It's one of the highlights of the NBA calendar, but it really only hits that sweet spot if your team decides to jump in with two feet: Draft week and free agency.
For Milwaukee Bucks fans, this coming week either has absolutely nothing to look forward to (all due respect to pick 58/whoever we sign as a UDFA to fight for a two-way/the cash we’ll get for selling our selection to the Kings) or may contain a good deal of intrigue. Rumors that the Bucks are maneuvering to sneak into the late first-round or early second-round are all the more tantalizing given logical thinking. The Bucks can’t really do much to add more talent via free agency while the Pacers and Hornets own ~10,000 picks in the 25-40 range. Why shouldn’t both sides meet somewhere in the middle?
Like every draft, once you get past the first five or six picks things can get strange in an instant. Should the Bucks jump the queue they could have their pick of players who unexpectedly fall from pre-Draft projections, young projects with potential, older guys with NBA ready skills/builds, or the alluring mystery box foreign player.
Sure, the front office’s recent draft history has been listless (MarJon Beauchamp TBD), but you only get to make a good draft selection if you have the pick to do it. We’ve vanishingly few avenues available to roll the dice when it comes to team-building, so why not take another crack at it?
Basketball Is Beautiful Chapter 2 — Success (Teutonia World)
The second part in the ongoing “Basketball is Beautiful” overarching video essays on the history, meaning, and elemental nature of the sport. This entry is a dissection of the changing (for good or ill) evaluation of “success” in the NBA, done through the lens of Giannis’s, “There is no such thing as failure” post-playoff failure quotes, the time distortion rift around Kobe Bryant’s image among contemporary athletes, and ending with an open question about what success really looks like not only to Giannis, but to everyone in and around the sport of basketball.
NBA rumors: Khris Middleton (Hoops Hype)
Idk who the hell this guy is, but he’s saying something like four-years, $130 million could be in the offing for Khris. That’d average out to $32.5 million a year, likely with a player option on the final season as well. For context, guys set to make between $30-$33 million this coming season include:
- Chris Paul (if not waived)
- Gordon Hayward
- DeAndre Ayton
- Donovan Mitchell
- Bam Adebayo
- Jayson Tatum
- De’Aaron Fox
In a time of continued cap expansion, a deal at that average value is probably fine.
AJ Green recaps rookie NBA season with Milwaukee Bucks: ‘I couldn’t have asked for much more’ (The Gazette)
From one definition of success to another, we’ve got a quick rookie recap courtesy of rookie AJ Green himself. Not a clue whether he’ll be around this fall since his initial two-way deal runs out this summer, but if the front office could do his agent a solid last year, I don’t see why they can’t continue to do said agent a solid this coming season as well. Green’s potential to actually crack a rotation aside, of course.
I love the implication that giving the Wizards Khris’s $40 million expiring contract in exchange for boat anchor Bradley Beal would necessitate the Bucks having to also include MarJon Beauchamp in the deal. Lol. How about Washington gets major immediate cap relief and graciously thanks us for doing them a solid? Its that or pay Tyler Herro a supermax deal in a few seasons; choose wisely.
How the Bucks’ negotiations with Giannis Antetokounmpo’s aging teammates could clear the Cavs’ path to contention (Cleveland.com)
I respect Jimmy Watkins wrapping up our doomsday scenario in succinct fashion. At the same time, there are about as many open questions about whether the Cavs even have a path to contention as there are about whether Milwaukee’s just slammed shut. You can’t go out to the chaos Knicks and talk about contention immediately afterwards. Take your lumps.
Least chaotic Balkan sporting event.
It is extremely interesting that this past season saw the greatest offensive output in league history even with a marginal drop in three point attempt rate across the league. That, and the fact that we saw 61 more 40-point games for players than the previous high in the 1960s. Would such a combination have pointed towards eventual doom for the Bucks even if they had gone a round or two deeper in these playoffs? Perhaps. If great defense is stymied by greater individual opponent scoring and your offense is regularly impotent-to-incompetent, that’s a huge hill to climb.
Good luck to Adrian Griffin (i.e. Terry Stotts) in solving the puzzle this year.
Fan Post of the Week
The Social Media Section
Giannis do anything to throw us off the, “he’s the Griffin hire puppet master” scent challenge: IMPOSSIBLE
Welcome to the family coach pic.twitter.com/HmmVj4Ozsm— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) June 14, 2023
Normalize ignoring that Joel Embiid even exists until he does anything worthy of note
“I see the picture of Jok and Embiid chasing the MVP and Jok runs past it. That really embodies who he is as a person” — Murray on his Finals MVP teammates— Esfandiar Baraheni (@JustEsBaraheni) June 13, 2023
I was doing some research the other day and wanted to share the results with you. The longer you look, the weirder it gets.
How close temperamentally are/were Kobe and Zlatan? I’m looking to see something.
When you are on vacation and the GOAT send you a jersey! pic.twitter.com/K0xUWRnR81— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) June 16, 2023
OK, MarJon’s actually looking kinda stacked
This one is a miss for me if only because Serge has the build to go form-fitting at all times
Why did the Bucks admin post this with zero context leading up to it or after posting it?
The draft will kick off at 7 PM (Central) this Thursday with the first round broadcast in its entirety on ABC and both rounds over on ESPN. We’ll have some more prospect prep this week on the site, an open thread up for everyone to follow along with picks as they go, and, of course, if the Bucks actually pick anyone we’ll have coverage on that for you as well.