Training camp season is just around the corner. Don't believe me? Just ask James Young, the newest (temporary?) Buck signed last week to a training-camp deal.
Facetiousness aside, bringing Young on-board doesn't radically suggest a changing of fates for Milwaukee, but our hearts have to be warmed just seeing those magic words, “training camp”.
While we wait for that important off-season milestone to kick-off on September 26th, we'll continue to scour the internet to find what kind of chit-chat the Milwaukee Bucks were involved in last week. On today's roundup you'll find a season preview, scuttlebutt about Jabari Parker, and even a podcast for your listening pleasure.
30 Teams in 30 Days: Milwaukee Bucks continue growth plan centered on Giannis Antetokounmpo (NBA.com)
You know you're beginning to approach the start of the season when previews are published. NBA.com has been busily covering each teams’ goings-on the past month, and it was Milwaukee's turn under the microscope.
The take on the Bucks from the league office is pretty simple: They've got Giannis Antetokounmpo, so why not just hold pat and let the “core” assembled grow together?
That description doesn't necessarily take into account how hamstrung Milwaukee is cap-wise, but hey, I'm agreeable enough with a narrative that the front office has all the confidence in the world in the guys on the roster. The lack of activity definitely wasn't because the team was above the luxury tax limit before stretching Spencer Hawes. Nope, we're financially sound here!
Jabari Parker to the Knicks? (ESPN)
This news got a bit of play in the comments section of last week's roundup, but since Jabari Parker's future in Milwaukee is all the rage right now, why not revisit it?
If you missed it, there were rumors that the Bucks were being lobbied by the Houston Rockets and New York Knicks to play the crucial role of the third team to facilitate a trade that'd see Carmelo Anthony end up in Houston. The catch was that Jabari Parker would probably be shipped out to New York, and it isn't clear if there was to be enough coming back to Milwaukee to make it even halfway worth GM Jon Horst’s while.
Perhaps, like oldresorter suggested last Monday, the deal would see Ryan Anderson and Frank Ntilikina end up as Bucks while Jabari Parker, John Henson, and Mirza Teletovic were sent out? No deal appears imminent, but Parker may be on the block, and that opens a wide range of interesting possibilities as the season approaches.
Jabari Parker Reportedly Seeking Max Contract Extension from Bucks (Bleacher Report)
On the other hand, if the Bucks don't trade Parker, it appears there's a good chance he'll be looking for a big contract in Milwaukee.
A max contract for Parker would value out at around five years and $146 to $175 million depending on negotiations with team representatives. That's a lot of money to be spent on a forward who, while when healthy has shown a propensity as a scoring machine, still hasn't had a full season in his short NBA career thanks to two ACL tears to the same leg.
Parker isn't set to return until next February at the earliest, and maybe he'll show enough signs in the truncated season to reassure the front office, but for now a max extension feels like playing with fire.
Khris Middleton thriving with help of Giannis Antetokounmpo (Nylon Calculus)
The Point Giannis experiment may be dead. Long live the Point Giannis experiment!
While head coach Jason Kidd seemingly shifted away from utilizing Giannis as the primary guy bringing the ball up-court in a half-court offense, he's still finding plenty of ways to allow Giannis to dominate the flow of offensive action on-ball.
According to Nylon Calculus, Antetokounmpo has continued to see an uptick in impact on offense, not only in terms of scoring, but also in setting up teammates with passes that seem to translate into better shots all around. Every Buck who received at least 100 passes from Giannis last season had a better eFG% than when receiving the ball from any other player.
That sort of impact bodes well for the Giannis-Middleton connection in particular as the latter continued improve his spot-up shooting, especially as a larger percentage of the passes he's receiving are coming from forward-turned-guard Antetokounmpo. A full season will be necessary to evaluate the trend seen by Nylon Calculus, but the success rate so far bodes well for both players involved.
Bucks say sales of new season-ticket packages are up by more than 2,100 (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
With a winning record and plenty of hype comes ticket sales. At least, that's the maxim the Bucks are hoping will hold as they continue to sell season tickets for the Bradley Center's final season and for the new arena’s inaugural campaign in 2018-2019.
So far, so good, according to team president Peter Feigin. The team has seen a growth in ticket sales in both full-season packages and partial-season packages like their “flex” plan of 12 games, including the sought-after “Return to MECCA” game against the Boston Celtics on October 26th.
How sales will hold up once prices increase with fewer seats (and many of the available spots being lower-bowl only) is an open question, but the team will continue to hope that success on the court will drive fans to the turnstiles in the years to come.
Eastern Conference Over/Unders 2017, News (Dunc’d On Basketball Podcast)
Finally, the well-regarded “Dunc’d On Basketball” pair of Nate Duncan and Danny Leroux covered each Eastern Conference team’s projected record over/unders in a recent podcast.
The portion covering the Bucks starts at about the 47 minute mark, and while short, provides plenty of good observations. For example, they’re skeptical about the prospects of reaching more than 47.5 wins, especially for a team that appeared to over-achieve last season. If the likes of Malcolm Brogdon, Greg Monroe, Thon Maker, and Tony Snell backslide in any way, for example, the odds of reaching near 50 wins seems extremely unlikely.
From the Social Media Realm:
Jalen Moore, Milwaukee Buck, 2017-2017. Gone, but not forgotten:
The Bucks have requested waivers on Jalen Moore. Undrafted out of Utah State, Moore was originally signed to a Two-Way contract on July 8. pic.twitter.com/Ry1cxmXMdz— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) September 10, 2017
The move was a bit unexpected, but according to Matt Velasquez of the Journal Sentinel, the decision was Moore's:
Spoke w/ Jalen Moore & he says leaving the Bucks was his call. He's been dealing w/ anxiety & he's trying to get help/focus on himself 1st.— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) September 10, 2017
Giannis teased a “garage sale” for charity yesterday...
GARAGE SALE for CHARITY address will be announced within the hour...— GiannisAntetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) September 10, 2017
...and then he either forgot to post further information, was pulling the wool over everyone's eyes, or is now missing.
Matthew Dellavedova turned 27 on Saturday. I can only imagine the grit and heart he displayed at his party later that day.
Since there still isn't much worth predicting or prognosticating this week, I spent my time instead scouring around for a worthy highlight video featuring new-Buck James Young to get a feel for what he may bring in training camp.
The best I could find was a 13 point performance against the Charlotte Hornets on January 5th, 2015. If you're worried about the lack of positive evidence, please don't. According to the top comment on that video, “this guy [Young] can be a star if [Boston GM] danny ainge can stop being a * expletive expletive expletive *.“
A riveting scouting report.