With a nucleus of young and mostly established players including Michael Carter-Williams, Khris Middleton, Jabari Parker, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Greg Monroe and John Henson, Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders opines that there’s a strong chance the Bucks emerge this season as one of the top teams out of the Eastern Conference. Hamilton also adds that the young players respect head coach Jason Kidd, perhaps more than a veteran would, given Kidd’s age, and that should make winning come a bit easier for the team.
Here’s more out of the Eastern Conference:
- Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who signed a bill that calls for $250MM of public financing for a new arena for the Bucks, called the proposed investment “fiscally responsible,” on NBC’s Meet the Press (h/t SI.com’s Chris Mannix). Walker has long backed the arena project and said when the bill emerged from the state legislature late last month that he’d sign it. The team must still arrange for a land sale with Milwaukee County and receive approval for construction from the Milwaukee Common Council, but Bucks executives have said that can take place between now and the fall.
- After the worst statistical season since his second year in the league, Joe Johnson, judging from his physique in photos and videos posted on his Instagram feed, appears to be ready for this season, Robert Windrem of NetsDaily writes. Johnson, who was the subject of trade rumors earlier this summer, will likely start at shooting guard, according to Nets head coach Lionel Hollins.