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.