Tag:Milwaukee Bucks
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: June 5, 2011 5:41 pm
 

Burks dislocated shoulder in Milwaukee workout

Posted by Royce Young

Alec Burks, who is projected to be selected in the early to mid-first round, worked out for the Milwaukee Bucks last Saturday. It went well for the 6-6 guard from Colorado.

All except for the part about how he dislocated his shoulder and then couldn't work out for the Bobcats who pick ninth.

It's unlikely that will really affect Burks draft stock all that much and he's supposed to get another workout before the June 23 draft, but owner Michael Jordan didn't get a full look at the players he brought in. Marshon Brooks, who is a candidate for the Bobcats to take 19th, missed the workout as well because of a sprained ankle he suffered last Friday working out for the Knicks.

The Bucks pick 10th, one spot behind Charlotte of course, so if they really liked Burks the dislocated shoulder might be a good thing. Maybe the Bobcats will decide to pass now. In reality, one little workout shouldn't be the deciding factor as to if the Bobcats like Burks enough to take him or not. There's a whole season of tape of him at Colorado to look at.

Interesting though that the Bucks, according to the Journal Times, took Burks out to dinner with general manager John Hammond, assistant GM Jeff Weltman and director of scouting Billy McKinney. That could be an indication the Bucks like him a little more than most teams.

Maybe it's because they got to actually watch him work out.


Posted on: June 1, 2011 2:53 pm
Edited on: June 2, 2011 7:09 am
 

NBA executive: Jimmer Fredette 'could be a star'

Jimmer Fredette reportedly impressed during a workout with the Indiana Pacers. Posted by Ben Golliver. jimmer-fredette

Conventional wisdom seemed to coalesce around BYU guard Jimmer Fredette this spring: He should be a solid rotation player and a potential spark plug off of someone's bench.

Is that line of thinking getting turned upside down?

On Tuesday, Fredette reportedly impressed during a group workout with the Indiana Pacers. So much so, in fact, that Jazz.com reports that he left talent evaluators with stars in their eyes.
One high placed NBA executive at the workout said, “He was Jimmer Fredette. He shot the ball well, he handled the point and he played at different speeds.  He needs to get better defensively.  He is a tough kid, he is mature, he is very poised.” 

The most interesting comment that was made was the “he could be a solid back-up or he could be a star.”  This is only the second personnel person I have talked to that had Jimmer as a star.  One other compared him to Mark Price and is adamant about it.  

The report also noted two fairly impressive facts: "Jimmer hit his first 12 3s and 82% of his unguarded 3s in his workout."

That performance left Fredette's workout partner, Duke guard Nolan Smith, impressed, according to Pacers.com.
"Where he shot the ball from, what he did for his team, I enjoyed watching him, seeing how many points he was putting up," said Duke's Nolan Smith, who matched up with Fredette in the workout. "It was quite a show."
Coming out of the workout, Fredette sounded confident, telling Indianapolis' 1070 The Fan that he "definitely" feels that his athleticism is underrated (via SportsRadioInterviews.com).
"I think athletic ability has to do with how you’re able to move your body. … It’s not the most flashy athleticism, but it’s being able to make the most use out of your body.” 
While Fredette is listed anywhere from 10 to 20 on most NBA mock drafts, positive early buzz like this could mean that the bottom side of those estimates are overly conservative. He's got two good shots to be drafted with the Jazz picking at No. 12 and the Pacers picking at No. 15. The Phoenix Suns at No. 13 and the Milwaukee Bucks at No. 10 reportedly have interest too. Does he slip through all four of those teams?

Posted on: May 22, 2011 12:32 pm
 

Report: Bucks 'open' to trading Brandon Jennings

The Milwaukee Bucks are reportedly open to trading point guard Brandon Jennings. Posted by Ben Golliver. brandon-jennings

Milwaukee Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings had the definition of a sophomore slump. After being a strong contender for 2010 Rookie of the Year, Jennings had a tough second campaign. He suffered a serious foot injury in December, lashed out at teammates and management in April and saw his stats take a big hit as he struggled to adjust to extra defensive attention. His team took a step backwards too, returning to the NBA Draft Lottery.

Has that series of events soured the Bucks on the idea of Jennings as their point guard of the future? 

The Cleveland Plain-Dealer reports from the Chicago pre-draft combine that Jennings is not untouchable. "The Milwaukee Bucks reportedly would be open to listening to offers for guard Brandon Jennings," the paper notes.

The biggest issue for Milwaukee last season is that they simply couldn't score the ball efficiently, ranking dead last in the NBA in offensive efficiency. Fixing that predicament generally begins with an assessment of the point guard situation, and while Jennings is incredibly crafty off the dribble his tendency to take ill-advised three-pointers when he averaged just 32.3% from deep is an efficiency killer. His assist numbers also fell -- to 4.8 assists per game -- and Milwaukee was ranked in the bottom five for assist rate, a fact that speaks to their lack of quality looks.

As for trading him? Getting back equal value for a young point guard who has yet to reach his potential and is still on a rookie deal will not be an easy task and the Bucks don't have another starting-quality option to turn the team over to.

In other words, the chances are pretty good that Jennings stays put unless he burned some bridges with his comments in April. To make this work, the Bucks need to surround Jennings with better shooters and find a way to get through to him that he needs to exercise some better shot selection. 
Category: NBA
Posted on: May 20, 2011 2:42 pm
Edited on: May 20, 2011 4:08 pm
 

Enes Kanter skips interviews with 3 lottery teams

Turkish center Enes Kanter reportedly will not meet to interview with three lottery teams. Posted by Ben Golliver. enes-kanter

The long, strange journey of Turkish center Enes Kanter took another twist on Friday, when ESPN reported that Kanter "stood up" three teams with lottery picks at the Chicago pre-draft combine.

Kanter reportedly refused to participate in interviews with the Utah Jazz, Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks. The Jazz hold the No. 3 and No. 12 picks in the draft, the Raptors are the No. 5 pick and the Bucks are the No. 10 selection. Update: a second ESPN report notes that Kanter is now scheduled to meet with the Jazz on June 2.

This early in the process, refusing to interview with teams is highly unusual. The only explanations: Kanter doesn't want to play for those teams or he does want to play for someone else.

On Thursday, CSNWashington.com reported that Kanter's preference was the Washington Wizards, who hold the No. 6 pick. In Washington, Kanter would be in a major market on the Eastern seaboard and would have plenty of playing time. He would also be playing with a dynamic point guard in John Wall.

So what to make of the three teams he stood up?

Utah has a fairly loaded frontline with Al Jefferson, Derrick Favors and Paul Millsap already in place. Indeed, DraftExpress.com reports: "Doesn't want to play for them according to his camp. Too many big men?"

Toronto could certainly use a low-post presence to pair with Andrea Bargnani, but they've also got rookie Ed Davis already in the development cycle and there's the whole "playing in Canada rather than the United States" thing, which trips up some people.

As for the Bucks, Kanter will almost certainly be gone by No. 10 so other than courtesy there wasn't much point in meeting with them anyway. Also, Andrew Bogut is in place, and a Bogut/Kanter pairing might be a bit redundant. 

Kanter sat out all of last season with NCAA eligibility issues and has reportedly told teams he will conduct only solo workouts.
Posted on: May 16, 2011 10:43 am
Edited on: May 16, 2011 10:45 am
 

How Kohl's political retirement affects Bucks



Posted by Matt Moore


Last week Bucks owner Senator Robert Kohl announced he would not seek another term in 2012.  Immediately, Bucks fans turned their attentions to what this means for the future of the Bucks with Kohl no longer taking in political income. Kohl was pretty clear on Friday about his intentions to remain in the ownership group and move forward as the Bucks try and find a new arena deal. 
 
On Friday, Kohl said he would continue to own the Bucks. "I feel good about my run as owner of the team," he said.

As Kohl well knows, the Bucks operate in one of the smallest markets in the National Basketball Association and plays in an aging arena that limits the amount of revenue the team can generate. Kohl has said for years that he loses money each year on the franchise, but he has never specifically cited a figure.

"I'm fully expecting we will continue to be here," Kohl said of the Bucks. "That in the years to come, we will find a way as a community and as a state to build a modern complex. And that in generations to come, the Bucks will continue to be a part of the landscape in Milwaukee."
via Kohl now can focus on Bucks' future - JSOnline.

Kohl has maintained for years that he would only sell to a group that was committed to keeping the team in Wisconsin. But with Kohl 76 and the Bucks one of the  more prominent money bleeds in the league, without a new arena deal it'll be difficult for Kohl to maintain his control over what happens to the Bucks past his ownership. On the flip side, however, Kohl's free time could mean he is more able to commit to working to solve problems both in the arena and basketball departments. The Bucks' slide backwards this season took the wind out of the momentum they had created last season. The only way a new arena happens is if public interest spikes.

Kohl's certainly saying the things you want to hear as a Bucks fan. But this is a period of change, and that can also lead to transition. The future of the Bucks isn't certain until new ownership and a new arena are in place. Kohl's role in the CBA negotiations centered around revenue sharing this summer could be significant.
Posted on: May 11, 2011 12:58 pm
Edited on: May 11, 2011 3:31 pm
 

Reports: Robert 'Tractor' Traylor found dead

Former NBA player Robert "Tractor" Traylor was reportedly found dead in Puerto Rico. Posted by Ben Golliver. robert-traylor

Robert "Tractor" Traylor, the No. 6 overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft, was reportedly found dead in Puerto Rico, where he was playing for the Bayamon Cowboys. He was 34 years old.

ElNuevoDia.com reported that Traylor was "found dead in his apartment in Isla Verde" and had "presumably died of a massive heart attack." PrimeraHora.com also reported that Traylor was found dead. SNY.tv reported that Traylor was "found dead of a heart attack in his apartment."

The Bayamon Cowboys confirmed the passing on their official Facebook page. The message read: "The center of the Bayamon Cowboys, Robert "Tractor" Traylor, was found dead in his apartment in Isla Verde. The game tonight between Mayaguez and the Cowboys was suspended ....."

ESPNDeportes.com reported that Traylor "had been missing for three days before friends went to visit him and found his body" and said that an official cause of death "has yet to be determined."

Cleveland.com reported that Traylor underwent "corrective heart surgery" in 2006 because of an "enlarged aortic valve."

Traylor, a McDonald's All-American heavyweight forward who attended the University of Michigan, played seven seasons in the NBA for the Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets. He is perhaps best known as the player who was traded for Dirk Nowitzki on draft night.

Traylor finished with career averages of 4.8 points and 3.7 rebounds in 14.3 minutes per game.

After his NBA career, Traylor played professional basketball in Turkey and Italy. He also made headlines in 2007 for pleading guilty to tax fraud charges in association with a drug dealer.

This post will be updated when additional information becomes available.

Update: The Milwaukee Bucks released the following statement.
The entire Milwaukee Bucks organization is saddened by the news of Robert Traylor’s death. Robert was a fierce competitor on the court who helped the Bucks reach the playoffs in each of his two seasons in Milwaukee (1998-2000). Off the court he was a gentle giant, displaying his smile and care, especially toward young people through his involvement in school visits and his work with the Special Olympics clinic. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends. 
Posted on: May 2, 2011 1:38 pm
Edited on: May 2, 2011 1:43 pm
 

Douglas-Roberts not celebrating bin Laden's death

Milwaukee Bucks forward Chris Douglas-Roberts is not celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden. Posted by Ben Golliver. c-d-r

On Sunday night, history was made when President Barack Obama announced that al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had been killed in Pakistan. The news, coming nearly a decade after 9/11, an attack which bin Laden masterminded, was greeted by cheering crowds in both New York City and at the White House in Washington, D.C.

Milwaukee Bucks forward Chris Douglas-Roberts, however, was not as excited. He took to Twitter to remind his followers about the costs of America's military efforts in the Middle East.
Is this a celebration?? Is this the beginning of a huge religious war? I hope not. (shaking my head) 
It took 919,967 deaths to kill that one guy.It took 10 years & 2 Wars to kill that...guy. It cost us (USA) roughly $1,188,263,000,000 to kill that...........guy. But we #winning though. Haaaa. (Sarcasm) 
Predictably, Douglas-Roberts' statements drew immediate criticism from other Twitter users. He was called "stupid", a "moron" and told to "shut your dumb [expletive] mouth" because he is "not intelligent enough to speak on the subject." Soon after, he posted a lengthy clarifying response to those critics.
What I'm sayin has nothing to do with 9/11 or that guy. I still feel bad for the 9/11 families but I feel EQUALLY bad for the war families. Whatever happened to our freedom of speech? That's the problem. We don't want to hear anything that isn't our perspective. People are telling me to get out of America now b/c I'm against MORE INNOCENT people dying everyday? B/c I'm against a 10 year WAR? Same people going nuts on me are the same people saying "bring the troops home". Right? Right?!  
Reading yall's tweet AT me (pun intended) & shaking my head. This is what I get for not wanting innocent people to die daily. Shame on me. What I've learned tonight, athletes shouldn't have perspectives. But I don't care. We feel certain ways about things TOO. #FirstAmendment To everybody supporting me, I'm fine. I have very thick skin. How I feel hasn't changed the least bit. 
Anyway, "God bless America"
Keeping perspective on military spending is always a good idea. Remembering all the lives lost in, and affected by, the wars is something that we should do every single day. Encouraging freedom of speech is pretty much inarguable. Douglas-Roberts' opinions here really aren't that controversial.

Except, of course, for the timing. To millions of Americans, the capture of bin Laden will stand as a historical marker, like the toppling of the Saddam Hussein statue or the fall of the Berlin Wall. There's something to be said for letting people appreciate and process that moment which, to anyone that lost a loved one in 9/11 or knows someone that has served abroad, was surely heaped in emotion. 

Whether it was his intention or not, Douglas-Roberts politicized that sensitive moment. If we've learned anything in the last 15 years of American politics, that will always lead to a response, often a harsh one. Was all of the money and effort worth it to capture bin Laden? There will never be a consensus answer to that question. Like so many other political subjects, though, there is one certainty: In an instant-analysis world, where opinions and analysis arrive nearly simultaneously as world-changing news is being processed, feelings get hurt and discourse devolves quickly. 

I'm not sure what exactly we learned from this back-and-forth other than the timing of a message can get in the way of its meaning.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com