Posts Tagged ‘milwaukee bucks’

PG

SG

SF

PF

C

Brandon Jennings Monta Ellis Luc Richard Mbah a Moute Drew Gooden Samuel Dalembert
Beno Udrih Mike Dunleavy Mike Dunleavy John Henson Larry Sanders
Doron Lamb Tobias Harris Ekpe Udoh

2012-2013 Salary: $46,801,325 (John Henson included)

Expected Salary Cap Space: Around $11 million

RFAs: (none)

UFAs: Carlos Delfino, Ersan Ilyasova, Kwame Brown

Strengths: Frontcourt depth. Backcourt talent.  Even facing the departure of Ersan Ilyasova and Carlos Delfino, the Milwaukee Bucks have enviable depth in the frontcourt.  Unfortunately, none of their frontcourt players are of Brandon Jennings/Monta Ellis caliber.  After the trade that brought Ellis to town, Milwaukee showcased a much more exciting offense and a reborn Mike Dunleavy.  The Bucks were good enough to challenge for the #8 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, but not good enough to secure it.  This is the most dangerous stage in team-building.  It is important to recognize your assets, and package redundant pieces for players that fit with your vision of the team.  Jennings and Ellis form a dangerous, if occasionally frustrating, duo in the backcourt, and both players are motivated scorers.  It will behoove Milwaukee to sort out their frontcourt, and decide which players they really like going forward.  Putting the right pieces around Jennings, Ellis, and Dalembert will be essential to this team’s success.  Trading for Dalembert was a step in the right direction. You can’t argue with the value of John Henson at #12, and Doron Lamb in the second round.  This team isn’t likely to be worse next year.  They are one “correct” piece away from moving up in the Eastern Conference hierarchy, and injecting themselves into the playoff picture.  If coach Scott Skiles can keep project his toughness onto this group of players, they could be a tough out.

Needs: Frontcourt talent. Backcourt depth. Quantity over quality can be intriguing if you have a synergistic mix of players like Denver has assembled. Unfortunately, if Ilyasova departs, many of Milwaukee’s big men are simply surplus.  It doesn’t help the team to have third-string players with limited potential getting ten minutes per game.  This team badly needs quality at the forward positions, especially the small forward position.  They will be hoping that John Henson can live up to his shot-blocking potential while also developing an offensive game.  But in order to compete with teams above .500, the Bucks will need to avoid stagnancy, and continue to be creative in re-shaping their roster.

Potential Signings:

  • Ersan Ilyasova (UFA, MIL, PF) – The guy had a monster (contract) year, and he’s going to make more than the $2.5 million Milwaukee shelled out to him last year.  That part’s unavoidable.  In this panelist’s opinion, the Bucks should re-sign Ilyasova unless the asking price exceeds a reasonable (read: in excess of $8 million) amount. He’s capable of scoring twenty points and grabbing ten boards per game, and he pushes Drew Gooden out of the starting lineup, which is essential for any respectable NBA team.  Signing Ilyasova means making a deal down the road, hopefully shipping out a few power forwards for depth elsewhere.
  • Antawn Jamison (UFA, CLE, PF) – A team that has way too many power forwards, and the first two free agents this panelist has listed are power forwards.  But this panelist is operating under the assumption that the Bucks are losing Ilyasova.  Antawn is still a threat, a creative player that can play both forward positions, rebounds fairly well, and scores in a variety of ways.  He was a big reason that the Cavs found any success at all outside of Kyrie Irving last season, and would be a cheaper alternative to re-signing Ilyasova, giving the Bucks room to make another significant signing this offseason.
  • Grant Hill (UFA, PHX, SF) – Very strong midrange jumper, smart defender, circumspect professional.  He won’t command a lot of money, and will make significant contributions.
  • George Hill (RFA, IND, PG/SG) – Can backup both guard positions and can score.  He would be a nice change of pace from the frenetic shot-jacking that is likely to occur when Ellis and Jennings are both on the floor.  Signing Hill also opens up the trade possibilities for Dunleavy and Udrih.
  • Nick Young (UFA, LAC, SG) – Scoring, and a little bit of defense.  Nick is streaky, stylish, and comfortable coming off of the bench. He just might not be comfortable in Milwaukee, as he has shown an unabashed predilection for teams located in Los Angeles, his hometown.
  • Rudy Fernandez (DEN, SG) – Denver didn’t make a qualifying offer to Fernandez, making him an unrestricted free agent. Rudy is a dynamic player who does a little bit of everything (and I do mean a little bit, unfortunately): three-point shooting, playmaking, driving, forcing turnovers.  He would give Milwaukee enviable depth, but would also push young players like Tobias Harris and Doron Lamb further back in the rotation than is prudent for their development.

Potential Trades:

  • Luol Deng (SF, CHI) to Milwaukee for Beno Udrih, Larry Sanders, and Ekpe Udoh: This trade is all about balance.  The Bucks, as currently constructed, have far too many power forwards.  Ersan Ilyasova may well leave in free agency, depending on his willingness to re-sign in Milwaukee and the veracity of rumors that his price tag will be far more than the Bucks would like to tender.  Drew Gooden, Ekpe Udoh, Larry Sanders, Tobias Harris, and Ersan Ilyasova all played power forward at times last year.  In this scenario, the Bucks ship Sanders and the newly acquired Udoh out of town in exchange for Luol Deng, who would be a big improvement over the talented, but limited, Mbah a  Moute.  This trade would also free up minutes at the center position, allowing Henson to get additional time backing up two positions.  Likewise, Doron Lamb could be asked to share in the backup point guard duties.  Gaining development minutes for your two draft picks is not a bad thing.  Dunleavy, who was an excellent sixth man last season, would continue in that role backing up the shooting guard and small forward positions.  Milwaukee’s starting lineup would be significantly better on both sides of the court.  After this trade, a backup point guard would become a necessary target, and Milwaukee would need to think about how much Ilyasova is worth to them.  Chicago gets depth at point guard, as well as a replacement for Omer Asik.
  • Andre Iguodala (SF, PHI) for Beno Udrih and Mike Dunleavy: Philadelphia has been looking for a partner for a deal involving Iguodala for some time. This might not be the deal they are looking for, but in dealing Iguodala for Udrih and Dunleavy, the 76ers pick up two players that can shoot.  They desperately need shooters.  They save money in the short-term (around $3 million) and the long-term (both Udrih and Dunleavy have a year less on their deals than Iguodala).  For Milwaukee, this deal provides them with the defensive stopper they have needed since becoming a more up-tempo team, and also a forward who can run alongside Jennings and Ellis.  Iguodala could be a really great fit for this team.
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