NBA.com: Milwaukee Bucks 2014 Offseason Report Card
NBA.com is giving out report cards for every team in the NBA, with grading based on five categories: frontcourt, backcourt, defense, bench, and scoring. The Bucks came away with a respectable B- grade, which scored better than the Indiana Pacers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, New York Knicks, and Phoenix Suns. That's a promising place to start, but there's still tons of work to be done, notes report card author Steve Aschburner.
"The ambition is bigger in Milwaukee, the Mom-and-Pop feel under former owner Herb Kohl giving way to a slicker, faster vision from new bosses Wes Edens and Marc Lasry. A marquee-name coach, a new arena, title contention -- it's all in play if the Bucks, from where they sit, can figure out how to get there.
Parker seems like an ideal fit, not just in talent but in demeanor and willingness to devote his career to Milwaukee. But he and Antetokounmpo -- a Durant-alike, in the Bucks' best-case projections -- have much to learn and shaky help around them. Jared Dudley, late in this busy summer, was brought in as much for his presence as his game, because this team needs leadership and it can't all come from Kidd (the Bucks' fourth coach in two years)."
Zach Lowe/Grantland: Six Intriguing Extension Candidates
Brandon Knight makes Zach Lowe's list of six players who could possibly maybe but probably not receive an extension before the Halloween deadline. Knight made some encouraging strides over the course of last season, but was it enough for him to warrant a contract in the ballpark O.J. Mayo's deal (3 years, $24 million in case you forgot) or higher? The good news is that there's no real punishment for not extending Knight by that deadline other than him becoming a restricted free agent next summer:
Knight made progress last season, and his agents are surely holding up his 18-5 line and demanding a $10 million deal. But he remains unproven at either guard position, and in a league overstuffed with starter-level point guards, the Bucks have no reason to bid high on an extension.
Grantland: We Have to Get Eric Bledsoe on the Bucks
Also on Grantland, our pal Andrew Sharp details his dream of getting Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe on the Bucks. Sharp goes through a few scenarios in which the Bucks could obtain Bledsoe, but keep in mind that the most the Bucks could offer Bledsoe would be 4 years and $63 million. Only the Suns can give the full 5-year, $80 million max that Bledsoe's camp has been requesting. There also haven't been any signs of compromise from said camp (or renewed interest from Milwaukee), so we'll have to continue to wait and see. It still seems unlikely that the Bucks get re-involved, but we can let Andrew dream, can't we?
Twitter | Shams Charania: Bucks add Elijah Millsap and Micheal Eric to roster
With training camp less than two weeks away, Shams Charania from RealGM reported over the past week that the Bucks will be adding Elijah Millsap and Micheal Eric on non-guaranteed deals. Don't read to much into this here: both are likely to be cut by the start of the regular season, but should serve well as a couple of extra training camp bodies.
Millsap, the 6-foot-6 younger brother of Atlanta Hawks' forward Paul Millsap, has bounced around since going undrafted out of UAB in 2010. He's played in the D-League for the Tulsa 66ers and Los Angeles D-Fenders, and has also played overseas for the Petrone Blaze Boosters (Phillipine Basketball Association) and Shanghai Sharks (Chinese Basketball Association).
The 6-foot-10 Eric went undrafted out of Temple in 2012. He has since been in the D-League with the Canton Charge and Texas Legends.
Bucks.com | Bucks Players Getting Early Work
Almost all of the Bucks are back in town putting in some early work before training camp. Bucks.com snapped a handful of pictures from their workouts. Of course we think all the pictures are cool, but the ones of Larry Sanders sporting some modern rec specs easily takes the cake. The best part is that he apparently plans on keeping them:
Lookin' pretty snazzy, Larry. And as for why Sanders is donning the shades, we'd guess the fractured orbital bone he suffered last season might have something to do with it. Safety first, kids.
Twitter | Larry Sanders story
As if one Larry Sanders story wasn't good enough, another one popped up while I was writing this post. Our friend Andrew Han from ESPN's Clipperblog found a fan's story on Reddit and was immediately in search of the truth.
Larry replied, "lol, def sounds like something I would do." That's the second time I've heard this story, so I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it's both true and awesome.