Da draft, Jennings & a buncha links inspired by my laziness

If you haven’t checked out Sportsbubbler’s Bucks center, now’s a good time to check it out. Dan and Jim’s draft day work is downright comprehensive, complete with video interviews of many of the players the Bucks worked out, including, of course …

a Draft workout interview with Bucks first-round pick Brandon Jennings.

Journal Sentinel’s Bucks page has more, featuring Saturday’s extended feature on Jennings. For once, I like how Bucks GM John Hammond is describing a management decision:

“We had a real fear on this guy, and the fear was that we don’t take him. Because we really thought in watching him, he had the chance to be the most special of all of them.”

In other words, Hammond and coach Scott Skiles made a gut decision and passed on the more polished players from NCAA basketball machines, such as Ty Lawson. Not such a bad idea, Skiles of course knowing how difficult the transition to the NBA is for point guards, having gone through it himself in the late 1980s out of Michigan State. Europe might be better preparation in some ways. Here are a couple:

He received much less hype from the draft matrons, midwives and handmaidens (Jay Bilas, Chad Ford et al) than players like Jonny Flynn or Lawson.

He never got the opportunity to be BMOC or break the NCAA’s precious rules, all those wonders the college basketball experience offers.

Italian women, enuff said.

You’ll find more post draft interviews (Hammond, Skiles, Jennings) here.

And here’s Sham’s unnecessarily long 2009 draft diary, complete with a tale of drunkenness and cruelty.

I have to admit, I’m like Sham in that I don’t watch enough college basketball to really sink my two cents in about the draft. Much like our fan commentator, Christopher Peppas, I was surprised when DeJuan Blair fell farther and farther, and farther, and then even farther, until the Spurs picked him at #37 in the 2nd round. Lucky break for Blair in my book. Sure, he lost millions but now gets to play for Pop Popovich and knock around in the paint with Tim Duncan. And win games. The Spurs are getting better with every move they make this offseason.

Patrick MillsEven more surprising was how far Patty Mills fell (#55 by the Portland Trail Blazers) Mills received rave reviews from Jason Kidd and Chris Paul playing with Andrew Bogut and Australia Boomers in the 2008 Olympics. He then dazzled Stephon Curry and Davidson in the NIT. In that Davidson-St. Mary’s game — won by Mills and St. Mary’s — Mills outplayed Curry and was, I thought, the best player on the court. I think the Trail Blazers found a great point guard in Mills, one who should challenge Steve Blake for PT right away. I think he’s better than Flynn or Lawson, et al, maybe Jennings too.

The fact that Jerrell McNeal wasn’t drafted is a big surprise. One draft ranking site — one of far too many — the yahoo board, had McNeal ranked right behind Jodie Weeks in its shooting guard rankings (Meeks 13th, McNeal 14th). Why McNeal bombed out of the draft altogether is a bit of a mystery at the moment … I wasn’t expecting that.

Meeks, Jodie

Speaking of Jodie Meeks, the Bucks #41 pick — I’m glad they picked a guy who can shoot. Obviously, with the addition of Salim Stoudamire and now Weeks pick-up, Hammond and Skiles are well aware that the Bucks aren’t going to win too many games shooting the way they did last season. Does this mean the end for Michael Redd?  No, but a team that just traded their top 3-point shooter to San Antonio and has its starting 2-guard coming off of knee surgery ought to be concerned about its ability to stretch defenses — and the Bucks are concerned. (And OUCH!!, Charlie Villanueva’s 20-80 grand finish in the last 20 games is still ringing in the BC rafters). Meeks best bet at finding PT will be if Redd is slowed at the start of the season. I can’t see Skiles playing a rookie while Charlie Bell and his great defense sits on the bench.

But the Bucks certainly have a lot of guards in the fold, don’t they?  Redd, Ridnour, Bell, Bowen (a F/G), Stoudamire, Jennings and Meeks. That’s seven, eight if the Bucks resign Sessions. Something tells me another trade may be in the works. Also, somebody could be headed for the D-League.

Will the Bucks go into the season with Sessions, Ridnour and Jennings at point? It’s possible, I suppose, but doesn’t seem too likely. Stoudamire is more a shooting guard, down on the depth chart behind Redd and Bell, along with rookie Meeks.

I think this offseason has some more surprises in store for Bucks faithful. …

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