The Milwaukee Bucks' business staff has a new home. Now on to the slightly harder task of finding a home for its basketball team.
Marc Lasry was in town on Tuesday to officially announce the relocation of the Bucks' corporate office space from the Milwaukee Theater to a much larger space at the Schlitz Park development, though much of the talk during the day naturally centered around progress on a new arena to replace the BMO Harris Bradley Center. The good news?
Lasry on arena location: "As soon as I know -- well, I know -- but as soon as I can say it, we'll announce where it is." #Bucks
— James Carlton (@jimmycarlton88) October 28, 2014
DON'T TEASE US MARC.
Lasry specifically mentioned a timeframe of 30-60 days for finalizing the site, a timeline that would meet prior estimates of having a site selected by the end of the year. He also alluded to the possibility of the Bucks' practice facility being relocated from the Cousins Center in St. Francis to the new arena, though that would obviously be a detail in the grand scheme of the larger arena process.
Lasry also admitted later in the day that the Bucks were not behind the still-secret winning bidders for the Grand Avenue Mall, though they did offer $1 million to a local group that bowed out late in the $16.5 million auction. However, Milwaukee attorney Steve Chernoff told Rich Kirchen of the Milwaukee Business Journal that the offer was not related to the new arena siting decision (OK?).
Note that the Grand Avenue is adjacent to the Boston Store and its related parking structure, a site that was floated as a potential landing spot for the new arena back in September. However, neither of those properties were included in the Grand Avenue auction, and the Boston Store building happens to be owned by Wispark. Which is owned by We Energies. Whose chairman is Gale Klappa. Who just so happens to have become a Bucks investor recently. I wouldn't confuse that for a smoking gun; given that every rich Wisconsinite now seems to own a piece of the Bucks, you almost expect to stumble across those sorts of connections at this point. But it does make for a convenient story, eh?
On to other news:
Milwaukee Magazine: Downtown Milwaukee stands on the bring of reinvention
Dan Shafer's November cover story for Milwaukee Magazine is a fantastic read on the future of downtown Milwaukee, piecing together the major themes that figure to drive the city's economic and political discourse for the remainder of the decade. A new Bucks arena of course figures prominently in that discussion, and Shafer's story does a great job of offering a broader context for how the arena debate will likely dovetail with the future of the Grand Avenue, Frank Gimbel's questionable future with the Wisconsin Center District, challenges from community group Common Ground, and the all-important public funding debate at the heart of it all.
Grantland: Ranking NBA into tiers
Zach Lowe categorizes the Bucks in his "Friskier Than Expected" tier of teams, which sounds like a compliment to me.
If all goes right, the Bucks could chase 35 wins. Seriously. If things don't all go right, the Bucks will look to unload a veteran contributor if they can nab some future assets. For a bad team, Milwaukee has a lot of intriguing trade pieces.
FiveThirtyEight: 2014 NBA Preview: The Sixers Are Going Nowhere Fast
29 projected wins for the Bucks! Wait, is that good?
The Bucks will be better than they were last year by virtue of drafting Jabari Parker. Milwaukee has been tinkering with the idea of playing Giannis Antetokounmpo as their primary ball-handler in stretches, and Jason Kidd is in his second coaching gig in as many years.