Bucks Diary

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Who will fall to number 6?... and other Bucks issues

The big night is upon us. Somehow it doesn't seem that big. I've become so disenchanted with this draft over the last month, tonight seems almost anti-climatic. So much so that I've kind of become indifferent about who the team selects. I'm just hoping the Bucks get a contributor. Anything above that would be gravy.

So, who are the Bucks eyeing up? Yesterday on WTMJ, Coach K said the three players that had impressed him the most were (in no particular order): Mike Conley, Al Horford, and Jeff Green. I would scoop up either of the first two in a heartbeat. But of the three, Green is probably the only one likely to be available at the 6th pick. Would the Bucks take him at 6? I guess its possible. It seems a bit of an overdraft, but I guess that of all the small forward prospects, he is the most NBA ready. He's multi-faceted, strong, and decently athletic. He just seems a little dull. He seems to have no upside at all.

What are the experts saying? At the moment, NBA.com's "Consensus Mock Draft" predicts the Bucks will select Corey Brewer, the tall but waif-like SF prospect out of Florida. He probably has more upside than Green, but he's also a lot less NBA-ready. He's strong for his size, but, my God, he's 6'8'' and only weighs 185 pounds. That is rail thin. Of course, many scouts and analysts have poo-pooed my concerns about the lack of bulk and strength that a lot of these prospects have displayed. But I think their lack of concern over this issue is simply naive. Strength and size matter in the pro game. Basketball may not be a contact sport, but that doesn't mean a stronger and/or bigger player can't use those attributes to dominate a weaker and/or thinner opponent, and vice versa.

Which brings us to North Carolina "power" forward prospect Brandan Wright. I have a sneaking suspicion that this guy will fall to the Bucks at 6, and that they may very well select him. He's obviously not ready for the pro game, but I guess he does have potential down the road. I'm not real high on him, though. But, if you believe Gary Woelfel, he's God's gift to basketball. According to Woelfel, Wright put on "one of the best workouts ever conducted by the Bucks".

Let me take a sidebar here. I like what Woelfel brings to the table when it comes to inside information on the Bucks, but I seriously question his veracity as a journalist. He tends to skew things to fit his world view. He's made no secret that he is very high on Wright as a Bucks prospect. Thus, it didn't surprise me one bit when he came out with his glowing piece on Wright's workout. But his report is simply not credible. Wright had one of the best workouts the Bucks have ever conducted? Please. Better than Ray Allen? Better than Marques Johnson? Better than Sidney Moncrief? Better than Lew Alcindor? That's not to mention the guys the Bucks worked out through the years but never drafted. I think Woelfel is drinking his own Kool-Aid.

Here are some other issues floating around BucksNation since I last posted:

Tosa trade?
A hot rumor making the rounds yesterday was the Dallas Mavericks would send PG and Wauwatosa native Devin Harris to the Bucks for the 6th pick in today's draft. How would I feel if that went down? Not that enthused, frankly. No disrespect to the former Badger and Red Raider, but I've just never seen him as a natural point guard. He's lightning quick, but he lacks size, a jump shot, and intuitive playmaking skills. I'd almost rather have the Bucks trade down, get a player, and then select Acie Law, whom many are comparing to Sam Cassell.

Adios Earl
What's with all the disrespect shown to the Bucks lately? First, the Chinese prick's agent says he doesn't want to play in Milwaukee, then that weirdo Joakim Noah -- a guy who is projected to fall below the Bucks -- refuses to workout for the team, and now Earl "The Pearl" Boykins can't wait to get out of town. Frankly, Boykins sucked in Green and Red, so its no big loss. He may have put up some big scoring nights, but he couldn't run the team effectively at the point guard position. The offense basically collapsed whenever he played the point, and the statistics show it. Boykins was essentially a 5'5'' guy who had the skill set of a shooting guard. And those type players are not in high demand.

Camp Fear?
Yesterday, in the same WTMJ interview I sighted above, Coach K was almost bragging about how brutal his training camp will be come October. "I invite you to come down", he said to the host, "it won't be pretty." I like his approach. Will it work? That's a seperate issue altogether.

Billups won't come here
Like most Bucks fans, I would be pretty excited if the Bucks could land free agent point guard Chauncey Billups this offseason. But I just don't see it happening. Why would Billups go from a championship contending team like the Pistons to a team that is years away from contending like the Bucks? I just don't see the attraction for Billups. He's only got so many years left in the tank. Would he really willingly choose to spend them supporting a rebuilding effort? Not likely.

Another Woelfelism
According to Gary Woelfel, Bucks PF Ersan Ilyasova has put on 22 pounds this offseason, all in the weight room. Woelfel reports that he saw Ilyasova the other day at the Bucks workout facilities in St. Francis and that Ilyasova was an impressive looking Hulk of a man at 242 pounds. I have two things to say about that. One, if Ersan truly packed on that much weight in that little time, and if indeed it is muscle, then he's on steroids. I've spoken with a friend of mine who is an orthopedic surgeon, and he confirms my belief. You simply cannot put on that much muscle in that little time without the use of anabolics. Second, such a dramatic weight gain in such a short amount of time is bound to have a negative effect on a player's basketball ability, especially a player like Ilyasova whose primary weapon is his jump shot.

So, even if the anecdote is true, I don't know why in the world Woelfel would see it as a good thing and not a cause for either suspicion or consternation. Finally, Woelfel reported that the Bucks strength coach told him Ilyasova was squatting 310 pounds. Woelfel seemed impressed. He shouldn't have been. 310 pounds is an impressive bench press for an NBA power forward; its a decidedly mediocre squat max. I was squatting 310 in high school. An NBA player should be way above that. I think Woelfel is confused.


At June 28, 2007 at 10:03 AM, Blogger Diesel said...

I think Chauncey may consider MKE as a possible destination. Here a couple reasons why...
1. Herbie "Hancock" Kohl tends to overpay early on in free agency (see Bobby Simmons).

2. Detoilet is going to be on a big-time down swing. The team is aging and Flip Saunders is clueless in big games. In retrospect, it was a blessing in disguise that he passed on the Bucks' head coaching gig.

At June 28, 2007 at 10:12 AM, Blogger Blogmaster said...

You're right that the only thing that could bring him here is the cabbage. But how much of a premium would the Bucks have to lay out to lure him? And how much of a premium is he worth? You can't give him a max deal. He's too old and it would fuck up your pay structure.

I guess the ultimate question will be, how bad does Detroit want him back? If they're a serious bidder, I don't see him coming to Milwaukee. But if they default then, yeah, the Bucks would be in the running for sure. At that point Chauncey's options would be restricted to teams with salary room and interest in him, and the Bucks would fit that bill.

At June 28, 2007 at 12:05 PM, Blogger Diesel said...

It most definitely is a long shot that Billups will be a Buck. Especially if Conley is available at #6 tonight.

As far as what the Bucks need, though, Chauncey is a perfect fit. He is a great defender by NBA standards and has NBA Championship experience. I see Chauncey Billups as the kind of veteran that would push Bogut and Villanueva to All-Star levels. Maybe I just had too much sugar-free Red Bull this morning but I would be thrilled with the signing of Billups. I would even be okay with the Bucks overpaying a little.

At June 29, 2007 at 6:03 AM, Blogger Blogmaster said...

Oh yeah, I wasn't questioning whether he would be a good addition to the Bucks. He would be a great addition. I was just looking at it from his perspective and asking why he would want to come here. As I see it, money would be about the only real draw. The Bucks would have to pay a premium amount above that being offered by others. The question would be, how high do the Bucks have to go to lure him here, and is he worth that amount?


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