The great drought of Bucks-centric news finally broke about midway last week with the announcement that Giannis Antetokounmpo made the finalist list for Most Improved Player and Malcolm Brogdon doing the same for Rookie of the Year. That is, of course not totally unexpected thanks to the progress the team made this last season, but it has to be validating for the respective players.
We won’t find out who won what hardware until June 26th (what a wait), but we’ve got copy to write, dang it. In order to fill in the blank space, I trolled the internet to find you a selection of articles which somehow related to the Milwaukee Bucks.
In short, you’re welcome.
Even if the Bucks weren’t active participants in this year’s Draft Lottery, that doesn’t mean how the ping-pong balls fell won’t have a direct impact on the immediate and long-term future. Enter Joshua Cornelissen and a pretty good summary of the many ways the lottery could shape Milwaukee’s future.
The biggest takeaway is that a current NBA trend will probably only become more prevalent: Those who don’t have a realistic shot at competing for championships will let highly-paid (or soon-to-be so) players walk, allow their rosters to become awash with young talent, and tank the heck out of a season or two. If the Boston Celtics continue to be a long-term #2 power in the East behind the Cavs, that may force in-between franchises like the Atlanta Hawks to bail, opening up room for the Bucks.
Think of the possibilities!
Pick Swap SZN in Brooklyn and Milwaukee (Bleacher Report)
You’ll have to scroll to the sixth section of this BR piece to find prognostication about Milwaukee, but if you’re interested in pick-swapping with the Nets, the scrolling will be well worth your time.
The prediction revolves around swapping Milwaukee’s 17th pick for Brooklyn’s 22nd and 27th. This would give the Nets the chance to consolidate assets into a (theoretically) better chance at an NBA-level player, while it gives Milwaukee flexibility in filling out the roster with cheap talent.
Milwaukee has shown no compunction about selling second-round picks in the past. Would they be willing to pseudo-sell a first rounder for two “lesser” picks? Find out June 22nd!
Guard Tyler Dorsey thinks Milwaukee would be good for him, and you know what? Maybe it would!
Of course, we leave that decision up to the front office, but hey, at least they’ve got projected-second-round-picks buzzing about what they’re building in Milwaukee, right? RIGHT?!?!
Come because Giannis Antetokounmpo’s name is in the article’s title, stay for video of him being wholly unable to properly swing a golf club.
Giannis was already an international star both here and in his native Greece, and he’ll be spending a chunk of his offseason traveling the world and increasing his profile. Recent or upcoming events include: Watching brother Thanasis Antetokounmpo play pro basketball in Spain, taking part in “Greek Freak Week” in New York City (including a gala in the family’s honor), and appearing in video games!
Just make sure you come home in one piece, Giannis.
Smart bet is on Jabari Parker to bounce back again (Wisconsin State Journal)
Good vibes only to close the selection this week, and today it is about oft-discussed forward Jabari Parker and his rehabilitation prospects.
There are many good points both for and against getting Jabari on a longer-term extension in the near-future. On the one side, yes, he has had two surgeries on the same knee in consecutive seasons. On the other, he came back better than ever from his first surgery and proved to be a consistent 20+ point scorer in the NBA. No, his defense isn’t going to impress and may more often than not hurt. Yes, he is just 22 years old.
Whatever decision the team makes, it is a safe bet that Parker will be diligent in his rehab as he shoots for a mid-season return next year. Whether that translates into big bucks for the scoring forward remains to be seen.
A Compilation of Every Thon Maker Bucket (YouTube)
For the culture.
Since the NBA Playoffs are coming to a close, this week we’re going to be doing way-too-early Finals predictions. I know, I know, it is premature of me to assume that the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors will be facing one another in the Finals a third year in a row, but let’s just roll with it, shall we?
Assuming those two make it, who do I wager will come out on top? Will LeBron James continue his otherworldly stretch of play while sweeping aside his most consistent challengers? Will Kevin Durant finally secure a ring after bolting from Oklahoma City? Will Draymond Green “inadvertently” knee someone in the groin?
My prediction: It’ll be a reasonably competitive series in which the Warriors win in six games. If they can’t win the damn thing with the likes of Durant, Green, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, we should just banish that franchise to the shadow realm.
With that in mind: