While we've spent the past month dissecting the Bucks' every move in the draft and free agency, what ultimately matters is how it all will translate into wins and losses in 16/17 and beyond. In our latest podcast (recorded last Saturday), Eric Nehm and I responded to listener questions about Milwaukee's likely fortunes next season, debating the young Bucks' ceiling and floor. We also discuss the meager options available for the Bucks as potential 15th men -- note that since we recorded, Brandon Bass signed with the Clippers and Plumlee of course is re-signing (as expected). Listen below:
Knicks also interested in Monroe? | Amico Hoops
For whatever reason, the only person reporting any names of teams that like Greg Monroe is Sam Amico (at least David Falk appreciates it). Two days after suggesting the Spurs could have interest in the productive-yet-seemingly-unwanted big man, Amico wrote today that the Knicks could also have interest.
The Knicks are among the teams with an interest in available Bucks center Greg Monroe, league sources have told Amico Hoops. The Knicks would likely need a third team to help facilitate a trade for Monroe, sources said.
I don't doubt that teams have some level of interest in Monroe; he's a productive post scorer, quality passer and generally good guy who isn't locked up on a long-term deal. There's a reason he was pursued by a number of teams other than the Bucks last summer. But the real question is whether that interest is a) high enough to give up real assets and b) there's any way to actually make a deal work. Mechanically it's very difficult with New York; on the podcast above I mentioned a possible three-teamer that gets the Bucks Jeremy Lamb and Kyle O'Quinn, but you could only maybe find a way to do it if Monroe was going to Charlotte rather than New York.
As for the Spurs rumor, any straight up deal would seemingly have to involve Danny Green and another smaller salary (Patty Mills), which I would have assumed would be too steep of a price for San Antonio to pay. But after discussing the rumor on the Locked on Spurs podcast with Jeff Garcia, I was actually a bit surprised that some Spurs fans seemed open to it. I'm still skeptical R.C. Buford and Greg Popovich would feel that way -- especially after signing Pau Gasol to a two-year deal -- but it's interesting to think about.
Las Vegas SL: Rookie stock up, stock down
Cole Zwicker chimes in with his view of Thon Maker's time in Vegas.
He’s always been able to move his feet laterally, and looked very comfortable hedging in pick and roll. His motor is also promising, most notably on the glass, especially when paired with an alleged green flag work ethic. If he is indeed 19, Maker showed a foundation that can be built upon. He doesn’t have great lift as a finisher/lob-catcher and rim protector, and I’m very skeptical that he’ll ever be able to playmake on the move. But if he can rim run, space the floor some (the big key here) and defend in space/switch, he has more value than I afforded him as a mid second round flier.
Thon Maker Summer League Review | RealGM
Good read form Rafael Uehara here:
Maker also impressed with his intelligence. He showed to be an instinctive help-defender, rotating off the weak-side and stepping into the front of the rim in help-defense with pretty good timing. Guarding stretch big men around the three-point line, Maker showed to be attentive to his help responsibilities tagging the big diving to the basket. He also used his length well to make plays in the passing lanes in a few instances. On offense, Maker rarely caught-and-held in the perimeter and showcased a lot of smarts moving off the ball to clear his side of the court for his teammates.
That said, when Maker had the ball, he wasn’t as impressive. Though he did make the extra pass to keep the ball moving around the perimeter, Maker didn’t show to be a particularly instinctive passer in his attempts to try creating something for others, lacking touch to deliver accurate passes on the move, posting no assists and nine turnovers in 151 minutes.
Milwaukee Bucks offseason review | Fansided
I chipped in to help with Ian Levy's offseason report on the Bucks. Here's a blurb I wrote about the Bucks' attempts to improve their perimeter shooting this summer:
No one is going to be taking minutes away from Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker, so the most important thing that can happen from a floor-spacing perspective would be one or both of those guys becoming more consistent threats from the perimeter. For now, I think Parker is the better bet in that regard, and he’s probably the more important guy in a shooting sense since Jabari will be off the ball more. Giannis’ lack of consistent range hurt less after he started handling the ball more, so that’s also another major plus of the Point Giannis tactic. Besides, the Bucks’ starting units with him at the point had no problem scoring last year, so I don’t think the Bucks necessarily have to shoot Warrior-like quantities of threes anyway.
2016 NBA free agency - Rating Anderson Varejao, Miles Plumlee and latest deals
Kevin Pelton offers his take on Miles Plumlee's $52 million deal:
Over the course of this deal, Milwaukee is more likely looking at a backup than a starter, and there's plenty of players like that available. For example, my multiyear projections suggest Plumlee is likely to be less valuable than Willie Reed, who just signed with the Miami Heat for the minimum.
On the plus side, Plumlee did seem to fit better with the Bucks' other starters than Greg Monroe. When the core trio of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Jabari Parker played with either Jerryd Bayless or O.J. Mayo, that group was plus-6.1 points per 100 possessions with Plumlee at center, per NBA.com/Stats, as compared to plus-3.6 for Monroe. But that seems to say more about the value of having a rim protector and roll man in that spot rather than Plumlee's value individually, so consider me skeptical about giving him so much money for so long.