Joel Przybilla – The only backup center left for the Bucks has one leg and no Drew Gooden headband

The signings this week of Kyrylo Fesenko by the Warriors and Sam Dalembert by the Rockets has scratched two more centers off the free agent list, and that can only mean one thing for the Bucks:  It’s ex-Buck Joel Przybilla or bust. 

Joel Przybilla, Charlotte Bobcats – $7.4 million – Unrestricted
Kyrylo Fesenko, Utah Jazz – $1.1 million – Unrestricted

Przybilla’s agent attended the Bucks home opener against the T-Wolves on Tuesday, and said the Bucks have “made it clear how much they want him.”

But they may have to outbid the Clippers, who don’t have a backup behind DeAndre Jordan (or power forward Blake Griffin for that matter), and the Heat who are starting another guy named Joel (Anthony) who would look good backing up a healthy Przy.

“Healthy Przy?”   That’s not really realistic.  He’s 31, had two knee surgeries and a long history of other injuries that have prevented him from playing full seasons in every year of his career but one.  Take a look at Przy’s career stats – not a pretty sight.

And, besides, acquiring Przybilla could well mean that the transformation of Drew Gooden into a bonafide, Kurt-Thomas-Omer-Asik, headband-wearing,  Bogut-resting backup center might never happen in the Bucks universe.

Strong games from a host of Bucks big forwards (Leuer and Ilyasova leading the way against Kevin Love) have created a logjam at the four, a nice problem to have but one that will only get worse when Luc Mbah a Moute’s right knee heals, or any day now.  This has forced Gooden to the backup center spot to get playing time, with second year man Larry Sanders sitting next to him on the bench also vying for minutes.

Between Gooden and Sanders, who still needs experience and playing time, they’ll have to get the job done. A broken down Przybilla just isn’t much of an improvement or anything to bank on, whether or not Bogut stays healthy.

There’s also no reason to believe that the GM who, in the summer of 2010, made Sanders a first round draft pick and signed Gooden to a $6-million-a-year contract would admit defeat with either player, which is what signing Przy would amount to.

The Gooden transformation, the Sanders development — they’re far more interesting than Przybilla’s last legs.

So is Greg Stiemsma, 4-year Badger, 2010 NBA Development League Defensive Player of the Year, now a Celtic.  Tonight in New Orleans, Stiemsma has swatted four shots in the first half and, at last check, was helping Kevin Garnett pull the Celtics back into the game against the Hornets.

9 thoughts on “Joel Przybilla – The only backup center left for the Bucks has one leg and no Drew Gooden headband

  1. Kevin

    As far as Redd and Ray, the obvious differences were health and shooting percentage. And that problem remains.

  2. Kevin

    I thought the Wizards would make strides this year, but they are erratic and weak on D and on the bench. But they still scare me a little. Yi is not on their roster, I wonder where he is.
    T Mac is better at going to the rim, but Dunleavy has more years left. Slight edge to Mac.
    Marvin looks good so far for the Hawks. Rad and Pargo more great pickups.

  3. J.D. Mo. Post author

    Also couldn’t help noticing in the Hawks-Wiz game how good Javale McGee is getting. He’s probably thinking he’s going to lead the league in blocked shots this season. Bogut will have his hands full tonight.

  4. J.D. Mo. Post author

    Ray’s game? It would have put the clamp on the abominable Michael Redd, mainly. When the Bucks began to win without Ray in 2004, there were many, many Bucks fans who believed we were better off without him and that, while they didn’t like the trade, they thought Karl at least had the right idea on moving him. But that Redd-in-control offense was painful basketball to watch. Joe Smith and Toni Kukoc were too kind — I thought they could have done more to dictate how their team played. The rest of the “what ifs” would take a day to sort out.

    I caught some of the Hawks-Wizards game (league pass free trial). The Hawks will still be at the mercy of teams that play big against them, which bodes well for the Bucks. But they’re playing more like a team at this early stage, and playing smarter too. T-Mac looks great, doing the same kind of damage he did against the Bucks last season, and Josh looks interested in what’s going on. No Hinrich for now, but the addition of him last year and beating the Magic in the playoffs, then adding another basketball-genius veteran in T-Mac seems to have done wonders for the Hawks.
    Who would you rather have, Mike Dunleavy or T-Mac?

  5. Kevin

    Being a 7 footer in the NBA is like being a left handed pitcher in baseball. You will have a job.
    Your Celtic post and the Suns signing Redd reminds me again of a few years back when they were both free agents and the Bucks were deciding who to try to sign. Never mind that horrific trade, what would Ray’s perimeter game have done for the Bucks offense?
    As far as other teams, the Hawks look good with their deep bench. No Crawford, but more players contributing. I was one that wanted T Mac.

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  7. J.D. Mo. Post author

    Clippers with Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan look small even against the Spurs and Tim Duncan and DeJuan Blair, and now Tiago Splitter in for duncan, Not as small as they looked against Bynum and Gasol in preseason, but they still look undersized.

    Splitter and Blair just ripped a rebound away from Jordan and Griffin and Blair muscled it in. Another missed rebound by the Clippers in the final seconds of the 1st quarter. Griffin needs more help than Jordan underneath. I can see why they reportedly went after Przy right after they traded Kaman.

    In addition to the above Sanders-Gooden reasons for not signing Pryz, the competition might be too tough for the Bucks anyway .

  8. J.D. Mo. Post author

    Celtics caster Tommy Heinsohn loves Stiemsma: “We’re going to need to see a lot more of Greg Stiemsma this season!”
    Six blocked shots in 16 minutes for Jermaine O’Neal’s backup.
    But Marquis Daniels and Brandon Bass shot too poorly (7-24 combined) to make a dent in Hornets lead during Stiemsma-time.

  9. J.D. Mo. Post author

    Good run for a while, but the Stiemsma-Bass bench crusade fell short at the end of the third, beginning of the fourth. The Celtics are looking at an 0-3 start.

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