If you liked the direction the Bucks were headed in last season in Scott Skiles and Richard Jefferson’s first seasons in Milwaukee, yesterday’s trade isn’t going to make you run out and buy Bucks tickets.
If you think the Bucks should have been rebuilding last season and trying to deal Michael Redd rather than adding new stars to a bad mix, you’ve got to wonder if Bucks GM Hammond and Scott Skiles were serious in the comments today about the trade. This is about winning they tell us, and take issue with national media labelling the trade “a salary dump.”
Hammond would like to refer to the trade as a move for “roster flexibility” not financial flexibility.
Me, I think the Bucks have traded the wrong guy — again, just as they did last summer when Mo Williams and Dez Mason were sent packing for Luke Ridnour and Damon Jones. Picking up a 22-year-old big man in Amir Johnson for journeyman Fabricio Oberto makes it go down a bit easier. However, it is a bit of surprise that Detroit gave up on Johnson after his 4th season.
If the Bucks traded Richard Jefferson so they could sign Charlie Villanueva, this becomes a very bad deal and a bad decision.
Hammond wants us to believe the move was part of the Bucks new winning philosophy:
“I don’t want that message to get out there – this is a step back and be patient.”
According to Bucks center Andrew Bogut, the Bucks are in future building mode:
“Sad to see RJ go,” Bogut twittered. “He was a fun guy to be around and could play. We are building for the future, slow and steady. Patience grasshopper.”
Not to be impatient ‘Drew, but are you sure Hammond has picked a direction here? And how many years is this going to take?
Ball Don’t Lie’s Dwyer is still scratching his head about why the Bucks acquired Jefferson in the first place.
ESPN’s John Hollinger’s headline says it all, or does it? While it’s nice to think that RJ could put the Spurs in “in the title hunt”, let’s not forget that Hollinger and his player efficiency rating system trashed RJ last season, arguing that his game had drastically declined. Maybe this new take on RJ is evidence that Hollinger doesn’t really believe his statistical rating system. Or simply more evidence that ESPN’s NBA side is a mess.
Nobody seems to think Bowen is going to stick around and be a Buck for very long, and will likely try to find his way back to San Antonio.
Trade bait? Now that the trade has sunk in, I’m beginning to view both Bowen and Kurt Thomas as trade bait. Either player might help open the door on a Luke Ridnour trade or other moves, especially if the Bucks do the expected in the draft tomorrow and take the best point guard available.
Hammond still undecided on Charlie Villanueva: JSOnline is reporting that Bucks GM Hammond “indicated” Wednesday that he was still undecided on whether to file their qualifying offer to Charlie V. The Bucks, however, are expected to tender qualifying offers to Ramon Sessions and Ersan Ilyasova, the daily reported. Here’s the exact wording:
“The Bucks are expected to make qualifying offers to restricted free agents Ramon Sessions and Ersan Ilyasova, each in the $1 million range. But Hammond indicated no decision had been made yet on whether to make the $4.6 million qualifying offer required for power forward Charlie Villanueva.
If the Bucks do not make the offer by Tuesday, Villanueva will become an unrestricted free agent.”
That’s good news about Sessions and Ilyasova, but if John Hammond really hasn’t decided whether Charlie V is in the team’s plans or not, I’m concerned that the GM doesn’t understand the type of player his coach likes. It’s time to admit that Charlie isn’t in the team’s plans and let him move on. If Charlie’s here, there’d be no PT for Ilyasova.
I tend to think the decision on Charlie has been made and Hammond’s just playing it close to the vest as usual, keeping those “options open” as his mantra goes. Charlie is as good as gone.
And I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Bucks passed on the point guards and took the best forward available, even if Hill is gone by the time the 10th pick rolls around. Looks like Blair will still be there.