he's not a franchise guy. For the me the big questions are a) whether his big rebounding spike as a senior will translate to the NBA and b) whether he's strong enough to belly up against all the league's best big men. Normally bigs who rebound in college do the same in the pros, but Zeller's lack of ideal length gives me some pause.
- Among others, DX also has video scouting reports for Lamb and Austin Rivers.