[Insert “Not Satire” label here.]
Bucks GM John Hammond talked with Sparky and Gary on WSSP Sports Radio 1250’s The Big Show yesterday. While Bucks fans shouldn’t read too much into Hammond’s responses, he does talk about why he didn’t make a trade last week and mentions some possibilities for the Bucks to clear up some salary cap room this summer. Hammond also indicated that:
1) Richard Jefferson is in the Bucks long term plans moving forward;
2) Next season the Bucks are looking forward to Jefferson, Andrew Bogut and Michael Redd being on the floor together;
3) The Bucks are far more concerned about Bogut’s health longterm than they are about whether he can play this season;
4) He believes Redd will be ready to go 100% when the season opens next November.
Here’s some of the facts, just the facts, along with a complaint or two:
Is Richard Jefferson part of the Bucks long term plans [direct question from Gary]:
“Yeah he is. That’s the reason we didn’t make a move. [RJ] was our key piece most teams had interest in.”
Hammond went on to say that he acquired RJ to play with Redd and Bogut, only to see it filed under best laid plans and NBA expectations….
“Next thing you know Richad Jefferson looks up and he’s only played 22 games this season with Michael Redd on the floor and Andrew Bogut. We did well with them on the floor together… But for the most part he’s been out there and he’s been our mainstay, and been the one consistent piece we’ve had all year. We really appreciate and respect him for that.”
Will the Bucks be able to keep Charlie Villanueva, Ramon Sessions and Richard Jefferson [not a good question, Sparky –why is RJ mentioned there and not Redd? I’ll never understand Milwaukee media’s perpetual tip-toeing around the Redd question, though in this case it might have been by prior agreement with Hammond due to Redd being hurt]?
“Easier said than done, that’s for darn sure. Not impossible. We’ll be creative and do everything we possible can to keep them.”
“…You talk about draft picks… You could save some money by moving draft picks. …Another option would be there are going to be a few teams with room, that means teams that are under the salary cap. Teams under the cap can take players and contracts into that room they have and you don’t have to take anything back in return. …But usually when teams take players and contracts into their room, they’re asking for something more — a lot of times more than just a player. They want a pick or something to go along with that. Not impossible, but it’s very difficult to do.”
Bogut is viewed as a longterm investment, and Hammond is looking beyond a possible playoff push in April and to the next five years with Bogut.
“I think if we’re going to err [in regards to Bogut’s availability], we’re going to err on the side of caution, way on the side of caution, before we put him on the floor.”
Michael Redd? He’s having surgery next week, will then rehab for four months and take two months to get into playing shape.
“He should be ready to go 100% by the time we open up the season in November,” Hammond said.
And that’s the way it was, Monday, Feb. 23. I’ll be back later to provide pit bull style analysis, particularly on the question of Charlie Villanueva and Michael Redd’s compatibility. Bet you can’t wait.
Needless to say, after predicting in my Sunday post a Bucks win against the Nuggets, griping about the Ray Allen trade and giving George Karl a new nickname (Coach Nero), I got a kick out of waking up to see the Boston-Denver score from Monday night: Celtics 114, Nuggets 76 — that’s right 76 points for Karl’s Nuggets. Ray poured in 26 against his old coach’s team, and the Celtics kept bombing away in the 2nd half after being up by 30 at the half. Take that Coach Nero.
Sure, the Nuggets were coming home to play a back-to-back after a long 8-game road trip that ended with the loss to the Bucks on Sunday and a bruised knee for center Nene Hilario — but the Celtics played Sunday too and were without injured All-Pro Kevin Garnett. Also, the Celtics have played more games (58) than any team in the NBA but our Bucks (59 games).
Want a taste of Coach Nero’s style, in case you’ve forgotten? When Karl was in Milwaukee, the subject of the 44 points Ramon Sessions scored in the Bucks overtime loss to the Pistons Feb. 7 came up, to which Karl replied:
“Did he mention why he got 44?” Michael Hunt took that as a swipe at Allen Iverson, whom Karl traded for Chauncey “I left a step in Detroit circa 2007” Billups, which it was. Somebody should let Karl know that Stooks was guarding Sessions for much of the Pistons game. On Sunday against the Bucks, Chauncey couldn’t keep Sessions out of the paint, either, as Ramon shredded the Nuggets porous D for 27 points and 8 assists. ‘Spose that was Allen Iverson’s fault, coach?
Monday, the blame once again for the failure of Coach Nero’s team fell squarely upon the shoulders of Ray Allen.