The Salmons trade is a done deal. At the end of the day, Chicago wanted more in player talent from the Bucks and was willing to give up more in the form of future draft picks.
UPDATE: The Official trade sends Hak Warrick ($3 mil) and Bucks 2008 draft disappointment Joe Alexander ($2.58 mil) to the Bulls for Salmons ($6.43 mil). Warrick and Francisco Elson would not have been doable under NBA trade restrictions. Because the Bucks sweetened the pot considerably from the original Kurt Thomas-Elson talks, the Bulls added 2011 and 2012 2nd round picks, plus gave the Bucks the option of swapping 2010 1st round picks. With this last clause, Chicago GM John Paxson is betting that the Bucks will draft higher than the Bulls this summer due to the Bulls finishing ahead of them in the standings.
The Bob Boozer Jinx interpretation: “Take Salmons: He maybe might help you but he won’t make your Bucks better than my Bulls.”
Trade #2: The Bucks have traded rookie guard Jodie Meeks and center Francisco Elson to the Sixers for former Buck Royal Ivey and a 7-footer named Primoz Brezec, plus a 2010 2nd round draft pick. This is Bucks GM John Hammond correcting another of his summer 2008 mistakes (letting Ivey go) while also acknowledging that Meeks is not in the current or future plan (again, assuming Hammond has a future plan). Signing idle Jerry Stackhouse last month was at least a sign that developing Meeks wasn’t a Bucks priority. This deal seals that Meeks was not working out for coach Scott Skiles.
Ivey is a player Skiles would have loved to have around all of last season. He’s 6’4″, rangy and intensely defensive-minded; a point guard big enough to play shooting guard, and a decent 3-baller (he’s improved the shot since he left the Bucks). Ivey played a full season in Milwaukee for Larry Krystowiak (2007-08) and then signed with the Sixers for two-yrs, $2 mil. The Bucks made no attempt to retain him, instead signing Tyronn Lue for $2.25 mil – more than double Ivey’s pay with the Sixers.
It’s useful to note here that Lue was Ivey’s backup in Atlanta circa 2007, and that Lue was traded for … yes, a bigger more defensive minded guard (Keith Bogans) after Michael Redd was lost for the season. Bogans was even more expensive than Lue – $2.6 mil, which meant the Bucks were close to nearly tripling Ivey’s 2008-09 Sixers’ salary with players that were not nearly as effective. Sometimes it’s the little things.
Meanwhile, Ivey was a key part of the Sixers late-4th quarter rotation last season as they made the playoffs. Ivey brings to the Bucks the same crunchtime defense and savvy, and ability to make plays.
The Bucks are looking more and more like a team serious about making a playoff run. Whether or not playing with John Salmons is good for Brandon Jennings and Andrew Bogut down the road remains to be seen, but two things are certain:
1) A stockpile of future draft picks is a swell thing to have around and, 2) There’s one prfunky Bucks fan I know who is going to get a nice kick out of the return of Royal Ivey. (It’ll take days to convince him I didn’t make it up.)
Directing your attention to: Kelly Dwyer’s excellent Ball Don’t Lie commentary on the Cavs trade for Antawn Jamison. The Cavs may win a championship this season with Jamison but wasn’t Amar’e Stoudamire the guy to help Lebron win two or three? Aww, it must be hell to be a Cavs fan these days (not a reference to Dwyer who happens to be a Bulls fan).