Fresh off leading CSKA Moscow to the Euroleague title, former Spurs and Raptors point guard Nando de Colo is being linked by the Spanish media with the Bucks, Spurs, Nuggets and Raptors. The 28-year-old Frenchman figures to have plenty of suitors in Europe after leading the Euroleague in scoring and claiming season MVP honors ahead of CSKA's Final Four victory last week. For what it's worth, Spanish website Encestando.es claims the Bucks would be willing to offer de Colo the most money of any NBA team (who knows how much that would be), but it's worth noting that he'd be a restricted free agent for Toronto if he chose to make an NBA comeback.
If de Colo did opt to return to the NBA, his role would of course project to be far more modest than what he's gotten used to in Europe, though we've seen a number of top international guards recently opt to give the NBA a shot later in their careers -- see Raul Neto, Pablo Prigioni, and Marcelo Huertas among others. At 6'5", de Colo has enough size and savvy to be a threat both as a pick-and-roll creator or spot-up guy from deep (46% from three this year, 36% while in the NBA), and he did put up fairly solid numbers in 119 games with the Spurs and Raptors between 2012 and 2014. Don't expect him to play major minutes if he does come over, but his exploits in Europe suggest he's also a better player than he was the last time the NBA saw him. Upside and Motor's Trevor Magnotti highlighted de Colo (as well as teammate and fellow combo guard Milos Teodosic) in his list of Euroleaguers who could be on NBA teams' radars this summer:
De Colo is likely going to get NBA looks this summer, with the Denver Nuggets already linked to him. If he does make a return, it will be on the back of the developments he's made since heading back overseas. De Colo's shooting was never very consistent in the NBA (36.3 percent from 3), but he's improved that with CSKA. Even though he will have to adjust back to the NBA three-point line, this is something that he should be comfortably asked to do in the NBA. De Colo also has really matured as a point guard, and that could be even more important. One of the knocks on him in his first campaign was that he was rather reckless, especially when tasked with running an offense. De Colo had a turnover rate of 23.7 percent as a member of the 12-13 Spurs, and he's really improved his decision-making out of the pick-and-roll and on the break, allowing him to post a career-high assist total. He still isn't the strongest defensive player, but he does still have some residual Spurs wiring, and if he can be a more controlled player, he'll make a nice piece in an NBA rotation as a secondary ball-handler.
Speaking of his time in San Antonio, I dug through some old stories on de Colo from his days in San Antonio and found this piece from our friends at Pounding the Rock pretty interesting:
He arrived in San Antonio and put those skills to use early, often pulling off dangerous passes and developing instant chemistry on the pick and roll with Tiago Splitter. Sharing the court with Ginobili meant the ball was not going to be in his hands as much as in Europe, but he still managed a relatively high 17% usage and found a balance between having his offense come as a pick-and-roll ball handler (28.8%) and in spot-up situations (25.9%). De Colo assisted his teammates on over 20% of the buckets scored when on the floor and he was good at getting steals. His problem was turnovers.
De Colo coughed it up a lot -- too much even for a point guard. That was the downside to his creativity and court vision: he often attempted passes that were too risky. That fact, combined with his mediocre defense and his struggles finishing at the rim, were enough for his position to be usurped by the boringly steady Cory Joseph late in the season. De Colo barely saw the court in the playoffs, and showed dissatisfaction with that, but continued to work on his game by playing with the Toros and joining the Spurs' Summer League team before playing with France at Eurobasket.
But it seems that instead of helping him clean up those turnover issues and continue to be a good playmaker, the Spurs worked on transforming de Colo from a ball-dominant pick-and-roll creator into a spot-up shooter. Nando played off the ball for most of the summer and in his limited appearances this season has taken on a passive off-ball role while sharing the court with one of the Spurs other back-up point guards. I don't think I've seen de Colo run a pick-and-roll so far this season and five of his six total shots have come from behind the arc.
Bottom line: I wouldn't expect a deal with de Colo -- the RFA angle makes things more complicated -- but he's a reasonable guy to consider if the Bucks are looking for another offensively inclined combo guard to add to their rotation.
Giannis: I keep the negative comments as screenshots on my phone! | Eurohoops
Giannis Antetokounmpo has been barnstorming across Greece with his brothers, but that didn't stop him from posting his latest blog entry on Eurohoops.net.
I know that I’ll always find people that are going to find something to write about. That two assists shouldn’t have been counted because my teammate dribbled twice after the pass. That he travelled. Or that I didn’t score a three-pointer. That I’m playing well and that I have this role because my team didn’t play as well as we would have liked this season.
It’s 100% for certain that several people function in this way and aren’t going to change their way of thinking, no matter how much I accomplish in the future. Every person that comments in this way, makes me think, ‘Ok, I’ll do another triple double and see what else they’re going to charge me with next time!’
Melo Trimble, Ron Baker among workout attendees on Thursday | Bucks.com
The Bucks began predraft workouts on Wednesday and had some familiar names at the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin Training Center on Thursday, headlined by Maryland point guard Melo Trimble. On Friday the Bucks will have another group of potential second rounders, including Mississippi State guard Malik Newman, Kansas forward Perry Ellis and North Carolina guard Marcus Paige
Raptors VP interviewing for Bucks FO job | Zach Lowe
Add one more name to the Bucks' front office search:
Speaking of the Raptors: Bobby Webster, their vice president of basketball management and strategy, is among the candidates interviewing for Milwaukee's assistant GM job, according to sources familiar with the matter. Webster, a former cap and CBA expert for the league office, is considered a rising front-office star.
Webster joins Jazz assistant GM Justin Zanik and former Charlotte president of basketball operations Rod Higgins as confirmed candidates for the assistant GM job, which has been vacant since David Morway departed last summer. No timetable has been set for a final decision, and it's a bit of an odd situation in general with both John Hammond and Jason Kidd entering the final years of their current contracts. I won't pretend to know what the Bucks are telling potential candidates about that uncertainty, though you'd imagine a guy like Zanik wouldn't interview for a lateral move if he didn't think he had a chance at a promotion in the not-so-distant future.
Bucks' players financial data breached in scam | The Vertical
I'm not sure this will have any long-term effects on the Bucks or their players, but an employee getting scammed into releasing sensitive financial data isn't a good look no matter which way you slice it. After Shams Charania first reported the story, the Bucks released the following statement:
On May 16, 2016, we discovered our company was the victim of an email spoofing attack that occurred when a request was recently made by an unknown impersonator of our president for 2015 employee W-2's. Unfortunately, that information was provided by an employee before it was determined that the request was made from a spoofed email address.
We take this incident, and the privacy and security of our employees, very seriously. We immediately launched an investigation, which is aggressive and ongoing. We quickly notified impacted individuals and are arranging for these individuals to have access to three years of credit monitoring and non-expiring identity restoration services. We have reported this incident to the IRS and the FBI, and will work with the authorities to continue our investigation and response to this incident. We believe this incident arose as a result of human error, and are providing additional privacy training to our staff and implementing additional preventative measures.
Bucks announce deal promising "living wages" to arena employees | Journal-Sentinel
The financial leak story marred what would have otherwise been a good PR day for the Bucks, who earlier in the afternoon on Thursday announced an agreement with the Alliance for Good Jobs to pay arena workers a minimum of $12 per hour next year rising to $15 by 2023. The "living wage" issue had been a talking point last summer during arena financing negotiations, particularly for Milwaukee democrats that had mostly supported the arena. Mary Spicuzza reports:
The unusual deal will apply to about 1,000 employees. Those include full- and part-time workers at the arena and surrounding developments, including the team's practice facility and parking garage. The agreement focuses on what are typically low-wage, service sector jobs, such as food service, janitorial, maintenance and security workers.
Jeffrey Greer, a janitor for the Bradley Center and Miller Park, stressed the importance of the deal.
"It means a lot to me and my family. It is the difference between having to choose what bills to pay to being able to pay all of my bills," Greer said. "It means I can provide for my family with some peace of mind, rather than with anxiety and instability."