Editor’s Note: I know it’s not Monday morning, but forgive us this once for the sake of maintaining continuity and alliteration. Plus, it’s still technically morning on the West Coast.
It is tough to follow up a week like the one we had prior to today. The chaos of the Bucks first general manager search in nearly a decade was as exciting as you could have possibly liked, and we now approach the NBA Draft this Thursday with a named figure theoretically at the head of our decision-making. Rejoice, maybe!
The hiring of Jon Horst as GM comes at a critical moment for a Milwaukee team on the cusp of so many possibilities. Impending decisions have to be made regarding draft picks, trade assets, free agents already here in Milwaukee or potentially out there for the signing, etc. Really, any story regarding the goings-on around the Bucks pales in comparison of importance, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try and enjoy some additional media coverage, right?
This Monday, we’ll be dealing with the particulars of the off-season at large: Summer League schedules, Giannis Antetokounmpo hosting a dunk-show in Greece, predictions of success for next season, a deeper look at who our new GM really is, and a little more.
Without further ado:
Giannis Antetokounmpo at the “Antetokounbros” event in Thessaloniki, Greece (Milwaukee Bucks/Eurohoops Greece)
One of the top residual effects of having Giannis in Milwaukee is the influx of Greek and international viewers to the fanbase. Giannis continued to build that following with another event in his homeland featuring himself and a host of other Greek basketball figures.
From the videos posted, it looks like the event was essentially a Greek All-Star Game filled with highlight-reel dunks, high scoring, and a distinct lack of any defense. To be fair, when you come to see Giannis, aren’t you really coming to see just how he’ll contort his body to score next?
Just who is the Bucks' new GM, Jon Horst? (Journal Sentinel)
The always great Matt Velasquez put on his investigative cap trying to unearth as much about the somewhat cloudy past of new Bucks GM Jon Horst. He came up with a wonderfully detailed timeline of Horst’s involvement with basketball from his youth as a player, eventually finding his way to the Milwaukee Bucks assisting John Hammond and Co. in a variety of capacities.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a shining set of credentials that help calm unease regarding how he’ll do as the GM, you’ll go home mostly empty-handed. He’s had some work helping as a cap expert and assisting as a jack-of-all-trades in the front office, but there doesn’t seem to be a silver bullet experience that makes him eminently qualified. Of course, that could mean he comes into the situation with a totally fresh look at team-building.
I’m thinking we’ll start to get a better idea of his quality by the time Friday morning comes around.
The Bucks are heading back to Vegas this Summer alongside a record 23 other teams, and they’ll open the first look at rookies and camp invites on Friday, July 7th against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
They’ll also play the Los Angeles Clippers and Brooklyn Nets before Summer League playoff seeding comes into play. We’ll surely see the new draft picks in Vegas, but it has yet to be announced who else from the roster will be making the trip. One would assume sophomore players like Thon Maker and Malcolm Brogdon will feature, but the Bucks may also want to utilize more roster spots to test out potential players for the Wisconsin Herd roster.
Thank goodness we’re only weeks away from the return of basketball, even if it is sub-par chaotic basketball.
An article that consists of simply three graphics usually isn’t cause for celebration, but somehow, someway, 4.4% of ESPN’s “Forecast Panel” (which may or may not feature the likes of Herm Edwards as a lead voter) have predicted the Milwaukee Bucks will win the Eastern Conference this upcoming season. That’s good for third-place behind lead vote-getters the Cleveland Cavaliers (62.2%) and Boston Celtics (28.9%).
The voters’ logic isn’t exactly explained, but we can’t help but assume that they saw the beauty of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s play last year and subsequently became infatuated with our chances. Can’t say I blame ‘em.
Get your first look inside new Milwaukee Bucks' practice facility (Milwaukee Business Journal)
Lost in the all the updates about the progress of the arena is a report on the new training facility being built a short distance away for the Bucks. Well, we’ve got pictures, and the place looks pretty dang nice!
There are clearly some finishing touches that need to be applied, but who doesn’t love the imposing deer-head-logo staring down upon the players as they practice? It appears a little more intimidating than the Froedtert logo on the walls of the old practice building. Whether that translates to success on the court remains to be seen.
Another cool aspect of the building? It’ll become a hub of athletic performance/injury research heading into the future. Perhaps it’ll propel the Bucks to the leading edge of NBA physical therapy and injury rehabilitation; always a nice distinction to have.
If you’re looking for a place to watch the Draft on Thursday, and also want to be there in person as the new G-League team’s logo is revealed, then I’ve got the spot for you.
The Bucks will be hosting a Draft Party open to the public where you’ll be able to celebrate whoever was chosen to join the roster and also get a first look at what exactly a “Herd” looks like in logo form.
Go for the food, stay for the inevitable big green “W” that will be the eventual symbol of G-League greatness.
All in all, a pretty quiet week I’d say. That’s only right after upheaval in the front office leaves a path of destruction and confusion in its week. Hopefully we’ve had a full weekend to reset mentally and to prepare ourselves for the Horst era.
For better or for worse, the Bucks have embarked on the next step in their journey. Wild success could be in store, or stupefying failure; isn’t that part of all the excitement with following a team like the Milwaukee Bucks. This week we look like geniuses, and the next we sold yet another second-round draft pick for $1 million.
Either way, sit back, relax, mock draft, and get ready for Thursday. There has already been shuffling at the top of the draft board between the Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers, and more shenanigans are surely in store. Oh, and of course: