The Milwaukee Bucks’ had two primary goals during the offseason:
1) Shore up their sieve-like interior defense, and 2) acquire an athletic wing player.
The Bucks have gone a long way toward attaining the first goal. They traded for veteran center Samuel Dalembert, who is a top-flight rebounder and shotblocker.
The Bucks also used their No. 1 pick in the June draft on John Henson, a 6-foot-11 power forward with a 7-4 wing span. Defense is Henson’s forte as well.
The Bucks are also in talks with unrestricted free-agent center Joel Przybilla, yet another excellent defender who played last season for the Portland Trail Blazers. According to some individuals close to negotiations, the Bucks are clearly the front-runners for his services.
The Bucks haven’t been nearly as aggressive in their pursuit of a wing player, though. They did draft Doron Lamb, a shooting guard from Kentucky in the second round.
While Lamb is definitely an intriguing prospect, as he exhibited in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, he doesn’t appear ready for major minutes. What’s more, he doesn’t have the size the Bucks are looking for at the wing spot.
That has led Bucks officials to explore the possibility of trading for a wing player or signing one in free agency. While they have plenty of time to pull off a trade before training camp by using one of their power forwards as bait, they have been checking out the free-agent market.
While the top-shelf wings have already signed with other teams, there are still some solid veterans available. One of them is Mickael Pietrus, who played last season with Boston.
Pietrus, 30, isn’t much of an offensive player — he averaged 6.9 points in 42 games last season for the Celtics — but he is a superb defender with excellent quickness and length. He is also versatile, able to defend forwards and guards alike.
Bill McCandless, Pietrus’ agent, said his client is drawing consideration from several teams. McCandless confirmed he and Bucks general manager John Hammond have had exploratory talks.
“We talked about 10 to 14 days ago,” McCandless said. “We’re waiting to see what happens. Mickael would be interested in playing for Milwaukee, absolutely.”
Another small forward who appears to be drawing consideration from the Bucks is C.J. Miles. Just 25, Miles has already played seven seasons in the NBA, all with Utah, which selected him in the second round of the 2005 draft.
Miles started 72 games for the Jazz during the 2008-2009 season but has been a part-time starter the last three seasons. He averaged a career-high 12.8 during the 2010-2011 season. Last year, in 56 games, he averaged 9.1 points in 20.4 minutes.
Like Pietrus, about a handful of teams are pursuing Miles as well.