WSSP.com: Gery Woefel went on the Bill Michaels Show to tackle the topic looming in the Bucks’ immediate future: To extend or not to extend Brandon Jennings.
“I imagine it’s going to be somewhere in the $9 to 10 million per year range. I think both parties want to get it done. I talked to Bill Duffy, Brandon Jennings’ agent, on several occasions this summer and even though they haven’t delved too deeply into the negotiations part of it, he definitely made it abundantly clear to me that he wants to get an extension done.”
If the Bucks can get Jennings at a price far below Rajon Rondo’s five-year, $55 million deal, then ‘YES, PLEASE!’ (I’m mostly thankful not to have heard Brandon drop the M-word yet.)
If Ersan Ilyasova is worth $8 million per year, then Jennings is a steal at $9 million. Prices are relative, though, and one overpriced deal doesn’t justify another, but if Brandon’s best years are ahead of him, then $9 mil is a coup.
Plus, what does John Hammond have to lose? If the Bucks don’t like the way the extension goes down, he will be out in eight months regardless. Of course, the puzzle for Hammond and the Bucks is that they have to decide on the future of not one, but two talented, undersized guards in rapid succession. Woelfel seems to think that Ellis could command more than Jennings.
Ellis is going to be the highest-paid player on the Bucks’ team — if they decide to keep him — I think he’s currently at $11 million. I imagine he’s going to be asking for $13 or 14 (million).”
Woefel went on to pooh-pooh the chances of Skiles sticking around after this season and to note that a power forward-for-wing trade would not surprise him in the least. The interview is worth a listen, if only to hear Gery tell the story of Herb Kohl revealing the only instance where he meddled in a trade and completely bypassed his general manager.
Ball Don’t Lie: There are a lot of numbers on the pairing of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis in this Yahoo piece by Dan Devine — enough numbers to make your head spin really.
I don’t trust any of them.
In addition to being really small sample sizes (as Devine duly notes), two factors are going to change. First, the Bucks are playing with a center who can play defense like an actual center. Playing defense without a center is akin to playing offense without a point guard. It doesn’t work.* I’m not ready to hold what Brandon and Monta responsible for what they did with Drew Gooden** backing them up.
The other key factor is Luc Mbah a Moute. When stat geeks pore over the November data for the Montandon/Jellings/Bronta duo, Luc’s inclusion or exclusion will go a long way toward predicting the type of narrative they shape from the numbers. His one-sided skillset will skew the line toward defense. The question remains: Will defenses respect him on the other end to make it worthwhile?
Journal Sentinel: Former Milwaukee forward Wayne Embry says that Bobby Dandridge is the third-best player in franchise history, behind Kareem and Oscar. It’s probably folly to pick Dandridge over guard Sidney Moncrief; perhaps Dandridge isn’t even as good as Marques Johnson?
Curtis Harris (@prohoopshistory) and I have gone back and forth a few times on Twitter on on the Dandridge v. Marques topic. Score a round in Curtis’ favor here. But I’m sticking with Marques, especially in light of Embry’s obvious bias in favor of his former player.
Grantland.com: Speaking of Marques Johnson, in an oral history of ‘White Men Can’t Jump‘, Marques revealed that he is far more famous with younger generations for his role as Raymond than he is for his on-court feats.
I remember speaking at the Wooden Awards. It was full of high school, college players and I [talked about] my career and was like, “You guys don’t remember a whole lot about that, but how many saw White Men Can’t Jump?” Some arms went up. “You remember the guy who robbed the liquor store?” And they were like, “Ohhh, that’s right.” I’m a five-time NBA All-Star, Wooden Award winner, national champ, All-American, blah, blah, blah, but I’ll ask, “How many have seen White Men Can’t Jump?” and people’s eyes will light up.
If you’ll kindly excuse me, I have to go get something from my glove compartment.
* Offenses with Paul Pressey excluded.
** Drew Gooden played center about as well as an aging, power forward should play center. I’m not ready to hold Drew Gooden-playing-center against Drew Gooden, either. Let’s blame John Hammond here.