You know that mix of feelings you get when you wake up on Christmas morning? There's excitement at what you know is just around the corner, wonderment at the sheer number of possible gifts that await you, and maybe just a little bit of trepidation in case you run into some guy in a big red suit with a beard in your living room.
For NBA fans, this week is our Christmas. That's right, it is time for the Draft!
By this time next week we'll be either A) Praising team management to high heaven for somehow stringing together a perfect draft, B) Be at each others’ throats because the player(s) selected is divisive as all get-out, or C) Doing A & B simultaneously. In a NBA offseason where newsworthy droughts come often this next week or four is like a desert oasis without the whole “mirage” part.
So, strap in, cause we've got a new 19-23 year old joining the team this week.
2018 Mock Draft Roundup (Bucks.com)
The Bucks did us the much-appreciated service of averaging out the latest mock drafts (as of the end of last week) and compiling a list of who the media expects will be in Milwaukee come Friday.
Few of the names are all that shocking: Troy Brown, Zhaire Smith, Jerome Robinson, and Khyri Thomas, among others. If any of those guys are of interest, may I further point out which of those guys have already held workouts with the Bucks?
Top 60 prospects w/reported workouts in Milwaukee (ESPN ranking):— Frank (@fmaddenNBA) June 17, 2018
J. Robinson (17), T. Brown (18), Holiday (22), M. Robinson (23), Melton (24), Frazier (32), Wagner (36), Diallo (37), Simons (38), Trent (39), Metu (45), Duval (53). Did I miss anyone?
That is some interesting cross-over if you ask me.
Memo: NBA draft eligibility could shift by 2021 (ESPN)
While not of crucial importance for the 2018 Draft, there have been rumblings for a number of months that the league is preparing to move away from the one-and-done rule within three years.
The notorious regulation stopped the flow of high schoolers to the NBA but has been a sore point for the NCAA, the NBA, families and most importantly players themselves. Both NBA and the NBA Player's Association must reach agreement to get rid of the rule, but the latest CBA does leave room for just such a change.
Even if the rule is gone there may not be a sudden surge of high school players in the draft, but it opens up a lot of interesting possibilities for G-League teams eager for an infusion of exciting talent with a real shot at making an impact in the NBA. Don't expect a shift in the next month or so, but do keep an eye on this story as it continues to develop.
Anatomy of 2013 NBA Draft: Antetokounmpo was so close to being a Hawk (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
You want some nightmare fuel? How does Giannis Antetokounmpo, next great Atlanta Hawk sound to you?
If you want to get closer to that potential nightmare, I invite you to read Chris Vivlamore's excellent recounting of the fateful near-miss that led Giannis to Milwaukee instead of Atlanta.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go back to breaking out in cold sweats.
Khris Middleton Q&A: This Bucks Star’s Steady NBA Climb (Sports Illustrated)
Ever since his breakfast with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Mike Budenholzer (not to mention his meteoric first-round performance against the Celtics), it seems Khris Middleton has been chatting with anyone willing to toss a few Q&A sessions his way. This time around it was the fine folks at Sports Illustrated who got him to talk about the challenges of coming back from a torn hamstring and the firing of Jason Kidd.
Demand for Milwaukee Bucks season tickets high (ESPN)
A new arena was surely going to bring in a number of new season-ticket buyers, even if only for the initial season, and it looks like things have worked out for the Bucks as they move on from the Bradley Center.
Their 2,200 new season-ticket packages leads the NBA, and team officials anticipate they'll be able to push the total number of packages sold over 10,000. That's an ambitious goal, but with fan-favorites like DJ Wilson and Jason Terry I feel pretty confident they'll be able to reach the (sales) stars.
From the Social Media Realm
Greg Monroe is coming back to Milwaukee. You heard it here first:
Just another reminder that, had things worked out, Larry Sanders would have been an excellent addition to this Bucks roster:
I want to go back to Milwaukee— Larry Sanders (@l8show_thegoat) June 14, 2018
Oh, hey there Troy:
Oregon one-and-done Troy Brown is working out with the Bucks today, I’m told.— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) June 12, 2018
It sort of feels like the logo buck is willing Brandon to achieve ever greater things:
NBA Summer League championship incoming...
The NBA summer league schedule is out. Here are the Bucks’ 3 scheduled games before tournament play starts:— Matt Velazquez (@Matt_Velazquez) June 12, 2018
July 6 vs Detroit at 6 p.m. CT (NBATV)
July 8 vs Dallas at 6 p.m. CT (NBATV)
July 9 vs Denver at 8 p.m. CT (ESPNU)
All 3 games are at Cox Pavilion.
Herb Kohl and Darvin Ham - I'll wait for you to name a better duo: -
Nice to have our man @darvinhamhoops back in MKE as an assistant coach for the @Bucks. Simply loved catching up with him and Senator Kohl. #FearTheDeer pic.twitter.com/rxGGhK2rLF— Calderone Club (@Calderone_Club) June 12, 2018
The only prediction I can offer you all about draft night is that we'll have wall-to-wall coverage of everything the Bucks do here at Brew Hoop. Will Bango be on-stage to greet whoever gets his name called at pick 17? Can the team's billionaire owners somehow, someway, scrounge together enough money to buy a second-round pick? Did the team blunder into burning their first-rounder on Kostas Antetokounmpo in a futile bid to permanently attach Giannis to the team? We'll have answers to all that and more as Thursday comes and goes.
Get your popcorn ready, because it is about time the Bucks have a meeting with destiny.