Overall though, Hammond feels pretty good about where the Bucks are headed. He played the mad scientist role in piecing practically a whole new team together.
Some guys on last season's roster weren't sure about where they might be in 2013-14. Jennings was a restricted free agent, while unrestricted free agents Ellis and Mike Dunleavy weren't retained.
"Being on the last year of a contract is not an easy way to live," Hammond said.
The current Bucks didn't criticize the departing players. Though nearly everyone was excited about the character on the team, both from the new additions and the holdovers.
"You always want that. Ultimately you need good character people to be a really good team. You always try to accomplish that. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't," owner Herb Kohl said. "When it does work, you have to be willing to make changes, and that's what we did."
The Bucks did make a big splash with one of their few returnees after signing center Larry Sanders to a four-year extension.
The 24-year-old Sanders had a breakout season last year in averaging career-bests of 9.8 points and 9.5 rebounds. His 2.83 blocks per game were second in the NBA to Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka.
"We look at him as a big building block piece," Hammond said. "We look at him as one of the best goaltenders in the game."
Notes: Kohl was asked several times about the possibility of getting a new arena. The Bucks are heading into their 26th season at the Bradley Center, their home since the facility opened in 1988. He's talked for years about the need for a new facility, though the issue has gained renewed traction after incoming NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Kohl spoke about the issue a couple weeks ago at a meeting of Bucks corporate sponsors. "I will do whatever I need to do in order for us to get there," Kohl said. "It's about getting a new facility with the Bucks playing there under a long-term lease ... it's not about me." ... Besides Sanders and Udoh, forwards Ersan Ilyasova and John Henson are the other returnees for Milwaukee.
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