JS | Bucks owner says draft pick likely between Parker, Wiggins
Marc Lasry's penchant for straight talk continues.
In town for a full day of appearances including a "social media takeover" of the Bucks' Twitter and Instagram accounts, Lasry kicked off the day with a Press Club/Rotary Newsmakers event where he shed light on a broad range of topics. Among them: progress on adding minority investors (announcement expected July 15), the hiring of a team president (note: he seems to be referring to the business side, not basketball ops) and CFO (done but not yet announced). potential new colors/jerseys (won't be purple!), and of course some perspective on the Bucks' mindset heading into Thursday night's all-important NBA Draft.
Via Charles Gardner:
Lasry said "our decision got a lot easier" because of the broken foot suffered last week by Kansas freshman center Joel Embiid.
"I think it's hard to take Embiid," Lasry said at a Newsmaker breakfast sponsored by the Milwaukee Press Club and Rotary Club. "He's a phenomenal individual. But with the injury, and how severe and how long it will take him to recover, I think for us today we're going to want someone who is going to help us on Day 1.
"A lot of it is going to depend on what Cleveland does. The other part of it is who contacts us and different things we hear from the draft pick."
The "day one" comment might have immediately raised some eyebrows from the win-now truthers out there, but let's not get all riled up about short-sightedness and Herb Kohl that just yet. As Eric explains:
Perhaps this statement from Lasry two days ago may be helpful. Doubt they've switched gears since. pic.twitter.com/cKfhLTAfc6— Eric Buenning (@ericbuenning) June 23, 2014
So assuming Lasry isn't laying the mother of all smokescreens on us--and given the importance of managing fan expectations at this point, I tend to doubt he is--who would the Bucks like at #2?
"We're massively excited," Lasry said of the team's draft hopes. "When you sort of look at it, I think both players [Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker] would be a phenomenal addition to our team.
"If it's Parker, I think it would be great. If it's Wiggins, it would be great. You're not going to be disappointed either way.
"I think both players bring you different things. For us, I think it's great. If we get Wiggins or Parker, I think for the team you'll start seeing changes pretty quickly, because they are really great players."
So basically Lasry is saying what most fans are already thinking, which is why it doesn't seem like he's pulling any punches. It's not to say that the Bucks won't listen to offers--especially from Philly at #3--but this just seems like one of those situations where it's really not worth getting cute and overthinking things. You have a chance to get one of the most highly touted prospects of the last decade, so unless you somehow know that Dante Exum is going to be fantastic and way better, just do the obvious and don't worry about it.
ESPN | Ford: Did Parker tank his Cavs workout because he wants to be in Milwaukee?
Chad Ford's latest mock shows Parker ending up in Cleveland at #1--but interestingly enough (and as discussed in the FanPosts) that might not be what Parker is hoping for:
Sources close to the Cavs told ESPN.com this weekend that the team is now leaning toward taking Parker with the No. 1 pick. However, it's far from a lock. Parker came in to work out on Friday in front of the Cavs' front office and ownership. Parker wasn't great. He was a bit heavy (he weighed in at 255 pounds), didn't shoot the ball well and got winded at times. Furthermore, two different sources told ESPN.com that Parker seemed a bit indifferent. One source said he thought Parker "tanked" the workout.
Why? A source says he strongly prefers to play in Milwaukee. The Cavs appear to be aware of this. "Jabari wasn't himself," one source said. "It was clear we weren't his first option."
So to recap, we've gone from the media speculating that the top picks would actively seek to avoid Milwaukee a month ago, to all four top prospects now agreeing to work out in Milwaukee (Embiid had to cancel due to his surgery), to the potential top pick tanking his workout for the #1 spot in order to land in Milwaukee. Granted, there's reason to be skeptical of certain aspects of the latest rumor, but either way it's nice to see Milwaukee getting some goddamn respect for a change. We promise to love you right back, Jabari.
As for Ford's actual projection at #2, he writes that while the Bucks do like Exum, they'll happily settle for Wiggins after strong workouts in both California and Milwaukee. In case you're curious, Ford and fellow ESPN writer Jeff Goodman held a Twitter mock draft tonight in which Goodman--on behalf of the Bucks--dealt Parker (the #2 pick) to Utah for Trey Burke and the #5 pick, which he promtly used on Julius Randle. This was my reaction:
If the Bucks traded out of the top three for Trey Burke I'd be in a really bad place. Like "weeping pantsless in an Arby's bathroom" bad.— Frank Madden (@brewhoop) June 24, 2014
Meanwhile, in the SB Nation mock draft, we picked Parker at #2 after Wiggins went first. Just following the will of the people, which apparently is far more rational.
Grantland | The Thrill and Dread of Drafting Dante Exum
Danny Chau is the best, which is why he can make Dave Matthews references in a profile of Exum and totally pull it off.
Exum's potential feels like a dangerous temptation. Though that honestly says more about us than him. A blind imagination is as much the devil's plaything as idle hands. In the media scrum during the NBA draft combine, Exum was in full control. He recognized the advantages and disadvantages of being more idea than prospect. "I guess I stay hidden, in a way," he said with a laugh. Later he compared himself to Russell Westbrook and Manu Ginobili. Brilliant. Dance like no one is watching, love like you've never had your heart broken, and self-mythologize like no one has ever seen you play.
SI.com | 'Finch' returns to offer candid evaluations on 54 NBA draft prospects
Anonymous scouts seem to alternate between interesting/amusing and baffling, but it's draft week so you might as well read it. Here's his take on Wiggins, which sounds remarkably like the anonymous scout stuff that Ryen Russillo posted a while back.
"Just a freak athlete. He'll be one of the top 10 or 12 athletes in the NBA. What concerns me is his motor. Does he care enough? Does it matter to him? I just don't think he has any 'f--- you' in him. I've watched him a lot since high school, and there are times you don't know he's on the court. Then again, for someone who got so maligned, he still averaged 17 and 6 in one of the best conferences in America as an 18-year-old. Shows how warped our perspectives are."