Over this past weekend, as the Milwaukee Bucks Summer League squad brought a completely mixed bag of results away from their first two games, a warm feeling came over me. No, it wasn’t the heat of the Sun, though that was in abundance in the Twin Cities. Rather, it was the camaraderie on Twitter, in the comments section and many other places as the fan base reunited to bicker about whether Thon Maker’s struggles implied pending career failure, whether DJ Wilson’s feet are built for the NBA, if Rashad Vaughn will emerge as a rotation player, or if it all even matters as we eventually get consumed by the void.
Summer League is, by definition, ugly basketball. However, there are still men on a hardwood court somewhere with “Milwaukee” printed across their chests, and they brought us all back together.
Feels good to be home!
This week, in honor of continuing competition in Las Vegas, we’re getting a full load of Summer League-related content from across the nation. Thon sits down for a quick interview, you can vote Giannis for an ESPY if you so choose, and we’ll have some short profiles from local sources on some of Milwaukee’s newest signings.
Thon Maker on Working Out with Antetokounmpo (Basketball Insiders)
If after two lackluster performances you wanted to corner Thon Maker to get to the bottom of his seeming backslide since the playoffs, worry not: Basketball Insiders has your back.
Thon breaks a few stories for us: 1) He attributes his poor performances to exhaustion from weightlifting and gym work and 2) He flew back to Milwaukee Sunday night to join Giannis Antetokounmpo to work out together the next two weeks. There’s also an allusion to him as a leader in Summer League and back in Wisconsin, which, hey, that’s all gravy to our ears.
Whether your opinion of Thon the player changed much over the weekend, take the time to watch him talk a bit. Always an interesting listen.
Former Badger Bronson Koenig settling in to life in the NBA (Wisconsin State Journal)
I’ll preface this one by stating the obvious: As a Gopher fan, I despise everything that Bronson Koenig was for the past four years, and I stand by my conviction that maroon and gold is far more slimming a color scheme than red & white.
Koenig is no longer a Badger though, and now that he has a two-way contract with the Bucks, we all just have to settle in and pray that he’s able to make a transition to a much higher skill-level. While he wasn’t overly impressive in either of the games played this past weekend, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to prove himself in Oshkosh.
How is Bronson adjusting to the aforementioned uptick in competition? Hear him in his own words in the State Journal.
Utah State's Jalen Moore signs 2-way contract with Milwaukee Bucks (Deseret News)
It didn’t take the Bucks long to fill that other two-way contract they have, now did it?
Jalen Moore has mostly stood out in Vegas by having a very healthy ‘fro, but hasn’t had too much impact otherwise. Much like teammate Koenig though, he’ll have time to familiarize himself with Milwaukee’s scheme in Oshkosh, and having a spare stretch four around just in case isn’t the worst insurance policy.
One has to wonder just how many players have been turning down two-ways in a bid to either latch onto other NBA squads or to look overseas for better money. I’m unsure as of now whether it should be a heartening sign that the Bucks found their guys so quickly, but hey, we’ve got all G-League season to debate just that.
Bucks offer three-year rookie contract to second rounder Sterling Brown (Yahoo)
Whether second-round pick Sterling Brown would end up in Vegas before play began was an open question heading towards the weekend.
Luckily, the Bucks and Brown were able to come to an agreement (the details of which remain unclear) that ensured he’d get some burn this past weekend. The only information so far is that the deal is guaranteed for three years, though it isn’t obvious that those years are fully guaranteed.
He’s more than likely to find himself on the final roster at the conclusion of training camp, and good on him. Quite the cherry on top of his 16 point, five rebound, two assist, two steal and one block performance yesterday against the Nets.
The Bucks Still Have Time to Clean Up Their Mess (The Ringer)
If you wanted some more hate-reading on the Adrian Wojnarowski storm lit last week, then here you go.
All I really have to post is this, though:
I got loyalty inside my DNA— GiannisAntetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) July 7, 2017
Feel only good feelings this morning my friends.
ESPYS Voting: Best Breakthrough Athlete (ESPN)
Ask yourself this: Do you like seeing Giannis win awards?
If yes, go to the link and send in a vote for the local hero to win ESPN’s “Breakthrough Athlete” award. No, he may not win it and he may not even show up to the event, but the world needs to know what kind of a treasure we’ve got here in Milwaukee and this is another way to continue doing just that!
Not much more to be done here this week, folks. I’d highly suggest you tune in tonight when the Bucks go for broke against the Los Angeles Clippers headed by none other than former-Buck Kendall Marshall. Game starts at 9 PM Central (ugh), and I’ve got a sneaking suspicion Rashad Vaughn may try to lead us to the promised land once more.
Beyond that, I highly suggest you sit down, kick back and relax to some tunes. Enjoy the day to come, have a wonderful week, and as always: