Alas, the summer overhaul is complete.
Faced with an abundance of questions after an extremely busy offseason, the Milwaukee Bucks hosted their annual media day event in hopes of shedding some light on a lot of those decisions.
Not every question has an immediate answer and only the start of play will address some of them. Still, the franchise knows it made some drastic changes, and leaving fans completely in the dark wouldn't be beneficial.
Caron Butler Won't Be a Third or Fourth Option
Big moves were made to bring in young talents like O.J. Mayo and Brandon Knight, but it was head coach Larry Drew's comments about Caron Butler that probably raised a few eyebrows among fans and media members alike.
Larry Drew on Caron Butler: "In Los Angeles, he was the third or fourth option. That won't be the case in Milwaukee."— Gery Woelfel (@GeryWoelfel) September 30, 2013
The addition of Butler certainly became more imperative when it was reported Carlos Delfino could miss time due to an injury—more on that shortly—but no one saw this one coming.
Unless Drew is awkwardly inferring that Butler will have less of an impact than he did a season ago, it looks like the 33-year-old Racine native will be playing a major role in Milwaukee's offense.
Considering he's four years removed from producing like a first or second option, it's a perplexing comment.
It might make sense if the rest of the cupboard were bare, but that's not exactly the case.
With Knight, Mayo, Ersan Ilyasova, John Henson and Larry Sanders all on the roster, there are plenty of players who could be considered a top-three offensive option.
Only when the team takes the floor will we see how Butler's role comes to fruition, but it's an interesting comment to make note of.
O.J. Mayo's Attitude Is Ideal
Maybe it's genuine or maybe it's a case of the new guy saying all the right things. Until he's actually spent time on the court and goes through the rigors of a season in Milwaukee, we won't know.
Regardless, Mayo made a great impression at media day.
The 25-year-old shooting guard, who hasn't always been a model teammate—ask Tony Allen—was all smiles and seemingly answered every question correctly.
That's one way to move a step closer to landing a statue next to The Bronze Fonz.
Furthermore, the team's official Twitter account added another optimistic tweet not too long after the aforementioned one:
Statements like these always come with a grain of salt. Regardless, it's encouraging to hear.
Mayo has a new opportunity in Milwaukee and is still young enough to turn into the superstar many projected him to be coming out of high school and college.
Obviously, his skills on the court play a large part in that, but showing a level of maturity and leadership is every bit as vital.
If he can continue to exhibit these traits throughout the regular season and during his tenure with the Bucks, his future may be brighter than many people expect it to be.
Either way, it's nice to hear a player embracing a city and organization that hasn't had a ton of success over the past decade.
The fact that he wants to be with the franchise is a positive sign.
Larry Sanders Echos a Common Sentiment in Reference to Brandon Jennings
People who are familiar with the Bucks would probably tell you that Jennings could have passed the ball more during his tenure with the team.
At media day, when asked about his thoughts on Jennings' praise of his new teammates with the Detroit Pistons, Sanders wasn't shy with his response:
Larry Sanders when asked for response to Brandon Jennings' comments on playing with better bigs in DET: "He has to pass it to them first"— Andrew Gruman (@AndrewGruman) September 30, 2013
Jennings' issues with former head coach Jim Boylan and matters of playing time certainly weren't a secret, but Sanders' comments give a bit more insight into how much of a mess the locker room was last season.
Whether or not Knight will fill the point guard role better than Jennings has yet to be seen, but if he can bring more of a positive attitude to the floor, the Bucks have already won.
Carlos Delfino Will Miss Training Camp
The Bucks signed Delfino to a three-year, $9.8 million deal over the summer, and prior to the acquisition of Butler, he was expected to play a major role.
Butler's addition gave the team a little more depth at small forward, but now it appears they'll be spread thin for awhile after all:
Bucks forward Carlos Delfino will miss training camp due to the right foot injury he suffered in the playoffs last season with Houston.— cfgardner (@cf_gardner) September 30, 2013
Delfino was in a walking boot at the Bucks media day Monday and said he had "a setback" recently. GM John Hammond said tests were done.— cfgardner (@cf_gardner) September 30, 2013
Results of the tests to come. Delfino said he played the final month of last season with a hairline fracture in his foot.— cfgardner (@cf_gardner) September 30, 2013
If Delfino isn't healthy when the regular season rolls around, Butler will have to carry an even bigger load than expected.
Not to mention, with youngster Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton being the only other small forward options, Ilyasova will likely see more time at the 3.
Given he seemed to play through the injury for a month near the end of 2012-13, it's unlikely he'll want to rush back.
It's crucial that during this time the team gets production not only from Butler but anyone else who sees significant time at small forward as well.
Giannis Antetokounmpo Probably Wouldn't Win on Dancing With the Stars
Rookie first-round draft pick, Giannis Antetokounmpo, was all smiles on media day and seemed to cherish the opportunity of showcasing what appears to be a buoyant personality.
Moving to a foreign country and being thrown into the NBA has to be a daunting experience for anyone, let alone a 19-year-old. It's great to see that he's fitting in and enjoying himself.
While he probably won't see a ton of minutes thrown his way this season, if he can be patient and continue learning and exuding this kind of personality, he'll not only be well on his way to a successful career, but he'll also capture a large fanbase.
He'll have to work on those dance moves though.
For a team that made so many changes during the offseason, the Bucks still have plenty of questions to answer when the season begins, but media day provided a little bit of insight into how things may work this season.
The biggest piece of information that came from the day was Drew's comments in regards to how he planned on using Caron Butler.
It's hard to say what the veteran has left in the tank, but Drew must see something he likes in order to infer that Butler will be highly involved on offense.
And if he can return to his 2010-11 form, the Bucks will have gotten a steal in the trade that brought him to town.
Additionally, this team seems to have the perfect mentality given its position.
There are new faces everywhere, and there's going to be a learning curve. From all indications, though, the locker room seems to be on the same page and the outlook is a positive one.
After last year's turmoil, that's a huge step in the right direction.
Throughout training camp, the focus will need to be on chemistry. It's crucial these new pieces blend together as quickly as possible so that no time is wasted when the games matter.
And listening to coach Drew, playing team ball and maintaining a positive attitude is how they'll accomplish that.
Deciding not to completely tear things apart and fully rebuild wasn't the popular decision, and it's easy to critique the personnel moves that were made.
But media day signified that maybe we need to see the product in action before saying the franchise is headed in the wrong direction.