It's that time of the year again Bucks fans. I'm Hugh Jass, recently back in Milwaukee after a nice vacation in the subcontinent, just in time for the annual gathering of the NBA's doormats in Secaucus, New Jersey. Of course, I'm talking about the NBA Lottery - that glorious day where ping-pong balls allow the masterminds that make up the front offices of the NBA's worst teams to decide the fate of the current crop of collegiate and international elite.
The Bucks are lined up at lucky number seven in this year's lottery and are guaranteed a top 10 pick, although they cannot get four, five or six. They have less than a 5% chance at the first or second pick and about a 6% chance of landing at number three. The smart money (a 60% chance) has them staying at seven but they also have a 24% chance of slipping to eight or nine.
Although the Bucks aren't a stranger to the lottery, it's a new deal for recently hired general manager John Hammond. That's generally how it goes when you're part of an organization that makes the playoffs every year - during Hammond's seven seasons with the Pistons they made the playoffs each year, never posting less than a 50 win season.
So Hammonds is on his way to Jersey to participate in his first lottery as a Bucks G.M. For the Bucks it will be their 12th appearance and their third in the last four years. (The Bucks last two lottery picks have been Yi Jianlian with the 6th overall pick in 2007 and Andrew Bogut with the 1st overall pick in 2005.)
I for one have confidence in Hammond. He seems like a sharp guy and he's spent many years in a winning organization. We're about to find out how lucky he is.