Hammond On Offseason, Roster, Expectations

Bucks general manager John Hammond took part in a phone interview with Hoopsworld to talk about what the team had aimed to do during the offseason, shared thoughts on some of their acquisitions, and what he’ll be looking for in 2013/14. You can read a few highlights from the transcript below (Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld):

On their approach during the offseason and changing the team atmosphere:

“Our approach was two-fold; we wanted to stay competitive and yet build with young players as we move forward…One of the most important things is that the young players continue to improve. Guys like Larry Sanders, John Henson, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brandon Knight and all of our young players, that at the end of the season they’re better than what they were at the start of the season.”

“One thing we felt like we really needed to do was change the culture, so to speak, and I really feel like we were able to do that…The kind of people we brought in, guys like Zaza Pachulia, Luke Ridnour, Carlos Delfino and, of course, Caron Butler, those guys are great pieces to have on your roster. They’re going to represent the organization well. They’re going to represent the community well. We’re excited about having them. We needed those veteran pieces to kind of help stabilize us, on the floor and off the floor.”

On the sign-and-trade deal with Detroit that brought Brandon Knight to Milwaukee:

“At the end of the day, from a roster standpoint, we felt like it was the right decision for us and we were happy to be able to acquire Brandon…We’ve been very impressed with him. He’s only 21 years old so he’s another very young piece, but he has two years of experience under his belt. He’s another guy who I feel is going to continue to improve and get better. We’re looking forward to having him as a keeper piece in the backcourt.

On Larry Sanders:

“He’s a difference maker on the floor…He’s a difference maker, a game changer, whatever you want to call it because of his defensive presence and his ability to block shots. Any time you can be identified as one of the best in the league at a particular aspect of the game, I think you do have a chance to be a [franchise] player. We’re hoping that Larry can continue to be that. All he has to do is continue to be what he has been – someone who is a rim protector, runs the floor and rebounds on both ends of the floor. And his game is going to continue to grow, I feel very confident about that.”

Taking a chance on Giannis Antentokounmpo:

“We didn’t know exactly how soon he was going to be able to get on floor or how soon we’d be able to play him when we drafted him and going into training camp, we still had no idea…But through training camp and through the exhibition season thus far, I think we do feel confident that we can put him on the floor and that he can play. There’s no greater experience than being on the floor and learning in live action. We’re expecting that to happen for him. As far as what his ceiling his, I really don’t know what his ceiling is. I think he has a chance to be – and I say this in a very guarded manner – he has a chance to be a special player. I do think he has a chance to be a special player in this league.”

The expectations for the upcoming season and thoughts on the draft: 

“We hope to continue to improve as the season progresses and hope that our guys play unselfish, play hard every night and represent this organization and community…With that being said, the wins and losses will take care of themselves. We’re planning on winning and hopefully being a very competitive team throughout the season. But for us, as we move forward, we want to continue to build with the young pieces, continue to draft wisely and have good cap management.”

“(2014) seems like a great class, but I’m saying that today before the college season even starts…I’m kind of excited about this draft, but then again we always find out more and learn more throughout the season.”

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