By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Jul 09, 2013 at 5:31 AM

With just a few games left in the 2007-08 season for the Milwaukee Bucks, owner Herb Kohl pulled the trigger.

Gone was the disaster of a general manager, Larry Harris. Soon to follow was the first year coach, Larry Krystkowiak. One thing you can say about Kohl is that when he makes a mistake, it doesn’t take him a long time to correct it.

And before the season even ended, Kohl introduced John Hammond as the new general manager of the Bucks. Hammond had never been a general manager before, but had worked closely with Joe Dumars to build a Detroit team that seemed to be in the playoffs on a consistent basis.

Hammond, and most observers, saw his task as formidable. But the biggest thing was to move players with contracts who had hamstrung the team from being active in a free agent market.

Well, Hammond went to work, getting rid of big contracts and players who didn’t contribute. Oh, he made his mistakes (see John Salmons) but he kept his eye on the long run and we are now starting to see where he has been going.

The 2013-14 Milwaukee Bucks are a real John Hammond team that will be delivered to new coach Larry Drew who has an impressive record.

Let’s start up front, which may well be the strength of this team in the future.

Center Larry Sanders has shown steady growth since he’s been in the league. He may well be the fastest center in the NBA and is emerging as a force when patrolling the area under the basket. Enter at your own risk.

There are four (possibly five) forwards, all of whom bring a distinct set of skills. Not one of them is a weak link and they give Drew flexibility during a game. John Henson, entering his second year, has upside galore. Ersan Ilyasova is a dependable pro who can mix it up with the best of them. Ekpe Udoh, who was a throw-in in the Monta Ellis trade, teams with Luc Mbah a Moute, to give the Bucks two staunch defenders along the front.

And the "maybe" is their first round draft pick Giannis Antetokounmpo, a baby version of Kevin Durant. He’s tall, he can shoot. He can rebound. He can pass. He can play defense. He gets other players involved in his game. He sounds almost too good to be true.

I know that all the experts say that he’s going to need time to develop and get used to playing in the NBA, which is quite a bit different than playing in the Grecian leagues. But this kid has shown amazing talent and I would not be surprised to see him become a factor before the season is over.

Now the backcourt, which has taken a giant step up with the signing of O.J. Mayo to replace Ellis. Now, for those who follow these things closely, Mayo may not be exactly your idea of the classic good citizen model. He’s had his scrapes. But I think a little bit of bad boy might not be the worst thing that could happen to this team.

His running mate in the backcourt is going to be Brandon Jennings, who I have not given up on. I think Jennings has a load of talent, a load of ego and a load of need to have somebody provide direction and discipline to his game. The new coach could well be that guy.

The Bucks are a little thin in the backcourt and you hate going into a season depending on a second-round pick like Nate Wolters to be your main point guard backup. It’s safe to say the Bucks are still looking.

That lineup doesn’t look at all desperate or downtrodden. It is filled with exciting young players who are going to have moments of disappointment but who are also going to have moments of brilliance. And they are one more step on the road designed by Hammond, who can finally start to see the results of his plan.

Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.