Scott Skiles says he will return next season.

Contrary to rumors and what appeared most logical, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported yesterday that, according to Scott Skiles, Scott Skiles will return for the Milwaukee Bucks 2012-13 season as head coach.

The previous scuttlebutt was that Skiles would explore a buyout and move on.

But after meeting with Herb Kohl and John Hammond, it appears both sides either:

A. Agreed that with a full training camp and a normal season, he was the best fit for the job of getting the Bucks back into the bottom half of the playoffs. Make no mistake, that’s the ultimate goal of the franchise.

or

B. Couldn’t reach a mutual agreement on a figure that Skiles would be bought out at.

What the story is, we won’t know. But for now, it appears that Skiles will return and that, once again, the Bucks will do everything they can to grab a playoff spot.

Skiles was significantly more enthusiastic about his young players yesterday than he had been two weeks ago when asked about whether he liked their work habits and responded with: “I don’t know.”

“I thought Larry showed real flashes of improvement,” Skiles said. “We like Ekpe a lot. I thought Jon and Tobias, even though they didn’t play very much, got better as the year went on.

Maybe he was just burnt out from a disappointing end to a frustrating season that night. He has the right to change his mind or have been in a bad mood that night, I’ll give him that. And I don’t think he was terribly disappointed with last season’s rookies all things considered. But it did surprise me that he’d go on as apparently excited about the Brandon Jennings/Monta Ellis combo at the guard spots.

“Monta is a good passer. Brandon is still learning how to play without the ball in his hands. And it’s a lot easier to learn when you have other people out there who are passing the ball, and the ball finds him (Jennings) again when he gives it up.

“I thought they worked really well together.”

Sometimes they did look good. But a lot of times, not so much. Ellis pretty much played the worst basketball of his career over the last 21 games. A lot could have factored into that – lack of practice with new teammates, a huge career transition and the lockout schedule all included. But he wasn’t very good offensively, spare a few big moments.

Roster aside, the Bucks now appear to be entering the off-season with both a coach and a general manager entering the last year of their contract. There’s two ways that can be looked at. It’s possible both have quite a bit of incentive to push the Bucks forward next season. But there’s also a lot of incentive to look at “the future” as next season. We might see some pretty crazy win now moves coming this July.

But certainly those looking for a rebuild won’t be pleased today. The franchise is moving full speed ahead with plans to make another stab at a playoff run.

Jeremy Schmidt writes the Milwaukee Bucks blog Bucksketball.com. He’d love it if you stopped by every time you wanted to buy something on Amazon and gave him some click-through love on the banner up on the top right. Also –Twitter.