General Manager John Hammond spent time after yesterday’s draft workouts with the media for his postseason availability. His wide ranging discussion touched on plenty of the usual topics, including the long-term outlook of this franchise and how he views Milwaukee’s future as extremely bright. Frank and Eric also broke down his conference on today’s Locked on Bucks.
Among the most intriguing comments were his thoughts on Jabari Parker. Hammond discussed Parker’s ascending play this season before the injury and how the medical staff pegged his recovery time at around a year. That would place his tentative return date at approximately next year’s All-Star Break and he espoused complete confidence in Jabari returning due to his experience doing it once before. None of that is particularly new or interesting to Bucks fans, but he also touched on how they view Jabari’s upcoming extension negotiations.
Jabari Parker will be eligible for a contract extension this fall and John Hammond is optimistic that the Bucks will sign Parker long term. pic.twitter.com/YIfijZURk7— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) May 4, 2017
That’s a very confident stance, and again, not an unexpected one for many followers of this team. As we all know though, the devil is in the details, and the dollar figures of that contract (plus Jabari’s ensuing play) will be vitally important to its perception among Bucks fans.
He also mentioned Giannis presence as a building block for this team (duh), as well as Khris Middleton and Jabari Parker. He then discussed the potential of Thon Maker and Malcolm Brogdon to join that group. Finally, he said Delly’s name and then tried to contextualize what he meant by indicating his value as a contributory culture player. There were a considerable amount of “ums” that prefaced a qualifier for Delly.
Hammond also had strong words about the effort Middleton put forth throughout the season, and particularly in the last game, where he apparently couldn’t even talk in the postgame media availability. Here’s the full quote:
My favorite John Hammond moments are when he gets a little fired up. Can physically see his passion. Today, it was about Khris Middleton: pic.twitter.com/0vzauWsKzV— Eric Nehm (@eric_nehm) May 4, 2017
On the topic of Thon maker, Hammond expressed that he wasn’t sure whether Thon would be able to get on the floor this year due to his lack of strength. However, he said that his energy and effort made the difference along with his defensive quickness and aptitude for the center position. Ultimately the end goal is still for him to add strength.
You can watch the entirety of his postseason availability below:
Some other thoughts from the conference:
Hammond mentioned that they haven’t had any conversations with Greg Monroe about his potential player option yet. As a reminder, his opt-out date is on the night of the NBA Draft. It remains a sticky situation that the Bucks must hope (at least internally) they’ll have a resolution too before the draft starts.
Hammond said he hopes to bring back Tony Snell, and that they’re planning on him being back with them next year. He said Snell wants to be with this team too. If nothing else, that has seemed to be a pretty consistent message from players, that they enjoy this team/leadership and want to be back with the franchise. That’s helped them get a few discounts in the past (Giannis, Khris), and Hammond made it a point to mention three times how he plans to have Snell back with the team after their Restricted Free Agency negotiations.
Hammond is only under contract for next year, but said he couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this organization. He also discussed how fortunate he feels to have a job like this. Those thoughts are particularly fascinating given the context of this Marc Stein tweet the other day:
League sources: Orlando interested in Milwaukee's John Hammond, Toronto's Jeff Weltman & Kevin McHale as well as top GM target David Griffin— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) May 4, 2017
“We don’t want to mortgage the future today, but if there’s an opportunity to help us be better in the immediate, we’ll look at that.” That was a telling quote, given the fact they’ve largely avoided making abhorrent win-now moves at the last few trade deadlines. A franchise should always be looking to add talent, but the costs to acquire that talent are paramount.
For any Kidd-Hammond beefers still out there, Hammond mentioned how well Kidd did this year guiding the team, and in particular praised his decision to put Thon Maker out on the court with the starters. He doubted whether many coaches would have done the same.