Bucks GM John Hammond said he still believes in his team’s young players despite a disappointing season so far and “can’t imagine life without” offseason signee Greg Monroe, according to Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Hammond said the Bucks are doing their “due diligence” as the trade deadline nears, but he balked at the idea that the team is in a rebuilding situation.
“Absolutely not,” Hammond said. “A rebuild is saying, ‘We don’t have players.’ We like the players we have. For that reason I say it’s not a rebuild, not even close to a rebuild. We took two major steps forward last year, going from a 15-win season to a 41-win season. Those were historic measures. Sometimes this happens. It happens in life, it happens in business, it happens in sports. Sometimes you take two major steps forward, you might take a step backward. Maybe the step backward might be healthy; maybe it’s the right thing for you. The most important thing is not to panic.”
See more from the Bucks GM amid news from the Central Division:
- Hammond identified 50-win seasons as “the mark of excellence” in the NBA, saying the team’s goal is to reach that threshold and remain above it, Gardner also relays. Nine teams won at least 50 games last season, so while it’s the domain of quality teams, it’s not necessarily symbolic of the elite.
- New Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue appears to believe that Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love have offered too much resistance to their roles, remarking Saturday that “it’s still about their brand,” notes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. Lue tempered it a bit by later saying he encouraged the entire team to put winning before brand, Vardon notes. “Me and Kev will do a great job with adjusting to it, but our brands are the last thing we’re worried about,” Irving said. “If Kevin was worried about his brand, I don’t think Kevin would’ve came back. And for me to sign here, it was for a legitimate reason and we have a bigger goal at hand that we want to accomplish. That’s always coming first.”
- Former Pistons affiliate player Ryan Boatright has signed with Italy’s Orlandina, the team formally announced (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). La Gazzetta dello Sport first reported a signing was close.