The draft is next Thursday. While the Bucks haven’t had the most active offseason, there has still been some speculation regarding the team. It’s tough analyzing only rumors, but there are still some kernels of truth out there.
Jimmer Freddette isn’t coming to Milwaukee. So far Fredette has refused workouts with the team. He may not want to play behind Jennings. Or he may not like Milwaukee. Either way, when a prospect refuses to workout with team that has a pick when he will probably still be on the board, that’s when you know he doesn’t want to be there. Bucks assistant general manager Jeff Weltman has made clear that they aren’t going to force the issue.
From Paul Imig at Fox Sports Wisconsin:
“We tell (agents), ‘If your kid doesn’t come in to visit, we can’t pick him,'” Weltman said. “‘So just know, I know you think he’s going to be gone before us, but if he does that to us, he’s going to get past us.'”
Fredette is an interesting prospect to say the least. I’m not saying that because of his game because frankly, I don’t think he’s very good. What’s interesting about Fredette is that someone just read my previous sentence and thought, “This guy is an idiot!” Fredette’s name carries vitriol and divisiveness wherever it goes. One thing is for sure, the team that drafts Fredette will get huge publicity. He’s the biggest star in the draft. He’d be the Bucks most buzzworthy draftee since Glenn Robinson. It’s a buzz that the Bucks possibly could use.
(Here’s a fun example of Fredette’s divisiveness. Driving up to Appleton, I was arguing his merits with a friend. The conversation got heated and at one point he said that Fredette was a better shooter than Ray Allen. I simply turned up the radio and stopped talking. I was not going to justify that comment.)
The Bucks will draft a project. Alec Burks needs to put on some muscle and get a shooting touch. Bismack Biyombo and Tristan Thompson need work on their entire offensive game. Jordan Hamilton has to improve his ballhandling and shooting mechanics. His doesn’t finish well at the rim and he’s not a good shooter off the dribble. Klay Thompson struggles on the defensive end which will always lose you minutes under Scott Skiles. It’s to be expected. The Bucks have the tenth pick in a weak draft.
Brandon Jennings won’t be traded. A few rumors have popped up about Jennings since the draft combine. I’ve been skeptical of the rumors. It seems that the front office merely acknowledges that Jennings isn’t untradeable. That’s obvious. Jennings isn’t good enough to be untradeable.
Two things need to happen to trade Jennings. First, the Bucks need a suitable replacement at point guard. Second, they need to shed a bad contract in any Jennings-related deal. The league is definitely heading toward a new CBA with more salary cap restrictions. So why shed one of the most favorable contracts the team has if they’re not also getting rid of one of the worst contracts? Finding a replacement at point guard a daunting task, but it can be done. The harder part is step two. There’s no reason for another team to take on a bad contract right now. However, if NBA teams were smart, the new CBA wouldn’t be needed.
The Bucks are slowly dying in the Bradley Center. There’s a misconception that a winning team naturally rakes in money. The Bucks were a winning team for the 2009-10 season. They were exciting. They were cool. They were hip. They lost 2 million dollars before taxes. For the 2009-10 season, Forbes has the Bucks listed as the least valuable franchise in the league. The figures for this last season aren’t out yet, but is there any reason for positivity? A new CBA will curb some expenses, but at best that’s just a band-aid for the Bucks gaping wound.
Herb Kohl needs to find a way to get the Bucks a new building. Get lobbyists in Madison. Hire a PR firm to start rallying public support. Also, demand better revenue sharing among the teams. Kohl is capable of doing it. No one gets appointed to the Senate Committee for Appropriations unless they get things done. This is the Bucks most desperate hour. Help us, Herb Kohl, you’re the only hope.
Ian Segovia writes for the Milwaukee Bucks blog Bucksketball.com. Follow him on Twitter.