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Jason Kidd officially signs extension, Bucks break ground on arena, latest NBA draft mockery

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Bucks announce Jason Kidd extension |
Jason Kidd's reported three-year, $18 million contract extension is officially done, and the video clip that accompanied the team's official release had a not-so-subtle theme:

"I'm very happy in my position here, and that's coaching and learning how to be a coach and trying to get better each day."


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Arena groundbreaking brings enthusiasm for Bucks | JS
Neglected in all of our draft coverage over the past week was a truly historic milestone for the Bucks and Milwaukee: the groundbreaking for the new multipurpose arena scheduled to open in the fall of 2018.

AT the Bucks' first block party one year ago, we saw new jerseys unveiled as the fight over how to fund the $500 million facility was just beginning; this time around Bucks dignitaries past and present got to work (ceremoniously at least) with shovels at the site of the new building. What a difference a year makes, eh?

And among all the talk of future championships and downtown transformation, Bucks owners Wes Edens, Marc Lasry and Jamie Dinan were among those to rightly laud the efforts of Sen. Herb Kohl in making the day a possibility. Via the Journal-Sentinel:

Bucks co-owner Wes Edens said, "What Senator Kohl did in keeping this team here is something that I believe has never been done before in the history of sport. ... He was a man that decided not to put more money in his pocket but basically to take less money for the team than he truly could have gotten and invest a hundred million dollars to start this whole process."

But Kohl, who praised the bipartisan "team effort" that got the arena deal approved, does want something from Edens and his co-owners.

"He told me he's not getting any younger," Edens said, "and he'd like to see a championship in the next two years.

"And I told him we're going to work on that."

JS: Contracts for Kidd and Zanik key for Bucks future, Edens says
Edens also met with the media last week to discuss a range of issues, among them Kidd's pending extension and where that will leave general manager John Hammond, whose contract is due to expire next summer.  Via Charles Gardner:

"At the end of the day, the general manager and assistant general manager are making the personnel decisions. But he's a big communicator in terms of taking the input. We want to hire the best people and give them the best resources, then have high expectations for the results."

Edens said he hopes to have Kidd's contract done before Thursday's NBA draft.

"It's one thing at a time," Edens said. "We're trying to wrap up with Jason. Getting that done before the draft is a huge issue for us, a big priority. Then we'll get to John. We love John; he has done a terrific job here."

Hammond's deal had previously been extended last September, and you may recall that part of the rationale was getting both Hammond and Kidd's deals running through the 16/17 season. That's obviously no longer the case with Kidd being extended through 2020, so it was of course interesting to hear Edens allude to extending Hammond as well. Stay tuned.

SB Nation Mock Draft | Ridiculous Upside
Spoiler alert: I picked Deyonta Davis. Hint: it's definitely not because he wants to be a stretch four.

NBA draft trades Chad Ford would love to see | ESPN Insider
Note: be verrrrrrrry careful anytime Chad Ford is doing something other than relaying what he's hearing from agents and executives. That's especially true when he's making up trade ideas (note: these are *not* rumors!), which tend to be super complicated and based on logic that many would disagree with. With all that as a disclaimer, here's his grand vision for the Bucks-Bulls super blockbuster:

Bulls send: Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson and No. 14 pick

Bucks send: Jabari Parker, Khris Middleton, Greg Monroe and Tyler Ennis

My response: Nah.

Don't get wrong, I get why the Bucks would consider shipping out Jabari Parker in a package for Jimmy Butler -- Jabari will in all likelihood never be the two-way stud that Butler is already -- but shipping Parker and Khris Middleton to Chicago would mark a huge departure from what the Bucks have claimed they're trying to do. Moreover, the irony of trading for Butler and Derrick Rose seems especially bizarre; their struggles sharing the ball with one another in Chicago has been a recurring theme of the Bulls' broader issues, and they would seem to complement Giannis Antetokounmpo far worse than Middleton and even Parker.

Chad Ford NBA Mock Draft 9.0 - Picks for Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and more
Speaking of things that will be unpopular with most Bucks fans, Ford's latest mock once again features Washington freshman combo guard Dejounte Murray at #10:

The Bucks really need shooting, but there isn't a wing in this range who makes sense. Jakob Poeltl fits another need. He's a big center who moves well without the ball and would immediately be a defensive upgrade over Greg Monroe.

However, the Bucks have never been afraid to roll the dice and Murray's upside, combined with Jason Kidd's waning patience with Michael Carter-Williams, makes him a great pick here. Based on talent, he has top-five upside.

I won't pretend to know what Murray's true ceiling is, but I do know that he was neither a big-time recruit nor productive as a freshman at Washington. While a fast pace propped up his raw numbers, his 48% true shooting mark in college is easily the worst of any point guard likely to get picked on Thursday, and gambling on an athletic, big point guard feels frighteningly familiar.

On the flip side, there's no denying that he has instincts with the ball that can't be taught, and in time he might be another long-term gamble that pays off. But it's scary to think that a fair number of draft observers don't even seem to think he's a first round talent, making him a major roll of the dice at 10 and suggesting that the Bucks might be better off trading down to one of the teams with multiple first round picks instead. Murray could be the Bucks' best bet of unearthing a rare talent ten picks into a supposedly weak draft, but at this point I can't say I'm that excited to find out.

Givony Mock: Ellenson to Bucks | DraftExpress
Speaking of mock drafts, DraftExpress also updated their mock on Monday, pegging the Bucks to nab Marquette's Henry Ellenson over the likes of Skal Labissiere (#11), Wade Baldwin (#12), Domantas Sabonis (#13), Timothe Luwawu (#14), Murray (#15) and Davis (#16).

From the Twittersphere:

There might be some version of this deal that become very interesting for the Bucks -- #3, Avery Bradley and Kelly Olynyk? -- but at that point you're talking about a lot more than just a "contract." My vote: keep Middleton and go try to win some games with him over the next few years, OK?