Max Ergul flip flops on Milwaukee in the case of Enes Kanter

(NOTE: Gery Woelful spoke with Max Ergul who cleared up just why Kanter did not speak with the Bucks.)

It’s happened often enough that it no longer comes as a surprise. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t come off as any less indignant this time though.

Once again, the NBA Draft is approaching. And once again, Milwaukee appears a less than desirable landing spot for at least one draft prospect.

The latest NBA hopeful to avoid Milwaukee is Turkish man of mystery Enes Kanter. After some question about just what teams Kanter did and did not interview with at the Chicago combine, his agent, Max Ergul, offered some clarity on the situation to Sports Illustrated. He wasn’t avoiding a number of teams. He was just avoiding the Bucks.

“The only one I really didn’t care for him [to go to] is Milwaukee,” Ergul said

This isn’t the first time a Turkish player with whom Ergul is associated with has passed on the Bucks.

In 2007, Ersan Ilyasova surprised many by bolting from the NBA to play overseas after his rookie season with Milwaukee. At the time, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that Ergul was Ilyasova’s agent, though then General Manager Larry Harris later insisted Ergul was merely an advisor. At any rate, he had some relationship with Ilyasova and may have played a role in steering the Bucks forward away from Milwaukee. Of course, Ergul was singing quite a different tune about Milwaukee at the time.

“The Bucks gave first-class treatment to Ersan, and we would never hesitate to put another player here,” Ergul said.

How things change.

Kanter is just one of multiple players over the past few years to reject either an interview or workout with the Bucks. Patrick Patterson, Joakim Noah and eventually Bucks draftee Yi Jianlian all have spurned the Bucks in recent years. Whether or not the lack of access will influence Milwaukee’s decision making remains to be seen. Patterson and Noah were gone before the Bucks drafted, but under the Harris regime, Milwaukee did not hesitate to draft Jianlian, the top remaining prospect on their board.

Ergul hasn’t given much indication as to why he’s blacklisted Milwaukee when it comes to Kanter. Some have offered that Andrew Bogut’s long term contract would stand in the way of Kanter’s development, while others note that Milwaukee is simply drafting too far down the board and it could be construed as a sign of weakness to allow a potential top five pick to work out with the team holding pick 10. Then there’s the prevalent perception that Milwaukee isn’t much of a town for a foreign player to play in.

Whether it’s the city, the organization or the draft slot we don’t know, and unless Ergul or Kanter speaks out, we probably won’t get to the bottom of it. But once again as the draft approaches, Milwaukee is singled out as an undesirable location and the city’s image around the league takes yet another hit.

Jeremy Schmidt writes the Milwaukee Bucks blog Follow him on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook (sidebar).

Categories: Draft Talk

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  1. So many come and go that say great things about the state, be it Green Bay with the Pack, or Milwaukee with the Brewers or Bucks, but then again so many say negative things, and lets face it, when it comes to media attention, it’s never good. Do you ever watch the local news? Sometimes I question why I like it here…

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  3. Senior Cabinet

    All the more hail andrew bogut, for being a true professional, and face of the bucks

    Never once did he complain or threaten not to go to the Bucks when they drafted him

    He signed a big contract (but not as big as he could have potential got as a free agent), rather than carmelo’ing his way out

    Hail Andrew Hail

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  5. I appreciate your approach to this matter, focusing on Ergul and not Kanter. I have read way too much from others saying how horrible Kanter looks for this, when really he had no say. Some have blown this issue out of proportion. Kanter will not be there at 10 and the Bucks will not move up to grab him. I find it interesting how location is such an issue in the NBA. Definitely has to do with the type of personalities in each league. Many MLB players come from small towns and appreciate a place like Milwaukee, while you have big city kids that only want to play in NYC and LA in the NBA. Oh well, it gives me a greater appreciation for Andrew Bogut.

  6. Fine, he and his agent don’t like Milwaukee or the Bucks. Gives us a good reason to boo his ass if he ever makes it to the show. Too bad to, with a name like kanter he would have been a natural for the Bucks.

  7. The guys sucks anyway. He’s not a full time starter…he’s way overhyped just like Yi was. Screw the a@@es who say Milwaukee sucks before they even step into the city. I’m an avid traveler and there is very little difference between our small market club and any other small to mid size market city. They’re upset because they think our women are not easy and dumb enough to sleep with…dumb thugs.