ST. FRANCIS, Wis. — Milwaukee Bucks power forward Gustavo Ayon was back in town Tuesday, working out with assistant coaches Bob Bender and Nick Van Exel.
The Bucks have yet to make a decision on Ayon’s team option that would pay the 28-year-old $1.5 million. Ayon will play on Milwaukee’s summer league team in Las Vegas from July 12-22, hoping to impress the Bucks before the July deadline on his option.
Ayon will workout at the Cousins Center for a week before returning to Mexico. He’ll then head back to the United States on July 10 for summer league.
“It’s a great opportunity for me and for the coaches to watch my game,” Ayon said. “It’s a great opportunity.”
Acquired from Orlando as part of the J.J. Redick trade last February, Ayon averaged 4.3 points and 4.9 rebounds in 12 games with the Bucks.
While Ayon played just 13.6 minutes per game with Milwaukee, the third Mexican-born player in NBA history proved he can give the Bucks backup minutes off the bench, if needed.
Ayon came to the NBA in 2011, signing a three-year deal with the New Orleans Hornets, the last year of the contract being this team option. After starting 24 of his 54 games with New Orleans, the Hornets traded Ayon to Orlando last July in a sign-and-trade for forward Ryan Anderson.
In 109 NBA games, Ayon has averaged 4.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.
Crabbe works out: Ten days after having to pull out of a workout with the Bucks due to a right foot injury, former California star Allen Crabbe was in town to meet with Milwaukee on Tuesday.
Like Jamaal Franklin on Monday, Crabbe went through a limited individual workout consisting of shooting, working around screens and other shooting guard drills.
“I wasn’t able to compete, but I got some shooting drills in,” Crabbe said. “My foot feels a lot better. I was glad I was able to get a good workout in before the draft.”
The reigning PAC-12 player of the year, Crabbe first felt the injury in his foot toward the end of a workout in New York on June 10. He tried to battle through the injury to workout with Brooklyn the next day, but he had to drop out 10 minutes in because the pain was too much.
Crabbe’s workout with the Bucks on Tuesday was his first since the injury, and he plans to workout with the Nets on Wednesday.
“I’m limited, so I wasn’t able to do too much,” Crabbe said. ” … I just tried to show them I can shoot. I’m pretty sure they already know that, but I just wanted to get some type of workout in to test my foot out. My foot felt good. It was good to make some progress.”
Leading California to the third round of the NCAA tournament, Crabbe averaged 18.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game while shooting 45.9 percent from the field and 34.8 percent from beyond the arc.
Always able to score the basketball, Crabbe elevated his game to a new level during his junior season as he committed himself to becoming the leader of the Golden Bears.
“Just working on things in the offseason that I wasn’t too good at,” Crabbe said. “I came into the season feeling confident about myself. I stayed up (at Cal) the whole summer and didn’t come home to have fun or anything. I just stayed up there and focused on getting better.
“If I wanted to make the leap after my junior year, I had to sacrifice having fun. I just stayed up there and really worked on my game and body. I feel like it has worked.”
With the Bucks looking for help at both guard positions, as well as needing a shooter, Crabbe certainly could be an option when Milwaukee picks 15th overall Thursday night.
“There are a lot of teams in the draft that are in need of a shooting guard, and I feel that’s one of my strong points,” Crabbe said. “I definitely feel this place here would be a good fit, but I don’t control that. The only thing I can do here is come out and try to impress and leave a good impression on them.”
Back again: Glen Rice Jr. was one of the six players at Milwaukee’s first draft workout, but that was for the old coaching staff.
When the Bucks asked him to come back to workout for Larry Drew and his staff, Rice didn’t hesitate to hop on a flight back tom Milwaukee.
“It didn’t bother me to come back twice, I was looking forward to it,” Rice said. “I just got to show what I worked on again. I’d come back a third time if they want me to.
“It’s definitely good to meet the new (coaches) that I would like to play for.”
Rice noted that this workout was a lot different than the one run by the former assistant coaches, echoing many draft prospect’s feelings that Drew’s workouts feature much more teaching.
“I actually learned a couple of things while I was out here,” Rice said. “It was a productive workout. It doesn’t happen at every workout. A couple of workouts I’ve learned some things. It’s always nice to take out a couple of things from a workout while you are trying to show them what you are working on.”
Auditioning for a job: A day after former Bucks forward Scott Williams auditioned for a job on Drew’s coaching staff, former NBA forward Buck Williams did the same.
Williams, 53, was drafted third overall by the Nets in the 1981 NBA Draft and played 17 years with New Jersey, Portland and New York.
A three-time All-Star, Williams averaged 12.8 points and 10.0 rebounds in 1,307 career games. Williams joined Nate McMillan’s coaching staff in Portland in 2010 and was not offered a contract to return after McMillan’s departure in 2012.
Bob Bender and Nick Van Exel are officially on the coaching staff, while Scott Williams and Buck Williams appear to be battling for the job to work with the Bucks’ big men. In addition, Drew still needs to hire a lead assistant and a player development coach.