1. A financing deal for a new Bucks arena isn't imminent, but Gov. Scott Walker suggested this week that the broad parameters of a deal could be done within two weeks -- and that state legislators are mostly focused on getting the city and county to pull their weight. (Milwaukee Business Journal/Rich Kirchen)
"A quarter of a billion dollars is one of the bigger amounts that we've seen between the two owners and former owner Senator Kohl," Walker said. "Certainly I think that that's helped from the very get-go — their willingness to make that kind of sizable contribution. Obviously if they gave more, it would be easier."
However, Walker said he does not hear legislators clamoring for more cash from the Bucks owners. Republican legislators are seeking financial commitments from the city and county of Milwaukee, he said.
"What I really hear is less about the ownership and more about the city and the county making a meaningful contribution if lawmakers are going to sign off on support from the state," Walker said.
2. Frank Kaminsky isn't likely to be available when the Bucks select 17th in next month's draft, but Chad Ford's latest does suggest it's a possibility -- and could be an ideal fit for both Kaminsky and Milwaukee. (ESPN Insider/Chad Ford)
I'm pretty sure Kaminsky won't actually last this long in the real draft, but I think this would be the best-case scenario for him and Milwaukee. I like Kaminsky, but I don't think he has the upside of a lottery pick. He's, at best, Channing Frye. But on a team like the Bucks who desperately need some size, he could be perfect, get plenty of minutes and meld into a very intriguing up-and-coming team. The combination of Michael Carter-Williams at PG, Khris Middleton at SG, Giannis Antetokounmpo at SF, Jabari Parker at power forward and Kaminsky at center has a great long-term future.
Personally I think the Frye comp is a bit lazy. The latter is about as extreme as they come in terms of big men shooting threes -- and note that Kaminsky doesn't share Frye's quick release -- plus it's not like Frye overall is that lofty of a standard. I'm not saying Kaminsky is going to be a great NBA player, but I think he's got a very good chance of being at least a player of Frye's caliber, while probably being a bit more versatile.
So at the risk of only comparing Kaminsky to other white guys, I'd suggest he'll be more of a Kelly Olynyk-type than a one-dimensional three-point shooter: a skilled big who can pass, score in the post at times and shoot from the perimeter when open, but lacks the ideal physicality to be a starting center or rim protector. It doesn't mean he won't eventually be a starter -- and he's a really intriguing fit for a Bucks team that could use a skilled passer and shooter at the 5 -- but there's a reason he's not a lock for the top five.
3. Steve and I discussed the Khris Middleton-Chandler Parsons comparison a couple months ago, and at least one league executive thinks the Mavs wingman could be an instructive benchmark for Middleton's next contract. (Sporting News/Sean Deveney)
One league executive told Sporting News that Middleton will draw an offer around — brace yourself — $15 million per year. "That's what Chandler Parsons got, but this guy plays much better defense," the executive said. Parsons was granted a three-year, $46 million deal by the Mavericks last season to ensure the Rockets didn't match. Now the Bucks have that dilemma, for a player who averaged 13.4 points a game this season but was their leading playoff scorer. All signs suggest they will match any deal he gets, and they have the space under the luxury tax line to do so. But they will need to consider a future in which they have to pay Carter-Williams, Antetokounmpo and Parker.
Reminder: Middleton can sign with another team for as much as $67 million over four years.
4. There's been no shortage of "the future looks bright!" talk since the Bucks' season ended, and with good reason. But now comes the hard part -- building on their surprising success while avoiding the pitfalls of previous false starts (2010 comes to mind...). (ESPN/Ohm Youngmisuk)
The Bucks can use some more perimeter shooting and a presence in the paint. Armed with approximately $15 million in cap space this summer, Milwaukee hopes to shop in free agency. New owners Marc Lasry, Wes Edens and Jamie Dinan will certainly want to fill a new proposed arena with the best product possible years from now.
"Make no mistake," Hammond said. "If we can attract the right kind of player for our team today, we will be as aggressive as possible starting this summer."
5. Our friend Alex Boeder's countdown of the ten most memorable games of the Bucks' season serves as a nice accompaniment to our poll from earlier this week ranking the five best moments from the Bucks' season. (Bucks.com/Alex Boeder)