Tag Archives: Michael Redd trade

The Chad Ford Watch and …. Redd to Cleveland hits snag

FordESPN rumor mongerer Chad Ford is at it again. Last week Ford was speculating that the Bucks want to move up in the draft to “add some star power to their team.”  In his mock draft 6.0 today Ford has the Bucks picking Joe Alexander out of West Virginia with their #8 pick.

I have developed what can only be called “The Chad Ford Principle.” Whatever Ford mongers out there as rumoroid fact, expect it to be false and driven by the needs of certain agents whom Ford spends far too much time listening to. And bear in mind when reading him that Ford an ethically challenged journalist who doesn’t seem to be able to put two and two together very well.

Let’s give The Chad Ford Principle a test run. If Ford writes that his sources say the Chicago Bulls are taking point guard Derrick Rose with the number one pick, expect the Bulls to pick forward Michael Beasley.  In fact Ford himself is beginning to back off his “90 percent” assurance that the Bulls would take Rose, writing in mock draft 5.0 that he’s “not as confident as I was a week ago that he’ll be the pick.”

The Bulls will take Beasley and I would bet on it. Again using The Chad Ford Principle, expect the Bucks to take Anthony Randolph (LSU) and not Alexander or do something more creative with the pick.

(Note: I’ve since learned that Rose and Randolph have the same agent — former Chicago Bull B.J. Armstrong, a rep for the Arn Tellem agency. Using The Chad Ford Principle, assume that agent Armstrong is one of Ford’s key sources regarding both Rose and Randolph).

As for the Bucks moving up in the draft, Bucks GM John Hammond said last week that he doesn’t “have a deal to move up or to move down” and that he’s seeing movement among the teams drafting ahead of them. This could mean the Bucks might trade out of the first round altogether or trade whomever the Bucks pick.

That wasn’t the only Ford-broadcasted fire that was extinguished last week. Remember all that talk about trading Yi Jianlian to Golden State in a deal for developing 21-year-old forward Brandan Wright and the Warriors #14 pick?  A rep from the Warriors contacted Ford last week and “took umbrage” at the rumor. This from Ford’s column last Thursday:

“A Warriors representative shot down an assertion made in a couple of my columns that the team was looking to move Brandan Wright. He especially took umbrage at the report that the team coveted Milwaukee’s Yi Jianlian. I’ve been assured that Warriors GM Chris Mullin, who makes the final decisions at Golden State, isn’t trading Wright for Yi.”

The Warriors called to demand a correction, didn’t they Chad?

And it was likely the first contact Ford’s had with the Warriors in all of this. Still, Ford didn’t quite have to the guts to label it a correction and just tacked it on at the end of his column with the following caveat:

“This time of the year, the information is flying fast and furious. Sources often have agendas, and from time to time I just get things wrong.”

That’s well and good, except that in an earlier version of the very same column, Ford wrote that, in still another trade involving Golden State and Wright, Cleveland was set to trade Anderson Varejao and their #19 pick to the Warriors. The Varejao report is apparently what prompted the Warriors to shut Ford’s rumor mill down. Ford was slinging agent slime at Golden State week after week.

Guess who Yi Jianlian and Anderson Varejao have in common? Sports agent Dan Fegan, who obviously fed Ford the Yi trade rumors last season and is at it again now with Yi and Varejao. You bet Fegan’s got an agenda. He wants Yi out of Milwaukee and Varejao out of Cleveland. Ford has been Fegan’s willing accomplice when the agent feels the need to toss grist into the NBA rumor mills. I assume Ford knows fully well that Fegan has no ability to make trades.

Ford’s problem is that this is not a “this time of year” thing; it’s general Chad Ford practice. Ford routinely references agents off the record with tags such as “a source familiar with the talks” — which is how he referred to Fegan in the Varejao rumor write-up.

In Cleveland, the Morning News called its sources and quickly debunked the Varejao to Golden State talk as “nothing more than a rumor.” The Cavaliers are apparently not as upset with Ford as the Warriors were.

Journalistically, Ford’s general practice is unethical. Because he writes for ESPN, NBA teams and the daily newspapers in NBA cities are compelled to react, in large part because he doesn’t let his readers know that he’s spinning rumors from agents — not sources from NBA teams. That’s downright unethical.

Is Ford writing for entertainment purposes only and is that an excuse? No and no, and Ford doesn’t write in an entertaining style anyway. He shows little flair for absurdity, wit, sarcasm or humor, or even the cut-the-crap asshole-ishness that sometimes makes for good writing. Overall, his style is banal. There’s so little there and so many other mock NBA draft outlets for fans, such as Draft Express and NBADraft.net.

What purpose does Ford’s column serve ESPN other than to generate site hits with agent-flushed yellow journalism? And what does that say about ESPN?

Cleveland, we have a problem here:  The Akron Beacon Journal’s Patrick McManamon took an in depth look at Anderson Varejao’s situation last week and revealed something I don’t think any of us wildly speculative blogger types had realized — Varejao can reject any trade up until Dec. 5. That date matters because Dec. 5 is the one-year anniversary of the Cavs matching the contract offer Fegan and Varejao negotiated with the Charlotte Bobcats last fall.

According to NBA rules, a player can reject a trade for one year after a team matches a contract offer to keep him. The Bucks Charlie Bell, for example, could have rejected the trade to the Knicks that Larry Harris had reportedly negotiated before the trading deadline last February because the Bucks last summer matched an offer sheet from Miami to keep Bell. Now Varejao, a key piece of a potential trade for Michael Redd, could be off limits to the Bucks this summer unless Bucks GM John Hammond can make Varejao (and Fegan) happy. Remember that Fegan is also Yi’s agent and that on the Bucks Yi and Varejao would be sharing power forward minutes.

Still, Akron’s McManamon likes a trade for Redd, calling it “logical” and writing that “it all makes sense.”

McManamon does however, have more bad news for the Bucks. Guard Boobie Gibson underwent ankle surgery this offseason and could be considered off the table. If Gibson is off limits it wouldn’t leave Cleveland much to deal with beyond the Wally Szczerbiak contract and the #19 pick — not enough of a return for Michael Redd.

I’m suddenly concerned that the Bob Boozer Jinx — the Bucks jinx at the power forward position — is once again working its crazy mojo.

Paint Cleveland Redd ’08: Bucks fans react to trade campaign

Paint it Redd campaign signThe campaign by Cleveland fans to make Michael Redd a Cavalier has, in only its second week, ground its way into the NBA trade mills and hit the rumor boards on ESPN.com and Sports Illustrated’s FanNation. The NBA is on notice: the Bucks are looking to trade.

But what do Bucks fans think of trading leading scorer and one-time All-Star Redd to the Cavaliers?

To be brutally blunt, some of the reaction has been brutal and blunt. In fact, terrible things have been said about Lebron’s supporting cast in Cleveland. I can only imagine what Bucks fans think of players on teams that didn’t play in the 2007 NBA Finals or push the Celtics to seven games in this year’s Eastern Conference semifinals.

Other fans have been supportive, even reasonable, while others are naturally skeptical. If there is any concensus it’s that the Bucks might be able to find a team that can offer more player value in a trade for Redd than Cleveland(say, Dallas and small forward Josh Howard). Generally, Bucks fans are more receptive if the Cavs 25-year-old big man, Anderson Varejao, is part of the deal.

A recurring theme is that Bucks fans are surprisingly difficult traders, given a roster that’s won 54 games in two seasons.

“Cavs fans, we aren’t good trading partners,” signs fan ReddBogutCharlieV to his posts at realgm.com. “Stop trying to make us such.”

Let’s review the anatomy of this Redd-to-Cleveland beast:

The trade centers on two players contracts: Michael Redd’s (3 years/$51 million/$15.8M next year) and veteran G-F Wally Szczerbiak‘s (one-year/$13.2M). Cleveland has other “expiring” contracts that when pieced together work with Redd’s, but let’s be realistic: There is almost no chance the Cavs would pay Redd and Szczerbiak a combined $29 million to suit up next year. Wally would come to the Bucks and his contract would expire at the end of next season, creating some salary cap relief, which the Bucks don’t have a dime of now.

What else do the Cavs have to offer the Bucks? Assuming Bucks GM John Hammond will want players who could at minimum join the Bucks rotation next season, two young players who played key roles in the Cavs run to the 2007 Finals stand out: Varejao and 21-year-old guard Daniel “Boobie” Gibson.

Gibson is a free agent, which would require a sign and trade deal. The Cavs are loathe to trade their sharpshooter, who made his mark during the run to the Finals. Gibson scored 31 points to eliminate Detroit in Game 6 of the conference finals last year. 

Varejao, a relentless 6’10” rebounder and tough defender, will be paid $6 million next year and has a player option for 2009-10, which means he could leave the Bucks in free agency unless Hammond makes the type of commitment Cleveland GM Danny Ferry refused to make. Things got ugly last year during Varejao’s contract negotiations, and Varejao is rumored to be on the trading block.

Varejao’s salary matches Dan Gadzuric’s 3-year/$20M, which the Bucks would love to trade anywhere they could.

Complicated?

Cleveland has the #19 pick in the draft, and that’s simple enough.


Let’s go first to our old friend, Bucks fan Al in Ohio:

“Unless the Bucks decide they really, really want Szczerbiak’s expiring contract (which to me means they decide to kind of write off next year, and look toward 2009-2010), I just don’t see where a Szczerbiak/Gibson/maybe Pavlovic? package makes the Bucks noticeably better. Let’s not forget: Gibson is not much of a PG. He’s a great shooter (although he’s even smaller than Mo) but in terms of PG skills, there’s nothing about him that really stands out.”


Daniel Gibson Detroit Game 6BobBoozerJinx:  Hold up, Al. Gibson’s not a point guard, he’s a shooting guard; and at 6’2″ Boobie’s taller than Mo (who really is kinda short). We’re not off to a very good start here.

RealGM Bucks forum moderator PaulPressey25:

“I have no problem sending Redd to Cleveland if he takes Gadz contract with him and we bring back [Varejao], #19, and Gibson, plus their salary deadweight.”


Bucks fan Europa on the realGM forum:

“It’s my hope that if Hammond can’t find a better deal for Redd than anything the Cavs can offer on their own that he just keeps him. I really don’t like the idea of giving Redd away.”


GlennInTampa on the JSOnline Bucks Blog:

“Gibson and Szczerbiak for Michael Redd? Loserville! Add Varejao and maybe. Maybe.”


jpaul34 on the Sportsbubbler fan forum:

“I don’t think Gibson, Szczerbiak and the 19th is anywhere near enough for Redd. I’d like to see how this group (the Bucks, with a couple of changes) reacts to playing for a new coach with a strong voice. I think the talent is there, but they definitely need direction.”


Jpaul blogs at The Scores Report, where he predicts that the Bucks will “give Redd, Mo, Yi and Bogut a half of a season to gel before making any major moves.”

Frank at Brewhoop:

“If the Bucks pull a salary dump of Redd then I’d have to get more than Wally World and Boobie Gibson — at the very least I’d want to add Varejao and Gadzuric into the mix plus some picks. Even then I’m not sure how compelling it is. Agent Dan Fegan would love having his clients Yi and Varejao battle for minutes, wouldn’t he?”




DAWG 13 On the JSOnline Bucks forum: 

“It’s amazing how many of you guys want to trade Redd. I’ve got nothing against it but lets face it, he’s by far and away our best player. If we trade him we need to get value, not role players as some have suggested. If properly coached Redd can be an allstar again. I’ll bet the people wanting to trade Redd also supported the Ray Allen trade, look how that worked out.”


BBJ:  Nope. The Ray Allen trade was a maniacal ploy by George Karl that, to this day, no one understands.

ReddBogutCharlieV on RealGM:

“Something revolved around Varejao and Gibson plus a pick. Or else we’ll have to get a third team involved.”


Isocleas2 on RealGM

“Bucks trade: Redd, Gadzuric – Cavs trade: Varejao, Wally, #19.  This trade is starting to grow on me. We shed salary, pick up a couple of good players in Varejao and the pick, and Wally’s expiring contract could possibly be used in a deadline trade.”


The Brewtown Beat sportsblog:

“First, I don’t want Boobie Gibson. The Bucks already have Mo Williams, and seem poised to add Eric Gordon with their 8th pick. That’s three undersized shooting guards if you’re counting at home. Sorry, but no thanks. I don’t want Wally Szczerbiak, but I realize we’ll need to bring back a large contract in return. That being said though, Cleveland is going to have to take some of our bad contracts, just as they expect us to do in return.”


BBJ:  That’s not very nice. That Bobby Simmons contract is really bad.

Smooth32, a Cavs fan, weighs in on RealGM:

“Don’t get too high on Boobie guys … The kid isn’t expected to go anywhere this summer. …Varejao is definitely available, as well as the expirings…  Everyone else is pretty much fair game but I think they would like to keep West, Smith and the #19 pick.”


BBJ:  If the Cavs get to keep Boobie, the Bucks get the # 19 pick. You can’t have it both ways Smooth.

Raferfenix on RealGM:

“Varejao will have a lot of value to a team that wants to commit to him long term — I’m not convinced that’s the Bucks as he’ll probably end up being overpaid, and especially considering he’d be a backup here. I don’t think Hammond would do that.”


love hoops on the Sportsbubbler fan forum

“I would hope Mr. Hammond wouldn’t even consider this trade with the Cavs. The only player they got is Lebron. Maybe trading CV to the Cavs, but not Redd; we can get more for him. … If we could get quality for quality, then maybe take a look at trade.”


Johnny Newman on Realgm:

“I say fold this topic up. We got enough bait to land us AK47 and Jermaine O’Neal. While keeping Bogut, Yi, Bell, Session. Good enough core and line up.”


BBJ:  Sorry Johnny, too early in the hand to fold. Did you say Andrei Kirilenko and Jermaine O’Neil?



NotYoAvgNBAFan on RealGM:

“Hogwash! What are you doing!? Redd is your major chip, you don’t trade him to a divisional rival for cow manure of a motley crew such as that!”


BBJ:  Reactions like this are the reason too many expiring contracts do not make for friendly trading. Cleveland’s got some manure, including former Bucks Damon Jones (2003-04) and Joe Smith (who asked to be traded out of Milwaukee in 2007), and Eric Snow (set to retire). “Dung!” barked nuttinbutta Big Dog balla party.

MontanaMan on JSOnline Bucks blog:

“I still would rather see Redd get traded to a team other than the Cavs. It’s too good for the Cavs and for Redd, but may not good enough for the Bucks (as compared to what it can do for the Cavs). … If they included Varejao, Gibson, and a draft pick, and take Gadzuric and his contract away, then I would say it’s very good for the Bucks.


Coolhandluke121 on RealGM:

“West, Varejao, Pavlovic, #19, and some expiring deals have solid value. But for the me the Cavs would have to sweeten the deal by also taking Gadz’s terrible contract and throwing in their 2011 draft pick, which could be top-5 if Lebron leaves. Which he may want to do if the Cavs are paying Redd and Gadz a combined $26 mill starting in 2011. I would give up Redd for a deal like that for the simple reason that Redd is not all that hard to replace. To me, it’s not about whether it’s equal value.”


BBJ:  What it does seem to be about is whether Bucks fans want to trade Redd or not. There are Bucks fans who have not/will not renew their ticket packages if Michael Redd is on the team. Others would trade him for a case of beer and a Bob Boozer Jinx subscription. Still others think he deserves a sixth shot at winning in Milwaukee as a starter.

Bucks fans didn’t just begin talking about trading Redd to Cleveland with the start of the Paint Cleveland Redd ’08 campaign. It came up before the trading deadline this year. During the Cavs 1st round playoff series with the Wizards, I proposed a trade here with that phone call to Lebron (he still hasn’t changed his cell phone number, believe it or not).

About ten days later it came up on RealGM. The Cavs had dropped Game 1 of the East semifinals to Boston. The question on the forum: What could the Cavs offer the Bucks in trades for Mo Williams or Redd?

Paulpressey25:

“Mo for Varejao and Gibson. Redd for Varajao/Gibson/Cav’s 2008 #1/Wally as filler.”


DrugBust:

“Redd for Wally and #19, and a 2010 pick works for me.”


Sigra:

“Varejao, Pavlovic, Smith and their pick for Redd works for me.”


Luke 23:

“I say this in all seriousness that the only player on the Cavs I would actually covet on the Bucks is LeBron. The rest of their roster is just yuck. I can’t even think of a deal for either off the top of my head, considering the Cavs pick 19th, would want a higher pick than that.”


Dow Jones:

“I guess the issue is whether or not you want to get rid of Mo and/or Redd. If you don’t, then there is nothing that the Cavs could do. If you do, I think Cleveland is one of the few teams that would want to make a deal.

“I don’t really see how the Bucks could get much value for Redd or Mo. I know [there is] talk about a [Josh] Howard for Redd swap, but that type of deal doesn’t make sense for Dallas.  What other deals are out there for Redd and Mo that Milwaukee fans would consider?”


Paint Cleveland Redd 08: Cavaliers fans kick off Michael Redd trade campaign

Paint Cleveland Redd '08 artworkIt wasn’t the shot heard ’round the world, but that “Redd to Cleveland” business that began so humbly here at the Bob Boozer Jinx in late April has taken on a life of its own in Cleveland.

The Redd to Cleveland in Cleveland campaign was kicked off earlier this week by “Cavaliers Corner” blogger Dan Labbe and is now a gathering storm, complete with slogans, artwork and calls for mobilization, petitions and letter-writing efforts. An “all-out campaign” is promised under the banner Paint Cleveland Redd ’08.

The heart of the deal proposed by the Paint Cleveland Redd campaign is the same as proposed here April 28 – Bucks get 21-year-old shooting guard Daniel “Boobie” Gibson and small forward/shooting guard Wally Szczerbiak, whose name I’m finally spelling correctly, I hope.  With the good input from some Bucks fans on the realgm.com forum, we added the Cavs #19 pick in the draft. That’s just fine with Labbe and the Cavaliers Corner faithful, whose exploits are hosted on the Cleveland Plain Dealer website Cleveland.com. In fact, Paint Cleveland Redd’s got the daily behind it — and a hype block on the Plain Dealer’s sports home page.

Let’s Review:

1) Wally Szczerbiak, age 31, has one year left on a six-year, $66 million contract that will pay him $13.5M next season. Michael Redd has three years, $51M remaining on his contract and will make $15.8M next year. Wally’s contract is essential. Cleveland won’t deal unless the Bucks take it, and, well, Wally’s contract makes the deal viable under league rules.

 2) Boobie Gibson is a free agent this summer, and that complicates things somewhat. A sign and trade agreement would have to be made. Gibson made $687,000 this year, so the deal still works under league rules if the Cavs don’t go nuts and give Gibson a $6 million raise. He’s more likely to get a $3-4M bump — Danny Ferry is the Cavs GM, not Larry Harris.

3) The Bucks would then be sending out $15.8 million and taking in $17-18 million or so, which makes this deal doable. Wally’s contract clears out after next season, when Redd’s contract will be up to $17M. Even if Gibson’s contract pays him $7M in 2009-10, the Bucks will have cleared $10M in salary cap room. The Bucks are going to need that sort of cap flexibility if they are going to improve over the next 2-3 years.


So we know the numbers work, and that’s why fans in both Milwaukee and Cleveland have been talking about this deal. If you don’t think Cleveland fans are excited about Redd and ready to mobilize, they’ve even got a campaign song that is perfectly appropriate when ordering that fourth pitcher of beer. We go now to Cleveland where we join the Paint Cleveland Redd anthem (The Redd Spangledd Banner) already in progress ….

“. . . and the shooter’s REDD glare,

Treys bursting in air,

Gave proof through the game

That a legitimate #2 scoring option was there …

Oh say, ddoes Ferry have

What it takes to get the tradde ddone . . .

‘Cause it will suck to not get a real SG – eee

‘But with REDD we’ll have fun!”

(Thank you, thank you — don’t forget to tip your waitress!)

— “The Redd Spangledd banner,” complete with double-dees, comes courtesy of Cavs fan “The Cavalier”.


Let’s review some more:

Bucks fans generally want a lot in return for Redd, but Michael — who really should have been able to pick up a nickname in this town by now — is a guy with one of those difficult-to-move contracts. I can’t see a developing team going for it, which leaves the contenders and playoff teams looking to get that “one more piece” at shooting guard that could put them over the top. The list of teams is short: Dallas, possibly Utah and Phoenix, New Orleans, Orlando and … Denver if George Karl declares Allen Iverson the point guard. That’s it. Cleveland is the most obvious trading partner, having bid on Redd three years ago in free agency.

Philly can’t make the trade because it can’t match the salaries. Toronto? Do we really want to see TJ Ford back? Denver, now that I think about it, has J.R. Smith up-and-coming at shooting guard. Would Phoenix give up Boris Diaw and Raja Bell/Leandro Barbosa for Redd? Would Orlando trade Lewis or Turkoglu or Nelson? Dallas could use a scoring option like Redd at 2-guard, and a trade looks good if the Bucks can get Mark Cuban to give up Josh Howard. Many teams just don’t have a hole at shooting guard.

I realize I’m picking arguments to make my point, but Cleveland, still woozy from the Game 7 loss to Boston Sunday, wants desperately a 2nd scoring option for Lebron and now its fans are on the campaign trail to bring home one of Ohio’s own (Redd’s from Columbus, played at Ohio State). This is a trade the Bucks could make as a courtesy to Redd.


Wally and Boobie are no slouches: 

Both players are great shooters who can play the 2 and would fit in nicely on the Bucks, a team tuned to develop its big men. They’ll replace a player who hasn’t fit in too well with the Bucks development plans for players not himself. Call it addition by subtraction, whatever you will, but the ball has got to move. Szczerbiak is a solid veteran who makes his teammates better with smart, team play. He’s like a coach on the floor, with a Toni Kukoc-type presence sorely lacking on the Bucks ever since, well ever since Toni Kukoc retired.

Boobie Gibson has had a tough year with injuries and is currently recovering from the Celtics series, in which his arm was separated from its shoulder. Gibson was the go-to guard during the 2007 Eastern Conference finals, rescuing Cleveland from the terribly mediocre play of its other guards against the Pistons. Gibson rang up 31 against Detroit in Game 6, helping send the Cavs to the NBA Finals — quite an achievement for a rookie. Needless to say, Cleveland fans love Boobie, and don’t want to see him go. This season, he missed 18 games with an ankle injury and returned to find newly-acquired Delonte West in his starting point guard spot. Gibson then split time with newly-acquired Wally at shooting guard (often playing in the 4th quarter) and backed up West at point. Gibson’s a smart, quick player who shoots 40+ % from behind the arc and has many years in the NBA ahead of him.

At this point I’d like to point out that all three of the principles in this trade are better shooters than the top six guards in this year’s draft, the possible exception being O.J. Mayo. Redd, Wally and Boobie are all proven NBA three-ballers with 40+ % seasons under their belts.

The Cavs would throw in their #19 pick in this year’s draft, which should make Bucks fans more comfortable with the trade (y’all haven’t been too hip to the idea of trading Redd for just Wally and Boobie) — and the #19 pick gives GM John Hammond one more tool to pursue the small forward he’s looking for this offseason.


The best thing about Paint Cleveland Redd ’08 is that I’m not making any of this up!  Not even the anthem!

A lot of good things happen for both teams in this trade; it’s time now to forge ahead by supporting the efforts of our NBA brethren (and sistas) in Cleveland. I’m sure they’d love to hear us grouse about all this over at Cleveland.com. Knowing the snap pace at which GM Hammond operates, he’s probably contacted the Cavs already. Twice. The least we could do, as Bucks fans, is let our GM know that we’re behind him.

Today could be a great day for NBA fan unity. Si se puede, baby!!!  Let’s make a deal.

Rumor central: Redd on the trading block… Eric Gordon’s the pick apparent

No question about it — as you read here last week — Michael Redd is officially on the trading block. And with that realization this week, national sports media scrapped its conventional wisdom on what the Bucks will do with their lottery pick.

Bucks GM John Hammond has been contacting other GMs to scout out trade interest, with Redd featured prominently in those discussions, reported Racine Journal Times Bucks writer Gery Woelfel in his Tuesday column. Woelfel also reported that Charlie Villanueva is a focus of interest from the GMs Hammond has talked to. Hammond’s search for a small forward is on.

“In a recent interview with The Journal Times, Bucks general manager John Hammond said the one position he would like to ‘address’ is small forward. Desmond Mason and Bobby Simmons are the Bucks’ current small forwards and both are coming off pedestrian seasons,” Woelfel wrote.

“Hammond could find a potentially good forward in the draft with the team’s eighth overall pick. There is also increasing speculation small forward Ersan Ilyasova, whom the Bucks selected in the second round of the 2005 draft and who spent this season playing for FC Barcelona in Spain, will return to the Bucks next season.

Hammond could also acquire a veteran small forward via a trade. There are a surprising glut of talented small forwards who could be dealt, including Denver’s Carmelo Anthony, Miami’s Shawn Marion, the Clippers Corey Maggette, Sacramento’s Ron Artest, Washington’s Antawn Jamison and Chicago’s Andres Nocioni.”

Add to that list Dallas SF Josh Howard, Utah’s Andrei Kirkilenko and the Nets’ Richard Jefferson. Most of these forwards have contracts comparable to Redd’s, making the trades viable.

The CNN-Sports Illustrated NBA site has the Woelfel story linked in its rumor section. Join the discussion about it here on the Sportsbubbler fan forum.

ESPN’s NBA Rumor Central got into the action, featuring Michael Redd trade talks today. It’s an Insider story – a pay feature – and this is not an endorsement. If you’re not in the mood to give ESPN money, wildly speculate as I do.

As of Tuesday, it was assumed the Bucks were looking for a point guard in the draft (which they’re not). Many mock draft sites, ESPN and SI included, had the Bucks taking Texas point guard D.J. Augustin with the #7 pick.

I wildly speculate that national sports media doesn’t pay that much attention to the Bucks unless the team is trying to acquire a coach or player that the NY Knicks want. But then Woelfel’s column hit the rumor mills, Bucks GM John Hammond, I’m sure, had a few conversations when he was in NY/NJ for the lottery, sources were called, some journalism got done and suddenly the national sports media realized what the Bucks and Hammond are up to this summer.

By Wednesday, Indiana shooting guard Eric Gordon was the consensus pick, Augustin was out of the picture and Redd was on the trading block, with Hammond scouting for a small forward and willing to trade Redd to get one. What a difference a few hours makes.

Sports Illustrated:

“[Gordon]’s the best player available here, an explosive scorer with a solid family background. His arrival may allow the Bucks to move Michael Redd’s enormous salary if they’re so disposed.”

ESPN Insider Chad Ford

“Milwaukee could go in a lot of different directions. Its biggest need is at small forward, but this may be too high to draft Joe Alexander or Donte Greene. With the Bucks expected to be active on the trade market this summer, they can draft the best available player and then work things out later. Gordon is a dynamic scorer who could free up the Bucks to trade Michael Redd.”

A pitfall to this scenario is that Gordon could be gone when the Bucks pick, unless Hammond is able to trade up, which doesn’t seem likely. The culprit would be the L.A. Clippers, drafting ahead of the Bucks at #7. The concensus seems to be that Gordon would be the best player available at #7, but that the Clippers need a point guard and seem likely to draft for need rather than go into next season with Dan Dickau as the starting point guard.

If the Clippers take “the best player available” route and draft Gordon, the Bucks would be looking at a couple of small point guards, “project” forwards Anthony Randolph and Donte Green, maybe UCLA’s Kevin Love, who would only crowd the power forward position further for the Bucks. Italian small forward Danilo Gallinari‘s stock is rising, and it seems unlikely he’ll be available at #8.

If Gordon is gone, the Bucks would do well to swap the pick for a lower pick to trigger any number of trades, especially when dealing with Western Conference playoff teams.

Brewhoop’s take on the Woelfel column notes that it may be tricky putting the pick in play in trades involving some key players because of the NBA’s base year compensation (BYC) rules. For example, the Bucks can’t trade the pick to Dallas with Michael Redd in a deal for Josh Howard because Dallas can’t do a Redd-Howard deal until after July 1. (Bucks would have to draft on behalf of Dallas or swap picks with the Mavs for future considerations). Howard received a big raise last summer, so for trading purposes, his salary doesn’t yet count fully against Redd’s, and is still tied to his base year salary of 2006-07.

In an NBA trade, the salaries going out have to match the salaries coming in, give or take 25 percent. The base year rule prevents a team from giving a player a big raise simply to make the salaries in a trade work. A team giving a big raise to a player is forced to wait a year before trading that player to ensure against salary shenanigans. Any trade involving Mo Williams would have to wait as well, Brew Hoop points out. (Mo got a $5.8 million raise last summer).

This is important because the Dallas Mavericks are a good possibilty for a Redd trade, given the Mavs stable of aging shooting guards and an early exit from the playoffs at the hands of the Hornets. Howard fits the bill as a small forward Hammond will likely be inquiring about. This trade is also known as Brewhoop’s favorite Michael Redd trade.

Bucks Diary doesn’t think too highly of this year’s lottery talent. His verdict: “It stinks!” Now, if you invert it … BD makes a good argument for there being more NBA-ready players projected to go in the lower half of the first round. Richard Hendrix, Joe Alexander, Mo Spaights, Ryan Anderson, et al. “The Bucks have to trade out of the lottery. The gold is all down stream!”

GM Hammond: Redd is not “untouchable” in trade talks

HammondAnd neither is anybody else, Bucks GM John Hammond told reporter Gery Woelfel in a feature interview that ran in the Racine Journal Times Sunday. 

Center Andrew Bogut and big forward Yi Jianlian, however, are “two, very good young pieces … that you can build around,” Hammond qualified. “Bigs are so hard to find. The Boguts and the Yis … it would be awfully hard to move guys like that.”

Bogut and the Bucks are expected to come to terms on a five-year extension this July that would keep the 23-year-old center in a Bucks uniform through his prime and the 2013-14 season. Including his option for next season, the dollar terms would likely be in the neighborhood of six years – $66-72 million. As for Yi, the Bucks have two exhibition games scheduled in China this September; it’s difficult to imagine the team showing up without Yi.

Hammond continued to address “the untouchables” issue without prompting from interviewer Woelfel.

“Does that mean Michael Redd can be moved? Or anybody else on this roster? No. But I don’t think it’s fair to use the term untouchables when you are a team that won 26 games this year.”


How’s that for dancing around the question? It’s time to stop the music. Consider Michael Redd officially on the trading block.

Journal Times: It was pretty apparent the Bucks had some significant chemistry issues this season. Is it necessary to weed out some of the malcontents on this team or can Skiles come in and alter the attitude?

Hammond:  When you start talking about chemistry issues or evaluating what went wrong with this team … we’re going to evaluate the situation and, if we can do something to improve our team, we’re going to do that. Does that mean we’re going to make wholesale changes? No. We will not do that. That’s not our thinking going in. Chemistry issues, weeding people out, that kind of terminology … it’s going to come down to opportunities. We are going to explore the opportunities that are presented by other teams and go from there.”


Bob Boozer Jinx: With the exception of Bogut and Yi, everybody’s on the trading block, maybe even Ramon Sessions, one player who could make trades work for the Bucks. The Bobby Simmons, Mo Williams and Dan Gadzuric contracts are difficult to move, unless attached with affordable players like Desmond Mason, Charlie Bell, Charlie Villanueva and Sessions. “The way [Sessions] finished the season … as we continue to work the phones (in trade talks) I guarantee you his name will come up,” Hammond said later in the interview.

Journal Times: There’s a good chance Michael Redd will be playing for the United States Olympic Team this summer. Yet, there are some basketball observers who contend Redd isn’t a franchise player. What’s your take on him?

Hammond: “I think Michael Redd is a great player. When you start using terminology like franchise player … I think if we sat down and looked at the (NBA team) board together and said which team has a franchise player, we’d see there aren’t many of them in the league. Even if you said Michael Redd isn’t a franchise player, that’s not taking a shot at Michael Redd. Saying Michael Redd is a great NBA player is a great compliment to him.”


Bob Boozer Jinx: Most Bucks fans have become painfully aware over the last five years that Redd is not Kobe, Lebron, or a few All-Star teams of players, from McGrady to Stoudamire to D-Wade to Joe Johnson. Yet somebody forgot to tell Michael who still thinks he’s as good as his contract, which, to him, meant that last season he had the right to undermine the team on the court. Redd’s “franchise” contract is now a lodestone keeping the Bucks in the Central Division cellar.

JT: I think it’s fair to assume that this summer you’ll be making some trades. What areas would you like to shore up on this team?

Hammond: “If you look at our team, in your backcourt, it is Mo Williams and Michael Redd. Up front, we have Bogut and Yi. Desmond (Mason) is at the small forward position and that might be something you maybe address. You appreciate Desmond for the player he is and the man he is. And you got Bobby (Simmons), so it’s not like the cupboard is bare at that position. But if you say there’s maybe one spot that maybe could be addressed, that would be the small forward position.”


BBJ: The small forward position, a scoring slot for most of Bucks history, has been all but obliterated on the last few Bucks teams. Dez doesn’t shoot well enough to be the starter, Simmons’ career has floundered in Milwaukee and his rehab from ankle and foot surgery has been slow. Bobby’s overpaid, signed on for $20 million over the next two years. Hammond won’t get much back in a trade for Simmons alone, but Simmons and Charlie Bell and a draft pick? That could net a player. Hammond could trade Redd for a small forward (say, to Dallas for Josh Howard, BrewHoop’s favorite trade) which would leave no space on the bench for both Simmons and Mason. A third option is to trade Redd for guards/expiring contracts/future draft picks, and see what Bobby and Dez look like without Redd, but it doesn’t sound as though Hammond is leaning that way.

Hammond could be hinting at the draft, where 19-year-old Danilo Gallinari of Italy is projected to go as high as 6th. Donte Green out of Syracuse and Chase Budinger from Arizona are also ranked in the top 16 picks. There is no room for both Simmons and Dez in this scenario, either. And, as Brewhoop reminds us, there’s always Ersan, the Bucks 2005 2nd round pick, who played small forward for Barcelona this season.

Looking at the SF position is also the obvious answer for Hammond; it’s a throwaway that keeps other players’ names out of the trade market. If Hammond leaks names to be bandied about in trade talks, and the deals fall through, Coach Skiles could be stuck with a situation similar to the one he had last season in Chicago. Bulls GM John Paxson put half the team on the trading block in hopes of acquiring Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant (Kobe’s attempt to trade himself), and the resulting bad vibes didn’t go away. Simmons’ contract ranks as one of the worst in the NBA and every team in the league knows the Bucks would love to get rid of it.

JT: Some Bucks fans believe you should blow up this team, while others believe it just needs to be tweaked. What’s your view on this matter?

Hammond: “Maybe something in between. Maybe more than a tweak, but you sure as heck wouldn’t want to blow up a team with some of the assets that are here.


BBJ: More “maybes.” Players are “assets” but are not “untouchable.” Wholesale changes won’t be made, but only two players are the type to build around. Hammond danced around a lot of questions. The bottom line is that the Bucks have been bogged down the last few seasons with the a group guards and small forwards (Redd, Mo, Charlie Bell, Simmons and Mason) that don’t win games and will cost $46 million next season, two-thirds of the luxury tax limit — not the salary cap, which the Bucks will exceed next season if Hammond does nothing, but the luxury tax (likely to be about $70M). The four bigs (Bogut, Yi, Charlie V and Gadzuric) are young with the exception of Gadz, and will be paid $20 million next season – the last year the group remains a bargain.

So what does Hammond do? Package Simmons and Bell in a trade and hope for the best? No. That’s just asking to lose again and give your new head coach a season of headaches dealing with third-tier “stars.”

I think the reality is that the evaluation of the team is just getting started. Hammond has been on the job a month; Skiles is in his 4th week and has already hired an impressive staff of assistant coaches. At last report the assistant contracts are still in the process of being signed and triplicated. The Bucks won’t know where they’re picking in the draft until the lottery May 20.

One of the holdovers from last season who kept his job was Jason Staudt, the video assistant. This is important. Staudt, one would hope, knows the equipment room and where all the tape from last year is, having invented a filing system so confusing that he cannot be replaced. My guess is that Staudt has been working harder than anyone the last few weeks, preparing an entire season’s worth of evaluation video. So far, there hasn’t been anyone to watch it except Skiles and Hammond. The definitive evaluations won’t get started until the assistant coaches arrive to help Skiles go through it all … and help him drink his beer.

Racine Journal TImes Hammond interview.

Sponsored by: Trade Michael Redd

Like ESPN’s Bill Simmons, would-be GM of the Milwaukee Bucks and master of the Michael Redd shootingESPN Trade Machine, I consider basketball-reference.com the bible. A bbr window is almost always open on my desktop, despite that I know basketball refuses to be reduced to a game of statistics.

Imagine my surprise yesterday when I clicked to the bbr link for the 2007-08 Bucks and found that our 2007-08 Bucks had, as of April 21, acquired a sponsor: Aporiatwo.


No info is given about our proud sponsor, but “Aporiatwo” has this message for Bucks fans: 

“Why not the Sports Guy for GM? 2nd last in sieve-like defense, another lottery for us loyal Bucks fans. Why not the master of the Trade Machine? Think of what we could get for Michael Redd…”



Yes, it’s come down to this: Bucks fans so disgruntled they welcomed ESPN “Sports Guy” Bill Simmons as GM, probably because Simmons at least promised to make losing a little more fun.

(I’d post a link to Simmons’ fine writing here but “The Sports Guy” has yet to credit the Jinx for the hire-Sam “I Am” Cassell-as-player/coach idea. I wrote it first. Simmons knows it. He’s ducking me, probably because he figures he one-upped me with shock value by proposing Sam as player/head coach. I had Sam in mind for an offensive guru-type assistant. But here’s the kicker, Simmons’ high maintenance “idea” requires an NBA rule change – can’t play and be head coach at the same time. My idea – which came first – is perfectly legal as is. That makes my idea not only first but better – I PLAYED BY THE RULES!!!  Simmons, the ball is in your court.)

(Deep breath) Now that that’s off my chest, where we were we? …. Right, disgruntled Bucks fans entertaining Simmons’ madcap GM campaign;

AND mad enough to pay good money to brand our Bucks on bbr page with a “Michael Redd trade” message. The sponsorship cost Aporiatwo $30 cash money.

Aporiatwo, I realize that “trade Michael Redd” has become the motto of the season for Bucks fans, and I’m down with the cause, but … That’s a case of beer and a six pack!!!  What were you thinking?  

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As if some strange synchronicity among Bucks fans was at work, shortly after finding Aporiatwo’s “trade Redd” branding, I clicked over to the RealGM.com Bucks fan forum (which I don’t often do) to see if anything was going on with Scott Skiles’ assistant coach search that I might have missed. Sure enough, at that very moment, the realgms, ballboys and scouts were in the process of trading Michael Redd to Cleveland Cavaliers. Now there’s an idea! (It was the trade of the week last week here on Bob Boozer Jinx).

Although I do admit to taking a certain amount of creative license in calling Lebron James’ cell, I was (and still am) quite serious about the anatomy of the Michael Redd trade to Cleveland. The Cavaliers get Redd; the Bucks get 21-year-old shooting guard Daniel Gibson and the Wally Szczerbiak contract (one more year at $12 million). Keep it simple, get it done.

A few posters on realgm came to similar conclusions – Bucks would have to get Gibson or F/C Anderson Varejao or both; Cleveland would require that the Bucks take Wally’s contract, no way around it. The Cavs cannot afford to keep both Redd and Wally at shooting guard. The realgm-ers also added to the mix the Cavs #19 pick in the 2008 draft.

Gibson and Valejao are young players who can ball. Gibson’s been a better shooter than Redd the last two years (Gibson’s first two seasons in the league). Varejao’s like a young Dan Gadzuric, but less of a train wreck — a monster rebounder and a good defender. Because of Big Ben Wallace’s back and Z-Ilgauskus’ age, however, Cleveland’s not likely to risk parting with Varejao.

Gibson’s an up-and-coming player and a good pickup; and Wally (he’s only 30) would be a good veteran to have around for a year. He would fit in. Redd has nothing on either of them as an outside shooter, and the rest of his game would not be missed. The Bucks get better in the trade without the draft pick, and don’t risk the baggage of any other team’s expensive, tradebait “stars” who could hurt the development of the team.  With the pick, it’s a sweet deal.  Why would the Bucks turn it down?

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Back to basketball-reference.com  Other teams have sponsors too, but their fans haven’t been so activist with the messages as Aporiatwo, which is why it’s worth a mention. Most fans who buy player and team stat page sponsorships don’t leave any message at all, but there is this little note from the 2007-08 Miami Heat page sponsor, Eduardo Kupfer:

“Ah Riles, you slay me.”

“Riles” being Heat GM Pat Riley, who recently vacated the Heat coaching job – yikes!  How’d you like to see that message for a year on your team’s reference page? Buck up, Heat fans, you’ve got D-Wade.

One last bbr sponsorship note: The charge to sponsor the Michael Jordan page for a year is $520, or $10 per day. It’s much more economical to be a Bucks fan. Marques Johnson sells fo $20; Sidney Moncrief for $25. Kareem‘s takes the sky hook of Bucks players – $220 – but isn’t that the cost of Kareem being a Laker?

Cavs to win it all, unless they don’t

We take a break now from our Bucks playoff coverage, which has found many Bucks fans living and dying vicariously through Ray Allen jumpshots and wondering why the Bucks ever let the Hawks sign Zaza Pachulia (Slickless Larry Harris again, in that fateful 2005 offseason; it’s not as though Zaza was expensive. How could anyone think Dan Gadzuric was the better investment?) The NBA postseason is littered with “what ifs” for Bucks fans.

That’s why I’ve put in a call to my old friend, Al in Ohio, whose Cleveland Cavaliers knocked out the Washington Wizards over the weekend, in front of the Wiz home fans. Al let it ring five times before answering, probably trying to decide whether or not he wants to bring down his Cavs buzz by talking to a fan of the beleagured Bucks.

“You’re not calling about that Michael Redd trade again, are you? Lebron says he’s thinking about changing his cell phone number.”

“Naw, I’m just checking in to remember what it’s like to be an NBA fan with your team in the playoffs.”

(Pause.)

“Al, you still there?”

“Just hold on, J-Mo, I’m about to say something profound.”

“OK …uh …. Al?”

“The Cavs will win the NBA title this year! …”

“That’s the spirit! They’ve got just as much chance as anyone!”

“Unless they lose before then. They’re playing brilliantly, except when they don’t.”

“Al, you guys along Lake Erie still smarting from the elections? What happened to the bravado? You’ve got King James, and he ought to give you some confidence.”

“LeBron is once again showing that he may or may not be the greatest player ever. I also predict that when LeBron is 38, he will not be the player he is at 23. He will, in fact, be older.”

“Man, you should hear how Lakers fans are barking about Kobe. They’re demanding that Steve Nash hand both of his MVP’s back to the league for further review. And, according to Lakers fans, IT’s OVER – the Lakers won the title months ago. Anyone who disagrees is a HATER.  What gives?”

“I’m trying to preserve my status as basketball genius.”

“Al, there’s only one basketball genius in the world, and he’s sooo smart he actually gave Larry Brown his 300th coaching job last week.”

“I’m putting in my application for His Airness’s abandoned mantle.”

“But what about the Celtics? You Cavs fans almost got to see the Hawks in the semis!” (Well, not quite almost.)

“The Cavs still have a good chance, unless they blow it. The Celtics (or the Pistons) just don’t have that ‘one guy’ like Lebron who can will his team to win. Lebron has this Jordan-like ability to just decide he doesn’t want to lose. Look at game six against Washington: 27 points, 13 rebounds, 13 assists. Exhorting his teammates during time outs – in a hostile arena. Cavs win. The guy is one of those once-in-a-decade players. The Celtics aren’t the near-lock for the finals that many people thought.”

“They sure don’t look like it, Al. I’m rooting for Ray and Sam ‘I Am’, don’t get me wrong, but the Celtics looked all-too-beatable against the Hawks, especially when Ray had bad shooting nights. Against the Cavs, Paul Pierce will be busy guarding Lebron, or trying to. And Garnett has all he can handle in the paint with Big Ben, Z-Ilgauskus and Anderson Varejao. It could get ugly.”

” Garnett, Pierce and Allen … for all their talent, have never been as far in the playoffs as LeBron has.”

“Hold on Al – Ray’s in the finals if Big Dog hits that shot in 2001 game five and the refs don’t steal that game and game three from us. The better team lost.”

“Don’t bring me down with that persecuted small market team Bucks fan thinking — it’s 2008 and we’re talking Cavs and Lebron!  If they beat the Celtics, we’ll probably see a repeat of last year, against the Spurs.”

“You don’t sound too encouraged. But then, the Spurs do have that affect on the NBA. How do they keep winning? Doesn’t anyone on that team ever get tired or hurt?”

“No one knows, but if you count them out, they win it all. Count them in, and maybe they lose.”

“That’s playoffs thinking Al!  I remember that stuff. But you forgot about Detroit.”

“The Pistons are up to no good, as usual. They’re trying to steal our underdog status in these playoffs. ”

“Well, your Cavs did beat them last year and the Pistons have not proven that they can take Lebron in a seven-game series, not now anyway.”

“Yeah, but our team is from Cleveland. Doesn’t that count for anything anymore?”

“Not in the rust belt, Al, not in the rust belt. Just look at the team we’ve got in Milwaukee.”

“Don’t want to J-Mo. And I gotta go … before you and your Bucks kill my Cavs buzz.”

“Wait Al!  About that Michael Redd tra–“

(Click)