Tag: John Hammond

Milwaukee Bucks v New Orleans Hornets

Owner’s commitment to Bucks good for Hammond, Skiles

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Herb Kohl is making changes.

The United States Senator said he has decided not to seek re-election.

But he remains committed to owning the Bucks, he told the Journal-Sentinel, and he is not looking for big changes there.

“One thing, our coach (Scott Skiles) is as competitive as they come and so is our general manager (John Hammond),” Kohl said. “We hope the year to come is going to be a lot better.”

The Bucks on the court took a step back this season, but that was largely due to injuries – no team lost more man games total or more games to key rotation players than the Bucks. Even when Andrew Bogut played, he was not right on offense because of his elbow.

But that is not the biggest long-term issue for Milwaukee.

Kohl also spoke briefly about the Bradley Center, saying he wanted to find “a way to build a modern complex.” “And in generations to come, the Bucks will continue to be a part of the landscape of Milwaukee,” Kohl said. Concerns about the aging Bradley Center are intertwined with the Bucks’ future in Milwaukee.

The new collective bargaining agreement could really benefit teams like Milwaukee in smaller markets, as could more revenue sharing. But at some point in the not to distant future, the stadium situation will need to be addressed.

But for now, the owner is committed to the team and Milwaukee. And that’s a good thing.

Bucks sign Keyon Dooling while Luke Ridnour peaces out

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The Milwaukee Bucks will have a ridiculous amount of turnover for a playoff team, as John Hammond has agreed to a deal with another rotation player. Keyon Dooling, who filled in at both guard spots off the bench for the Nets last season, will be on his way to Milwaukee on a two-year contract according to Garry D. Howard of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. No specifics are available on the value of the contract yet (though Frank Madden of BrewHoop noted that the most Milwaukee could offer him would be the full biannual exception), but from strictly a basketball perspective, it’s a pretty sound move.

Luke Ridnour had a terrific season for the Bucks last year, but he’s looking for more minutes, responsibility, and, predictably, money. That makes Milwaukee a poor fit going forward; the Bucks will look to give Brandon Jennings more and more of all of the above as he develops, and to have such a financial obligation to two point guards would limit Milwaukee’s flexibility at other positions. So instead, they’ve added Dooling, a decent all-around player and a good three-point shooter, for what should be a very reasonable salary.

It’s simple and smart. Dooling could be another feather in Hammond’s hat, even if John has recently committed his team to roughly a bajillion dollars in contracts in order to cover that hat in sequins.

Bucks start talks with Salmons agent, will keep Delfino

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The Bucks are just trying to keep the band together.

They liked the way last season ended. Well, except for that Andrew Bogut injury thing. But they were one of the hottest teams going to last month of the season and even without Bogut they pushed the Hawks to seven games.  Next season Brandon Jennings should take a step forward as his skills and game mature, which means the Bucks should improve.

If they can bring all their key players back.

That starts with keeping John Salmons in house. He is expected to opt out of his $5.8 million deal for next year and test the free agent market in hopes of a bigger — and multi-year — deal. The Bucks have talked to his agent about an extension of the current deal that would keep him off the market, General Manager John Hammond told the Journal-Sentinel.

Hammond would not discuss specifics of the offer, but it is believed the Bucks have offered a maximum extension that would include Salmons’ opt-in year and three additional years for a total of nearly $27 million…

“He has some decisions he has to make,” Hammond said. “The first decision is does he opt out. You may expect him to do that. If that happens, he becomes an unrestricted free agent and we can’t have official conversations with him or his representative until July 1.

Carlos Delfino came up big for the Hawks last season. He is due $3.5 million next season but it is not a guaranteed contract (well, just $500,000 of it is). The Bucks could cut him to save money. They won’t, Hammond said.

One guy that will see a lot of interest on the free agent market is Luke Ridnour, who had his best season in the league as a Buck. Hammond said he does not know what is going to happen there.

The Bucks may have Michael Redd back. He has played just 51 games total the last two seasons due to tearing his ACL in consecutive years, but he could return next year.

Winderman: Hammond as Executive of the Year because less is more

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The press release from the NBA that accompanied Saturday’s announcement of Bucks General Manager John Hammond as Executive of the Year was noteworthy for what it didn’t mention.

In announcing Hammond as winner of the award, the release cited the drafting of Brandon Jennings, the selection of coach Scott Skiles, the addition of veterans Carlos Delfino, John Salmons, Jerry Stackhouse and Kurt Thomas, as well as the re-signing of Ersan Ilyasova.

But nowhere were two of Hammond’s most significant moves mentioned.

Or make that non-moves.

He didn’t re-sign Charlie Villanueva and Ramon Sessions last summer, declined to get caught up in any bidding war to retain those two free agents last summer.

More to the point, he refused to overpay.

Then consider the electorate for the award.

Unlike MVP, Rookie of the Year or most of the major awards, this was not a media poll (not that there is anything wrong with that).

Unlike the All-NBA and All-Rookie teams, this was not an election by coaches.

No, this was league executives voting for one of their own.

And they just might have made the process a referendum against foolish spending.

Detroit’s Joe Dumars, who added Villanueva (and Ben Gordon), did not receive a single vote. Neither did the Timberwolves’ David Kahn, who added Sessions.

Instead, the practical and prudent Sam Presti finished second in the balloting.

With the league bursting with cap cash, there certainly will be more Dumars types out there this summer, spending because they can, much to the delight of David Lee, Rudy Gay, Carlos Boozer and others.

But the lesson from Hammond is one that should not be overlooked or understated.

Less, in his case, produced more.

Those at the July 1 starting gate should consider it a reality check.

Then again, perhaps Saturday’s announcement was a sign of what’s not to come.
Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.