FS Wisconsin: Lure of Kidd helped draw Jerryd Bayless to Milwaukee
Two weeks after Jerryd Bayless reportedly agreed to come to Milwaukee, Jerryd Bayless actually came to Milwaukee on Thursday, putting pen to paper on a two-year deal that is expected to pay him around $3 million per season. He also did the media rounds, meeting reporters at the Cousins Center, showing off his new #19 jersey (RIP Beno Udrih and Gustavo Ayon), chatting with Jim Paschke for Bucks.com (above) and talking with Bill Michaels on WSSP. Long story short: he'll play whatever role is asked of him (convenient!), he's happy to be here (of course), and he's excited about Jason Kidd. Via Andrew Gruman:
"J-Kidd is a young coach but he has been in the league for a long time," Bayless said. "Just being around him and learning from a player of that magnitude, who now has switched over to coaching, is something I'm really looking forward to.
"I think he can help me in a variety of different ways, not only from the point guard position, just his view of the game. I won't say he's once in a generation, but he pretty much is. There are not a lot of guys come around like that. So just learning his views and the way he thinks about the game is something that I really want to do."
And Bayless wasn't the only one in town to snag some jersey shots--Kendall Marshall also stopped by the Cousins Center to pick up his new #5.
Assuming Bayless' 14/15 cap number was around $3 million and Johnny O'Bryant's $600k (educated guesses), the Bucks would be at 15 roster spots and around $7.6 million in potential cap room. That's excluding Damien Inglis (expected to be signed, but not yet) and Chris Wright (non-guaranteed $915k), so the Bucks will have to clear at least one spot between now and November. The Bucks probably wouldn't mind shipping out one or more of Carlos Delfino, O.J. Mayo and Ersan Ilyasova to clear salary, a roster spot and relieve some positional congestion, but unfortunately the demand for their services likely stands somewhere between 0 (Delfino) and way less than the Bucks would like (Ersan). Still, lots of time to figure this out.
Latest on Giannis Antetokounmpo from Greek National Team Camp
Big thanks to our friend Odysseas (aka ozografos) for sending me an update from Greek media reports this week--here's a quick edited summary courtesy of Odysseas:
1) From an interview of the coach Fotios Katsikaris, I got the sense that he has a fixed plan of taking four forwards to the tournament, two small forwards and two power forwards. The two SFs are most certainly going to be Kostas Papanikolaou and Giannis! The 3rd SF in the selection wasn't even a starter in the Greek league.
Also, Giannis was the only one that Katsikaris singled out as being able to play more than two positions. He said that he has some plans in his head on how to use him. In my opinion, Katsikaris is one of most structured and smart coaches Greek basketball has to offer, so I have really high hopes for the creativity with which he can handle the mismatches Giannis creates at the international level.
2) In his interview at media day from the training camp, Giannis was asked if he was feeling nervous or anxious as a 19-year-old being in the camp and potentially on the World Cup team. He said: "Another 19-year-old would be, I am not." He said that without any arrogance or superfluous confidence, just simply, he is not! :)
3) Giannis and some other Greek players were in a discussion about the filming of a TV promo spot for the World Cup. The concept would be that the final shot of the spot would be a hand (no face shown) shooting a ball with time winding down and making it. Much like this historic moment in the 2005 Eurobasket semifinal. Then Giannis joked: "Is it possible that hand you are talking about could be black?" :)!
Greece concluded a week-long camp in the mountain resort of Karpenisi this week and plays its first round of exhibition games August 8-10 against Serbia (featuring Miroslav Raduljica), France and Croatia.
Twitter: Zaza being Zaza
Fear not, Bucks fans: Zaza Pachulia isn't letting the summer turn him soft:
Zaza and his Georgian teammates were blown out 82-51 by Lithuania on Tuesday, their third exhibition loss in a row. While Georgia did not qualify for the FIBA World Cup that starts at the end of this month, they're currently playing warm-up games ahead of 2015 European Championship qualifiers that start on August 10.