Tag:John Hammond
Posted on: June 23, 2011 4:37 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2011 5:56 pm
 

NBA TRADE: Bucks, Bobcats, Kings 3-way

Posted by Matt Moore

Update 4:14 p.m.: Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that the Bobcats moved up to No. 7 to select Bismack Biyombo. That makes for a crazy pairing with Tyrus Thomas and the most athletic pair of frontcourt players in the league, probably, based on raw length and leaping ability.

Additionally, a writer from NBA.com notes that the move for the Kings was not made in anticipation of a second deal with San Antonio. Such a fail for the Kings.

Original Report: In a day filled with trade rumors on what's expected to be a wild night even with a disappointing draft class, things touched off Thursday afternoon as the Bobcats, Bucks, and Kings completed a three-way trade. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports:

The Bucks receive: Stephen Jackson, Beno Udrih, and the No.19 pick from Charlotte.

The Kings receive: John Salmons and the No.10 from the Bucks.

The Bobcats receive: Corey Maggette and the No. 7 pick from Sacramento.


Analysis: .... WHAT?! That's our general reaction. You're looking at three shooting guards with massive deals getting moved around. Here's the contract run downs from ShamSports.com:

Jackson: Two years, over $19 million, all guaranteed. 

Salmons: Four years, $31 million, over $24 million guaranteed.

Maggette: Two years, over $21 million, all guaranteed.

So the Bucks moved over $45 million guaranteed, and took on $35 million (Jackson plus $14 million from Udrih), saving them over $10 million and dumping most of their bloated contracts. The Bobcats took on Maggette which is an upgrade at the two-guard position, and managed to keep their No.9 pick, now giving them the 7th and 9th pick in Thursday's draft. And the Kings? Uh, they moved back three spots and picked up an aging, undersized shooting guard to go with Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton. ...Okay. 

Winner: We'll call it the Bucks, who lost all that salary and still picked up an upgrade on the wing, and still kept a top-20 pick. The addition of Udrih is curious considering Brandon Jennings' place on the roster and will add more question marks towards his future. (Some reports have Shawn Livingston included in the deal going to Milwaukee.) But they cleared all that space and still kept a pick, which is pretty impressive. It's a chance for the Bucks to move back, bring in a wing, and clear some space for a restructured CBA after their spending spree last summer. Grade: B+

Co-Winner: If the Bobcats hadn't had to take on Maggette, they would have won this. Maggette's not a terrible fill-in for Jackson, and the addition of the 7th pick while keeping the 9th means the Bobcats have a chance to wholly remake themselves in the draft, which they have struggled at through the years. This move reeks of Rich Cho, opting for a youth movement while clearing space. If Livingston is indeed included, the Bobcats will actually have managed to save money through this with total outgoing salary of over $22 million compared to Maggette's $21 million incoming. And they get the No.7 pick to go with their No.9. They can draft a big and a wing, two bigs, both Morris twins, Jimmer Fredette as a flyer pick, anything. Grade: B+

Loser: What in God's name are the Kings thinking? Is this some sort of desperate move to make the fans hate them so they'll stop wishing they would stay in Sacramento? There's talk this could be in anticipation of a move for Tony Parker. Even then, a small-market franchise taking on Salmons contract along with Parker's is a rough idea. And where does this leave Marcus Thornton? Is he doomed to perpetual burying by his coaching staff? Will Salmons come off the bench? What is the thought process here? 

The Kings presumably think they can get the guy they want at No. 10 versus No. 7, but taking on Salmons is such a blow, despite giving up Udrih. Udrih wasn't the answer at point guard. Salmons isn't the answer at anything they need.  Grade: F- (pending further action)
Posted on: June 22, 2011 6:34 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2011 5:29 am
 

Five GMs who face big dilemmas on draft night

Posted by Matt Moore

It's passed over because we're so far removed from it and because that's not how the machine works, but stop for a second and consider what it's like to be a general manager who actually has control, whose owner trusts him. It's draft night. The future of your franchise rests with you. A pick gone wrong and that can mean a pink slip. Questions from the media, from the fans. You've got to somehow not only see what these kids, and they are kids, have done, but what they will do. And that's not just on the floor, it's in the locker room and outside the halls of the arena.

You've got to look into a kid's soul and see what he's made of, out of basically a handful of workouts, some measurements, and maybe a psych profile, if he consents. And it's not a simple "yes or no," you have to choose someone. You've got hundreds of options, a dozen or so serious options, and you've got to hit the right one. Miss, and it's a black mark on your career that may follow you forever. And no matter how many people you bring in, no matter how much consultation is done in advance, at the end of the night, when it's time to make the call, it's got to be your say. You have to make the decision.

And we think shooting free throws is tough.

With that in mind, here are the top five GMs/front offices facing the toughest decisions of the draft.

1. David Kahn, GM, Minnesota Timberwolves: He can't miss every time, right? After drafting Jonny Flynn to go with Ricky Rubio, who didn't come over, essentially going 0-2 on viable point guard options until this season, then following it up by passing on DeMarcus Cousins and others to reach for Wes Johnson, the Wolves could really use a home run. So naturally Kahn is trying to trade this pick like there's no tomorrow. They've reached out to everyone, and so far no one is biting. So if they keep the pick, the Wolves have to decide whether to take the best talent available, Derrick Williams, even though he creates a logjam at small forward/combo forward position for them, or roll the dice on Enes Kanter. You know, because what they don't have is enough Euro centers with upside.

Kahn's in a bad spot, having to try and hit a home run to save his job by bringing in a veteran star. He announced at the end of last season that "rebuilding is over" for the Wolves, which is pretty insane for a 17-win team. He can't wait to see if Williams will be an impact guy, he needs one now. If he does have to take the pick, Williams is the best overall talent, but that doesn't jive with what he did throughout the past calendar year, bringing in Michael Beasley and Anthony Randolph. It's a significant problem and not one you should envy. Even if the Cavs were to suddenly pass on Kyrie Irving for Williams, the Wolves still couldn't take Irving because of Rubio.

In the end, the Euro teen center who hasn't played in two years is the safe option. That's how tricky the Wolves' position is.

2011 NBA Draft
2. Bryan Colangelo, GM, Toronto Raptors: There's talk that Bryan Colangelo is under pressure, even after his contract extension, from above to stay away from a Euro. This is the kind of thing that happens when you draft Andrea Bargnani and then give him a bajillion dollars in extension. In doing so he's managed to create a problem because the best talent and fit at the No.5 spot is likely to be a Euro.

The Raptors need rebounding and size, and Jonas Valanciunas provides both. Sure, the big man is not coming over till 2012, but the Raptors also aren't going anwywhere until then. Another year of letting DeMar DeRozan, Jerryd Bayless, and Amir Johnson lead the team while trying to find somewhere to ditch Bargnani to isn't a bad option. Then when Valanciunas comes over, they'll have another high pick, and worst case scenario the ability to put Bargnani next to Valanciunas with Amir Johnson at the three for defensive coverage of Bargnani's limitations in space.

If not "Choonus" (as no one besides me is calling him), Jan Vesely is a great fit here. An explosive combo forward who won't need the ball and whose limitations in ball handling will be managed by low usage, Vesely brings size, athleticism and aggressiveness. A DeRozan-Vesely-Johnson 2-3-4 combo is just plain nasty.

But Colangelo may not be able to take either of those and may instead have to reach for... Kemba Walker. If the Utah Jazz aren't too spooked by Brandon Knight's attitude, Walker will be the best known-American talent in the draft at that point, and finding a replacement for Jose Calderon will be seen as a smart pick. No one will criticize them for taking Walker, despite Walker not being the type of defender Dwane Casey's going to want to work with and the fact that he's honestly a reach here. Not much of one, but a reach.

So does Colangelo take the Best Player Available or the Most Popular Available? That's the kind of thing impacted by your previous decisions which come back to haunt you.

3. Geoff Petrie, President of Basketball Operations, Sacramento Kings: This should be easy. There's a good chance either Brandon Knight or Kemba Walker falls this far, despite the above scenario. They take that guy, they're good. But for whatever reason, the Kings are still trying to figure out what to do with their backcourt.

Alec Burks has become the hot name to take but he's not a point guard in any way shape or form. He becomes redundant next to Marcus Thornton, even if Tyreke Evans stays at point guard. Jimmer Fredette is too much of a reach.

Kawhi Leonard is the safest pick possible, filling a need at small forward, a polished player who can defend, and leaving the backcourt questions out of the equation. But he may go higher. The Kings are in a danger zone that guarantees their options will be limited, but the decison tree is complicated by the wishes of the Maloofs. Fredette brings ticket sales, that's for sure, but he's going to be an awkward fit with both Evans and Thornton needing shots. What's going to win out, making money or the right decision? Let's just say we don't have high hopes for the voices of reason.

4. John Hammond, GM, Milwaukee Bucks: Hammond's got a lot of holes to fill and is just outside the ability to fill them in the draft. Meanwhile, he's trying to move down. Move down and not make an improvement, the team could slide even further backwards. Make the wrong pick and he's wasted all that opportunity. Power forwards are abundant at the No. 10 spot for Milwaukee, but Hammond's got Drew Gooden, Larry Sanders, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Jon Brockman,and Ersan Ilyasova (who he's reportedly trying desperately to trade). So that's not really viable. He sunk a huge portion of cash into John Salmons which didn't work out, so while drafting a shooting guard sounds like the right move, it comes with usage concerns.

Popular players like Fredette are there, but with Jennings it may only exacerbate a tense situation. And the other option is a fleet of talented but wholly incomplete combo forwards without a decent lock among them. All are long-term prospects, none are sure things. And that's relative to the entire draft process which is a crapshoot.

The Bucks have been active in trade rumors but are trying to find an identity. They seemed like they'd stocked their team with athletic, relatively young players and yet don't seem to have the right combination. The 10th pick doesn't provide them many answers and may leave them eying simply a chance to move out of the spotlight.

5. Daryl Morey, GM, Houston Rockets: No team with a real chance of competing needed a lottery win like the Rockets. With Yao Ming a huge seven-foot question mark and failed attempt after failed attempt at securing a star, they need a big name to put next to the versatile complimentary talent they have. But instead here they are with two picks that help them almost not at all.

Their options are a series of athletic threes and undersized fours (the Morris twins, Jordan Hamilton, maybe Tristan Thompson), when they already have Luis Scola, Patrick Patterson, Chase Budinger, and Jordan Hill to go with Chuck Hayes. Their only real need is at five, and Valanciunas is almost guaranteed to be off the board. With Motiejunas more of a stretch four than a real five considering his defense and effort problems, there's simply not a fit here. Marcus Morris is the most surefire player available here, and he comes with huge question marks and a limited upside.

Morey is charged with somehow turning these elements into a contender, despite the best "star" on the market being Andre Iguodala, which would be like adding a Swiss army knife when you need a broadsword. His second pick in the first round leaves him only with the exciting possibility of drafting a Euro center who won't be available for several years, or a player like Jeremy Tyler who would likely spend at least a year with the Rockets' D-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

Morey's been considered a genius and a math wizard for years in this league. With the team stangnated and no help available in free agency or trade, the draft looks like his last chance to pull a rabbit out of a hat. And right now, the hat looks awful empty.


Posted on: May 10, 2011 1:18 pm
Edited on: May 10, 2011 1:34 pm
 

Pat Riley, Gar Forman share Executive of the Year

Miami Heat president Pat Riley and Chicago Bulls executive Gar Forman will share the 2011 NBA Executive of the Year Award. Posted by Ben Golliver.
riley-forman

Their teams are poised to face off in the Eastern Conference Finals after finishing with the top records in the Eastern Conference and enjoying two of the busiest summers last season.

Sure, it's a copout, but it's not a total surprise that Miami Heat president and Chicago Bulls GM Gar Forman will share the 2010-2011 NBA Executive of the Year award. 
In his 13th season with Chicago and second as its general manager, Forman saw the Bulls win a league-best 62 games, rookie coach Tom Thibodeau earn the Red Auerbach Trophy as the 2010-11 NBA Coach of the Year, and Derrick Rose become the youngest player to win the Maurice Podoloff Trophy as the 2010-11 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player. Forman transformed a 41-win Bulls team by signing free agents Carlos Boozer, Ronnie Brewer, and Kyle Korver among others. 
Riley entered his 16th season with the Heat as the architect of arguably one of the most successful offseasons in NBA history. Riley re-signed Dwyane Wade, and signed perennial All-Stars Chris Bosh and LeBron James to form the core of a team that went on to win 58 games and capture the second seed in the Eastern Conference. 
Forman and Riley received each received 11 of a possible 30 votes from a panel of their fellow team executives throughout the NBA. The Bulls’ John Paxson finished third with three votes and San Antonio’s R.C. Buford finished fourth with two votes. Oklahoma City’s Sam Presti, New Jersey’s Billy King and New York’s Donnie Walsh received one vote each.
Riley and Forman offer dueling roster construction theories. Riley, obviously, has embraced the top-heavy approach by catering to the whims of two superstars (plus a semistar) and filling out the rest of the roster with spare parts and bit pieces. Forman has taken a more traditional approach, methodically building around a franchise point guard by collecting role players that complement his skills. 

Which approach will win out on the court? We should know the answer to that in a few weeks. But both are worthy of recognition even if that means we must swallow a tie for the first time in the history of this award, which dates back to 1972-1973. That Paxon also received three votes seems like it should have served as a tie-breaker, but oh well.

Previous winners of the award include Milwaukee's John Hammond (2009-2010), Denver's Mark Warkentien (2008-2009), Boston's Danny Ainge (2007-2008), Toronto's Bryan Colangelo (2006-2007) and the Los Angeles Clippers' Elgin Baylor (2005-2006).
Posted on: April 4, 2011 7:28 pm
Edited on: April 4, 2011 8:01 pm
 

Brandon Jennings calls out teammates, management

Milwaukee Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings lashes out at his teammates and management. Posted by Ben Golliver. brandon-jennings

As we noted back at the end of December, the Milwaukee Bucks are one of the few teams this season that entered the 2010-2011 campaign with major expectations and then fell flat on their faces. There are a bunch of bad teams in the NBA but, by and large, the lottery teams today are the lottery teams that were expected in October.

The Bucks, however, entered this season by extending coach Scott Skiles and with the playoffs, and possibly contending for a Central Division title, in mind. That didn't happen. At all. 

At 31-45, Milwaukee will soon be mathematically eliminated from the playoff picture and Brandon Jennings isn't happy about it. The Racine Journal-Times reports that the second year point guard is blasting off in every direction, calling out his teammates for their lack of effort and his team's management for their moves. 
After the Bucks were virtually eliminated from the Eastern Conference playoffs in a loss Friday to the Indiana Pacers, Bucks starting point guard Brandon Jennings publicly expressed what many of his teammates had privately felt for months. "Some guys have the mind-set of winning on the team and some guys just don't,'' Jennings said.
Jennings then an indirectly took a shot at Bucks general manager John Hammond, assistant general manager Jeff Weltman and coach Scott Skiles, the three biggest personnel decision-makers in the organization next to owner Herb Kohl. "We traded a lot of pieces I feel like we should have kept,'' Jennings said. "But that's part of the business and you've got to roll with it.''
Jennings is 21 years old, has dealt with a foot injury that caused him to miss a bunch of time this season and is an emotional person who wears his heart on his sleeve. With that said, true point guards and leaders are better than this.

Clearly, any assessment of responsibility should start with Jennings himself. He's taken a step backwards this season statistically, averaging less than five assists per game despite starting 55 games so far and playing more than 34 minutes a night. Sure, the shooting talent around him leaves a lot to be desired, but ramping up his ability to get others involved would be a great first step in launching a "winning mindset" among his teammates.

Speaking of the winning mindset, jacking five three-pointers a game when you shoot 32.5% from downtown is the opposite of a winning mindset. That's just bleeding inefficiency all over the court and setting up your team for failure. Three options: become a better shooter, take better shots or take fewer shots. The math on those numbers will never compute to success and it's not anyone else's fault. That's on Jennings. 

Questioning your team's management is almost never a good idea in the NBA, especially when you're 21 years old. Nothing good can come from it and that type of thing has the power to alter a franchise's path in a negative way, cutting into the trust that needs to exist between front office and star player. If something needs to be said, say it behind closed doors.

Hopefully there's someone that's in Jennings' ear right now letting him know that if he continues to be the 27th most efficient point guard in the NBA he better get used to dealing with the losing, regardless of how hard he's trying. Succeeding in the NBA isn't always about effort and dedication. No one can question Jennings' love of the game, but he needs to develop his understanding of its nuances as well as the ability to hold himself accountable on the court before pointing fingers off of it.
Posted on: October 26, 2010 5:38 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:05 pm
 

Bucks keep brain trust: Hammond, Skiles extended

The Milwaukee Bucks have reportedly extended the contracts of general manager John Hammond and coach Scott Skiles. Posted by Ben Golliverjohn-hammond

Marc Stein of Yahoo! Sports reports on Twitter that the Milwaukee Bucks have "exercised the option on the contract of GM John Hammond and extended the contract of coach Scott Skiles through 2012-2013 season." The moves are of the no-brainer variety, as the Bucks have been a team on the rise ever since April 2008, when Hammond was hired away from the Detroit Pistons, where he had served as Vice President of Basketball Operations under Joe Dumars. At the time of his hire, the Bucks were in the midst of a 26 win season.  The following year, they improved to 34 wins and, after Hammond boldly drafted point guard Brandon Jennings in the 2009 lottery, the team won 46 games last season to make the playoffs for the first time since 2005-2006. Hammond was named NBA Executive of the Year in 2010, reflecting the team's progress. Skiles is credited with an intense work ethic, defensive approach and has earned all sorts of praise for his ability to guide Jennings's development. A former NBA guard himself, Skiles has an 80-84 coaching record in two seasons with the Bucks. Prior to signing on in Milwaukee, he coached both the Chicago Bulls and Phoenix Suns. Last year, Skiles finished second to Oklahoma City's Scott Brooks for the NBA Coach of the Year award. The contract extensions are signs of stability and progress for the Bucks, a team that should compete for the Central Division title this season.
Posted on: July 1, 2010 2:07 pm
 

Bucks still working to re-sign Salmons

As free agents start agreeing to deals (before the July 7th date they can sign), many teams are trying to take care of their own business before looking elsewhere. The Bucks in particular have been focused on re-signing John Salmons, who is the B-grade version of Joe Johnson in this year's free agency.

David Aldridge of NBA.com reports that Salmons is close to signing a 5-year, $39 million deal with Milwaukee. A person involved in the process told CBSSports.com today that Salmons' deal "might get done with Milwaukee, might get done with somebody else."

"Nothing's done right now" the source added.

With Salmons along with recently acquired Corey Maggette to go along with Brandon Jennings' development and a healthy Andrew Bougt, the Bucks would likely feature a balanced, versatile offensive attack. Wing was really their weakest position last year, until a mid-season trade for Salmons with the Bulls helped boost their attack, only to see Bogut go down with a broken wrist.

The Bucks may not be looking to add any of the max free agents, but Hammond has been very active in the offeason thus far. And we're less than a day into free agency.
Posted on: July 1, 2010 12:25 pm
Edited on: July 1, 2010 12:26 pm
 

Bucks sign Gooden to MLE.. wait, what?!


Let's take a minute and look back at what the Milwaukee Bucks have done in the past ten days.

Traded for Cory Maggette.

Traded for Chris Douglas-Roberts.

Kept Carlos Delfino.

Drafted Larry Sanders.

And now, they've signed Drew Gooden for the Mid-Level Exception, at a clip of 5 years for $32 million (via Yahoo! Sports). This despite having Ersan Ilyasova and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute on roster, both whom are considered high-upside, versatile, talented players, and Gooden having spent time in more cities than a mid-70's hobo.

So what in the name of Bogut is Bucks GM John Hammond up to?

The Gooden signing makes sense if you listen to Bucks blog BrewHoop, which says the team needed veteran depth at power forward. And Gooden certainly provides that at 29. You do have to wonder about the contract, the length of the contract, and how Gooden fits. The Bucks' offense was definitely their weak point last season. They do need someone who's able to produce offense. And Gooden averaged 15.7 points and 11 rebounds per 36 minutes last season .

The problem is usage (estimated percentage of possessions used). Gooden had the 12th highest usage of any power forward in the league playing at least 30 minutes last season. That's a lot for a guy who is considered a journeyman role player. His efficiency numbers are good, and Gooden comes with a wide range of verstaile skills. It's just curious that the Bucks seem to have loaded up so much at the forward positions, especially with John Salmons still drifting in unrestricted-free-agent land. Probably most curious was the fact that Hammond committed five years to a 29 year-old role player when he has such a young nucleus.

It makes you wonder if Hammond is done with moves beyond re-signing John Salmons and other free agent Luke Ridnour.

-Matt Moore


Posted on: July 1, 2010 10:36 am
Edited on: July 1, 2010 11:36 am
 

Free-agency layup line: LeBron's gift edition

All of the little free agency stories that flow through. We'll have several of these throughout the day, updated regularly.

A mystery team dropped a "small square box" containing a gift off at LeBron James' house at 11PM Wednesday night, according to the New York Daily News .  Our best guesses as to the gift are the heart of a lion, whatever was in the suitcase in "Pulp Fiction ", or a Russian doll containing $2.4 million in bonds.  (HT: FanHouse )

Richard Jefferson opted out of his contract, but that doesn't necessarily mean much for the team basketball-wise. Spurs blog 48 Minutes of Hell reports that with the team significantly over the cap still, Jefferson's opt-out doesn't clear them to make any significant moves and leaves them with a hole at small forward. You have to wonder if Tony Parker and his contract may be even more on the block.

Chris Bosh is predictably keeping track of his free agency exploits on Twitter. As of 4EST, he had met with the Bulls, Raptors, Heat, and Rockets (check out more on our discussion of Houston's chances ). You have to wonder if it's better to be early or late in these discussions. The Knicks seem to be taking the latter approach, since they went and visited Mike Miller first thing last night.

Darren Rovell of Sports Biz reports that part of the Nets' offer for LeBron James is a clothing line via Jay-Z . These are the kind of advantages teams have to pull out. There's so much more going on here than just money and a good core of players, though those things are up-front the most important.

Via Wizards blog Bullets Forever , Yahoo! Sports reports that Washington is looking to fill that whole at small forward quickly . They've already spoken to both of their expired small forwards (Mike Miller, Josh Howard) and are looking at Ryan Gomes, Travis Outlaw, Rasual Butler and even Josh Childress who is still in Greece. With the acquisition of Kirk Hinrich, the Wizards have to be thinking on the cheap with this contract, and likely won't want to commit to anything long-term. Then again, they traded for Kirk Hinrich and Yi Jianlian, so there's no telling what they're going to do next.

John Hammond is "cautiously optimistic" that the Bucks will be able to re-sign John Salmons. Then again, we think Hammond is "cautiously losing his mind" for giving Drew Gooden a 5 year, $32 million deal when he has Ersan Ilyasoava and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute along with rookie Larry Sanders to pair with Andrew Bogut. Hammond's either gone around the bend or is in pursuit of something...


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com