Deafening Silence: The Milwaukee Bucks Summer of 2011

Most mornings I wake up and look to my laptop. It’s often out of battery, drained from a night of Netflix. When I find the motivation, I plug it back in and head to ESPN.com. Shortly after I begin my search for the latest news on our beloved Milwaukee Bucks.

That search never lasts very long.

You’ve likely noticed, the Milwaukee Bucks are hardly the talk of the pre-draft rumor world. Sure, there were rumblings about Brandon Jennings. He at some point may or may not have been available, and, depending on who you want to believe, could actually have been offered up in a trade at some point. But don’t bet on him going anywhere. He’s set up shop in Milwaukee, of all places and he seems intent on improving this summer. Cross your fingers on that issue. But beyond Jennings, based on how things have gone so far this summer, don’t bet on anyone going anywhere.

There’s been virtually no talk of the Bucks looking to move up in the draft. But that could be due to the deflated draft class staring the NBA in the face. Not so much as a whisper of something along the lines of the Richard Jefferson trade that kicked off John Hammond’s tenure as Bucks GM either. And no rumors of any peripheral deals involving restricted free agent to be Luc Richard Mbah a Moute or extra piece Ersan Ilyasova.

This was not how I always envisioned the summer after Michael Redd’s contract expired.

No, I didn’t envision a pending lockout looming over everything either, but that hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from turning out the Andre Iguodala for Monta Ellis deal or the supposed Minnesota interest in dealing out of the number two slot. It seems some teams are being active, while others wait for things to shake out.

Some time ago, I thought, as I’m sure we all did, this would be the first summer of a massive rebuilding project. Of course, that was before the magic of the “Fear the Deer” playoff run that captured the imagination of more folks in the city than anything else the Bucks had done in quite some time. Unfortunately, that led to last summer. The summer which has left us here, with an apparently inactive basketball team, betting everything on an underperforming, injured roster.

There’s little question that the lack of Bucks talk this summer is tied to last summer and last season. John Hammond and company believe last season’s team wasn’t as bad as the results indicated. And they seem none too thrilled about the upcoming draft.

Milwaukee’s had five workouts now and of all the players the team has worked out, the only player that seems worth taking a second look at with regards to how he could productively fit the Bucks is Alec Burks. Tristan Thompson is Redundant Larry Sanders (except instead of being a potentially impact defender, he could be an impactrebounder), the Morris Twins either have no position or not enough skill and yesterday Milwaukee brought in six players that wouldn’t be taken in the first five rounds of the D-League draft. That’s not an ideal scenario for a lottery pick.

An ugly draft leaves the Bucks with a pick of significantly less value than usual and a lack of interest in the players available. A worst case scenario for a team in serious need of a shot in the arm. Without that shot, Milwaukee has nothing but its hopes that, no, John Salmons hasn’t gotten very old, very fast. And, yes, Corey Maggette can fit in. Given last season as evidence, most people would say there’s little hope either of those situations will turn out positive for Milwaukee.

No matter what, don’t expect much from Milwaukee this off-season, unless a team comes knocking with an offer they can’t refuse. A proposition that seems unlikely. In the mean time, I’ll keep my eye on Google and I’ll keep updating the site. Just don’t get your hopes up that I’ll update with anything all that exciting.

Jeremy Schmidt writes the Milwaukee Bucks blog Bucksketball.com. Follow him on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Categories: The Off Season

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