Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bucks Notes

Cousins Center beware--a recent workout victim of Carl Landry

As usual, it seems like Gery Woelfel is the only journalist paying any attention to the Bucks, but hey, better than nothing. Here's an update on workouts:

  • This week: Bucks officials will reportedly travel to see Yi Jianlian in LA and Jeff Green in DC. Bucks officials supposedly had talks last week with Yi's reps, so either they're OK with letting him come to Milwaukee or they're just trying to hype the Bucks possibly taking him at 6. While Yi's skillset is certainly intriguing, it just seems a little counterintuitive for the Bucks to go with a soft PF who likely will need a couple years to adjust to the NBA. Green on the other hand doesn't have the upside of Yi but will probably be able to contribute immediately at SF. He's a very smart player who does everything reasonably well, though he has yet to sign with an agent and is said to be considering returning to Georgetown for his senior season. That seems unlikely given he's a lock to go in the lottery and could easily go top ten.
  • June 15: UNC PF Brandan Wright. As previously reported, he's doing all his workouts alone, which isn't surprising given his slight frame would likely fair poorly against the older and more mature Horford/Noah types. Refusing to work out against other players doesn't win you points with GMs, but given the knee-jerk way in which draft buzz works, it makes sense that agents try to keep players out of situations that aren't going to be favorable to them. Julian Wright and Yi are employing similar strategies. While he could eventually be a dynamic PF on both ends of the floor, Wright's extremely slight frame (6'10", 200 lbs) and lack of shooting range leave me somewhat skeptical about the "next Chris Bosh" tag some have given him. While both left college after one season, Bosh had a far superior mid-range game and was also an inch taller and 25 lbs heavier.
  • June 18: Ohio St. PG Mike Conley, the current favorite to go to the Bucks at 6, will be working out alongside Georgia Tech swingman Thaddeus Young. Young is considered a late-lottery candidate, but coming out of high school a year ago he was mentioned in the same breath as Kevin Durant. He wasn't consistent at GT, but showed good range as well as explosive athleticism. In terms of playing style he's similar to Florida State's Al Thornton, another athletic 3 who also projects to the late lottery. It's possible Thornton/Young would be targets if the Bucks traded down with a team like the Bulls.
  • June 19: Florida teammates Al Horford and Corey Brewer will be the big names, but Wisconsin natives Carl Landry of Purdue and Matt Lojeski of Purdue will also be there. Landry could still be around when the Bucks pick in the second round (56th overall), while Lojeski is getting worked out mostly as a courtesy. Landry, the brother of UW forward Marcus, put up 19 ppg/7 rpg last year, but NBA scouts questioned his size (he was listed at 6'7" in college), athleticism, and his surgically repaired ACL. He's a really interesting story, having not been recruited out of high school before working his way from junior college to the Big Ten. Given the concerns about his height and athleticism, his pre-draft measurements really stand out: nearly 6'9" in shoes, more bench press reps than Al Horford, and an impressive 36.5" vertical to boot. Combine those stats with the productiveness he showed in college, and you have to look at him as a possible Paul Millsap/Craig Smith type sleeper PF.
  • June 20: Kansas forward Julian Wright. Lojeski's agent also said Lojeski would be there, but I'm not clear if he's working out on consecutive days or if it's just a mix-up on when he's going to be there. Wright supposedly refuses to work out against other players, so I assume the two would be working out separately if they are both there.
Woelfel also expanded slightly on the story about Noah not working out with the Bucks, noting that it was rumored he didn't see the Bucks as a "good fit" for him. While many people want to rip Noah for reasons other than what he does as a player, he certainly could provide some things the Bucks need, notably rebounding, defensive energy, and shot-blocking. Still, with Bogut and Villanueva already on the roster I can see how a guy like Noah might be concerned he wouldn't get enough playing time. I had initially wondered if the non-workout was a smokescreen, but it appears that is not the case.

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