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Podcast: Jason Kidd, John Hammond and the future of the Bucks' decision-makers

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Jason Kidd, John Hammond and the broader nature of the Milwaukee Bucks' decision-making apparatus have been a source of constant discussion since Kidd arrived in Milwaukee 22 months ago. But despite regular suggestions to the contrary, Kidd has yet to leave the sidelines for a gig in the front office, and Hammond has not been jettisoned from the general manager position he's held since the spring of 2008.

In our latest podcast, Eric Nehm and Frank Madden discuss the state of the Bucks' front office, what to expect from the Bucks this summer, and whether Milwaukee's current decision-makers should have ownership's confidence moving forward. As referenced in the podcast, I wrote extensively (perhaps too extensively?) on the Kidd-Hammond topic two weeks ago -- right after Kidd, Hammond and the Bucks' owners had fielded questions on the topic at the end of the season.

Direct download as MP3 (right-click to save as)

One relevant update since Eric and I recorded this on Saturday: the same sources which suggested embattled Pelicans GM Dell Demps was in the clear on Friday are now raising at least some doubt about his future in New Orleans. Demps was supposed to have his end-of-season press conference on Monday, but that was somewhat abruptly canceled amid talk of ownership still determining the fates of Demps and coach Alvin Gentry.

So maybe Demps doesn't return after all, and in that case maybe Hammond emerges as a contender for the job after all. Not that the Bucks would be obligated to allow it of course; Herb Kohl denied Portland the chance to interview Hammond back in May of 2012 when he was similarly entering the final season of his contract.

Antetokounmbros take Greece |
Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo are bringing the NBA to the streets of Greece this summer, kicking off a trio of streetball events in style:

Gardner: Bucks season grades | JS Online
We'll have our own take on Bucks player grades coming out soon (predictably, we used numbers and a few different categories to make it more complicated), but in the meantime check out Charles Gardner's report card.

Giannis finishes third behind C.J. McCollum and Kemba Walker for Most Improved |
We debated writing a separate story on this when it was announced last Friday, but honestly...meh. MIP feels like the lamest and in many ways most random of the major post-season awards; the fact that Giannis is joining Ersan Ilyasova and Larry Sanders as Bucks who have finished in the top three in the last five years feels like good evidence.

What's not lame or random is how much Giannis has improved each of the past two seasons; the leap he made last year was arguably as impressive as the one we saw this season, and the really exciting part is that he could again threaten to win the award next year. One year of huge improvement is really nice, but three straight years of significant improvement means you have a player trending toward stardom. The interesting thing is that Giannis winning MIP next year might not require another huge leap or even dramatically improved perimeter shot; no one in league history has ever averaged the numbers Giannis posted after the all-star break this year (18.9 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 7.2 apg, 1.9 bpg), and doing that for a whole season (and the Bucks winning more games) would likely make him a lock for the award. If he adds more dimensions to his game on top of what we saw over the past few months? Look out. One former teammate is a big believer: