Category: NBA

Fallout from DeMarcus Cousins All-Star night trade

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By: Bill Tewes

All-Star night was primarily dominated by the likes of Anthony Davis, LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Isaiah Thomas. What no one expected, was to learn of a trade between the Sacramento Kings and the host town’s New Orleans Pelicans, which had the Kings send superstar center DeMarcus Cousins and forward Omri Casspi to the Pelicans for rookie guards Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans and a 2017 1st and 2nd, the deal first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.

This monster blockbuster deal sent ripples throughout the NBA. Many think of this trade as highway robbery, with the Kings being heavily taken advantage of. Some see this as a good move for Sacramento, as they can now freely enter a true rebuild without the distraction that Cousins has brought to the team. What are the implications of this trade for both teams?

Cousins and his Designated Player Max Deal

The Sacramento Kings would have had to commit to a designated player max deal of $209 million over five years. It would be a massive risk that both sides seemingly were interested in, even though Cousins has clashed with the organization since he was drafted 5th overall in 2010. According to ESPN senior writer Brian Windhorst, the Kings had this option via the new CBA agreement, because the dedicated player max is designed so that teams can sign the players they drafted and also so that the player has an extreme incentive to stay with that team.

The Kings are now free of a player who matured into a dominant big, but one who also failed to mature in other aspects of the game. Cousins leads the league in technical fouls with 19. Sacramento is now able to completely tank out this season and build around players such as Hield, Rudy Gay and their slew of young centers.

Pelicans and the scariest front court in all of the NBA

One would be hard pressed to find a front-court that is even remotely close to as good as what now exists in New Orleans. The Pelicans made a huge splash, as they simply could not compete with Golden State by having Anthony Davis surrounded by average guards, or ones that need to mature like rookie Buddy Hield. Cousins and Davis are 4th and 5th respectively in the league in points per game with essentially 28 per game.

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New Orleans will be not be forced to pay the Dedicated Player Max contract that Sacramento would have had to pay Cousins in order to keep him. If they had to, Cousins would become the highest paid player on the Pelicans roster by about $16 million per year over Davis, who already makes $17 million per year. This signing will cost $30 million, according to a report by CBS Sports. Cousins can now only sign for five years $180 million, which still makes him the highest paid player on the Pelicans.

New Orleans has no guarantee that Cousins will even stay with them, as he can hit the open market and become the highest paid player in the NBA after the 2018 season. It would be a massive blow for New Orleans to only get a season and a half rental out of Cousins if he indeed decides to test free agency and walk away from New Orleans, considering the assets they gave up in order to get Cousins.

The final verdict

Rumors have swirled for quite some time regarding a Cousins trade with multiple teams. Phoenix was rumored to be involved as well as in state rival Los Angeles. No one knows for sure how substantial these trade talks were and on the surface it looks as if Sacramento gave up Cousins for an oft-injured Tyreke Evans, an unknown in Buddy Hield and a 1st round pick that will be coming from a playoff team. The truth of the matter is that Sacramento just could not see the long term benefit of committing to Cousins, who has been with them for six seasons and the Kings have yet to make the playoffs. While definitely not on Cousins, the Kings have a lot of work to do before they can become a real contender and an organic rebuild is what they truly need.

For the Pelicans, they create a ridiculous mismatch that teams will have a terrible time defending. Can they put sub par players around Davis and Cousins and hope that these two superstars cover for the rest of the team? Will Cousins stay and form a dynamic duo with Davis that will haunt the Western Conference for years to come? The risk is certainly high, but may prove to be worth it for New Orleans in the long run.
Winner: New Orleans 

Owning the Future? What Jabari Parker's Injury Means For the Bucks

The rebuild took a big hit Wednesday night.

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By: Jim Boyce

By now if you are a Bucks fan you have heard the news, Jabari Parker tore his ACL again on a non contact injury Wednesday night against the Miami Heat. This is the second time in just three seasons Parker has experienced this injury. Suddenly the dreadful month of January in which the Bucks have lost 11 of their last 13 meant little. The Bucks have already faded out of contention this season, but right now that means nothing compared to the long term effects Parker’s injury may have. A dark cloud now hangs over the future of this franchise.

THE IMPACT

The devastating thing about this injury is there is not much, or any, history of NBA players coming back from two torn ACL’s and being successful. A local example is Michael Redd, who was essentially forced to retire after his second major knee injury. Redd was at a much later stage of his career than Parker is now, and our fingers are crossed that youth helps Jabari make it back onto the court.

Expectations need to be tempered though. Even with a full recovery Parker will not be back on the floor for 12 months and then it will take some time for him to work back into the rotation and feel comfortable. Even an optimistic view does not see Parker back and playing at full strength until the Bucks open up their new arena in the fall of 2018. It’s impossible to say right now if Parker will be anywhere near as explosive when he does return, and for a player as dependent on explosiveness as he is that is incredibly concerning.

WHAT NOW?

The Bucks should tank, plain and simple. Tanking is an ugly word but the Bucks need to take a long term approach with this setback. Let Thon Maker, Malcolm Brogdon, and Rashad Vaughn get the bulk of the minutes and see what you have in these guys going forward. While playoff experience is useful the Bucks do not have much to gain by chasing the 8th seed and it is not a lock they will even have enough firepower to get there anyway.

The ultimate goal here in Milwaukee is to win a championship and to do that you need an a star studded core. Recent examples such as the Cavaliers and Warriors show that star power is what wins in the NBA. The Bucks have one already in Giannis and Khris Middleton was a fringe All-Star last season before getting hurt to open 2016-17. The other piece was Parker, who garnered All-Star consideration with his best basketball to date. Right now though the Bucks can not be sure Parker will still be that player. If he loses explosiveness or is battling injury throughout his career he can not be counted on to be that piece that gets them to the big stage. Thon Maker could develop into a star player, he is certainly willing to put in the work to do so. Still while Maker is an exciting young talent, there are no guarantees he reaches the level that Parker was trending towards.

The best way for the Bucks to land another potential star is through the draft. The 2017 class is considered deep by many, and the Bucks could land a really good player with a high draft pick. This is mainly why I believe “tanking” is the way for the Bucks to go now. It is no fun watching a team finish with 30 or so wins, but the reward down the line could be great. Adding a top talent to this team could help offset Parker’s cloudy future and if Jabari is able to overcome his injuries and play at a high level the Bucks will have a truly special, championship level core. A draft pick, even top five, carries no guarantees but it is the best the Bucks can do at the moment.

In conclusion this is a devastating turn of events for the Bucks and their fans. The rebuild almost certainly has been delayed, and for how long is yet to be determined. I am still optimistic that the Bucks window has not shut before it even opened, but the road to success just became a whole lot more difficult.

Patience: How to Approach the Milwaukee Bucks

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By: Jim Boyce

Last night the Bucks dropped a completely uninspiring game on the road in Orlando to extend their losing streak to four. Afterwards they held a team meeting, which is not really news any fan enjoys hearing about. The Bucks are now 20-22 and in the 9th spot in the Eastern Conference standings. For fans of the team, myself included, watching the Bucks this season has been both exhilarating and frustrating and often within the course of the same week. How do you beat the Spurs on the road without Giannis then drop a home game to Philadelphia six days later? The answer is likely pretty simple, youth.

Here’s a bold prediction for you, the Cleveland Cavaliers will win the East. Well that was not all that bold after all, but it offers some perspective to viewing the Bucks. While there is no doubt playoff experience would help the Bucks, one has to understand that the results of this season are fairly inconsequential. While it may feel like the Bucks have been “owning the future” forever, the fact is this team has not arrived yet by a long shot. For the rebuilding clubs in the NBA like the Bucks, Sixers, and Timberwolves, the only thing that really matters is your young core. The rest of the guys that fill out the roster can be replaced and likely will be by the time the team is truly a contender.

The Bucks have a bona fide super star in Giannis Antetokounmpo. An All-Star starter at age 22, he is putting up insane numbers and has the Bucks playing much better than I figured they would back when Khris Middleton went down with injury. For as good as he is now imagine what he may be at age 25, 26 etc. Every championship team needs an MVP candidate and the Bucks can check that off their list.

Jabari Parker has played his way to fringe All-Star status this season and has definitely made the leap as a scorer from last season. The hope is that he still is improving and can provide a one-two punch with Giannis that will be the envy of the NBA once the Warriors and Cavs dominant runs begin to fade. Other players I would include as young building blocks for this team are Middleton, Malcolm Brogdon and Thon Maker. While these guys are fun to watch right now, the focus should be on what they are in a few seasons.

Obviously every contending team needs a solid bench, and that is something the Bucks will need to be smart with when they add pieces around the core. Right now the Bucks have 42 million dollars invested in the Center position and not enough minutes to get them all into the game, these kinds of things will need to be rectified going forward. The Bucks also will not be able to afford bad contracts on non-essential players. Paying someone like Miles Plumlee 13 million could be killer when it comes time to pay a guy like Brogdon.

So do not lose hope when the Bucks drop a game they have no business losing. While we all want to see the Bucks make some noise in the playoffs right now, keeping and growing the young core of players is all that really matters. Eventually these guys will reach their primes and the Bucks will not be so up and down throughout the course of the regular season. The rebuild may feel like it is taking forever, but I am more than willing to wait it out with the hope of championship level basketball in Milwaukee once again.

Milwaukee Bucks SG Khris Middleton Tears Hamstring Per The Vertical

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By: Bill Tewes

Shams Charania of The Vertical just tweeted that Milwaukee Bucks shooting guard Khris Middleton has a torn hamstring. Charania stated that Middleton tore his hamstring in workouts and the timetable for his return is about six months.This is a massive blow to the Milwaukee Bucks season and will no doubt set them back as far as the growth of their big three is concerned.

Middleton was expected to make the leap to the next level and hoped to enter the discussion of top five shooting guards in all of the NBA. The Bucks will definitely miss his shooting, as well as defensive prowess as Middleton is one of the few good defenders the Bucks have. He was expected to be a vocal locker room leader and could very well have averaged over 20 points per game this season.

Middleton played all but three games last season, after dealing with multiple injuries throughout the season. Middleton was one of the most durable players in all of the NBA and as of March of this past season, was 2nd to only James Harden in minutes played. Middleton finished up with a career high 36.1 minutes played and increased his ppg total to 18.2, up from 13.4 during the 2015 NBA season.

It is sad to potentially see Middleton’s season go down the tubes, after the Bucks just signed Giannis to an extension and looked like a team that was destined to go back to the playoffs and maybe make some noise this year. We wish Khris nothing but the best in his recovery.

Bucks Land The Jet

Why veteran leadership is important for this young squad.

By: Jim Boyce

The Milwaukee Bucks officially signed Jason Terry Monday afternoon, adding another backup at the shooting guard position. Now whenever a veteran such as Terry is brought in there seems to be several reactions. One being dismissal, “what is 38 year old Jason Terry going to do for the Bucks?” Another is misplaced optimism from casual fans who remember him from his prime and expect that he will put up numbers like it is 2006. Lastly there are people who realize Terry might not offer a ton on the court at his age, but that his locker room presence can help the team.

The reality is that Jason Terry is limited at this stage of his career, but what he can still do is play 15 or so minutes a game and hit three pointers when the opportunity arises. More importantly what Terry and Steve Novak, who is likely to be resigned by Milwaukee, can bring is veteran leadership. While it may cause some to roll their eyes, veterans in the locker room can make a significant difference on a young team and recent Bucks history gives us a solid example.

The 2014-15 Bucks were a feel good story for most of us who follow the team. Following a 15-67 campaign the season before even the most optimistic Bucks fans were not predicting more than 30 wins on the season. The Bucks, who lost first round pick Jabari Parker early that season, hit the 30 win mark by the all star break. While they cooled off in the second half, they still finished 41-41 and played a six game series against a highly rated Chicago Bulls team.

While the young nucleus of Giannis Antetokuonmpo, Khris Middleton, and Brandon Knight/Michael Carter-Williams were the players fans focused on, the glue behind that team was the veterans. Jared Dudley, Zaza Pachulia, Jerryd Bayless, and O.J. Mayo all played key roles off the bench, and led the way as far as defensive communication. In 2015-16 Dudley and Pachulia were gone. O.J. Mayo struggled with injuries, poor performance, and quite possibly some personal issues. That left Jerryd Bayless as the elder statesman on the team, and he missed time with his own injuries. The Bucks struggled as their bench offered next to nothing behind Giannis, Parker, and Middleton. Defensive communication suffered as the Bucks plummeted in the rankings. The team struggled out of the gate and never made serious strides towards the playoffs, finishing 33-49.

Jason Terry and Steve Novak are not going to push the Bucks to the next level. Milwaukee is not likely to be taking down Cleveland or Golden State in a seven game series this year. However Giannis and Parker, as well as other youngsters like Rashad Vaughn, Malcolm Brogdon, and Thon Maker can learn a few things about the grind of an 82 game season from two guys who have been through it for the last decade plus. Both Terry and Novak played with Coach Jason Kidd during the latter part of Kidd’s career and can work as extensions of him on the floor as well as on the bench. If the young players can learn how to handle adversity, losing streaks, and the general rigors of a long season, it could go a long way in future seasons when the Bucks are contending for something. In fact Terry himself talked about helping Giannis reach new heights in his first interview upon signing. The vets may not get the Bucks back into the Eastern Conference playoffs this season, that lies more on the development of the young players, but if they help those players improve in any way they will have been worth signing.

 

Bucks 2nd Round Spotlight

Why you should be rooting for Malcolm Brogdon.

By: Jim Boyce

The second round of the NBA draft can at best be described as a shot in the dark, and at worst described as pointless. Very few second round players ever become stars or even starters. For every Draymond Green, Isaiah Thomas, or our own Khris Middleton, there are dozens of Johnny O’Bryant’s.

That being said the Bucks may have found themselves a real value in this years second round with the selection of Malcolm Brogdon out of Virginia. After shocking the world with the selection of very talented but very risky Thon Maker in the first, John Hammond and Co. seemed to go a safer route in the second. Here are a couple reasons to like Malcolm Brogdon.

He Can Help the Team Right Away

Malcolm Brogdon’s game is not flashy, he is not likely to be joining Giannis and Jabari on SportsCenters Top 10 countdowns any time soon. What Brogdon does do though is play defense, something the Bucks mostly neglected last season. Brogdon was the NABC Defensive Player of the Year in 2016 and was often asked to guard all three perimeter positions. While lacking elite lateral quickness that worried some scouts, the effort and determination he shows on a nightly basis should help him to limit opposing wing players. In some ways that description reminds me of another recent Bucks addition and gritty defender, Matthew Dellevadova.

Brogdon probably won’t put up big numbers on the offensive end, but he often looked like the most poised player on the floor during the Summer League. He should be an unselfish teammate who is capable of hitting the open jumper when the opportunity presents itself.

His Intangibles Are Off The Charts

Look as hard as you can, but you will not find anyone that has had anything negative to say about Brogdon as a teammate or person. He was a leader for a good Virginia team, and despite being a rookie, can become the same on the Bucks. In a recent piece by Dave Johnson of the Daily Press highlighting his leadership skills, Brogdon sounded like a player comfortable with that role who also understands his place as a rookie making the leap to the next level.

“I’m excited,” Brogdon said in meeting the Milwaukee media. “I’m ready to take on whatever role Coach Kidd and Mr. Hammond have in mind for me. I think at heart, I’m a leader. But in this situation, I’ll have to listen and learn even from the younger guys here. I’m going to feel my way out.”

Outside of basketball Brogdon is a very impressive young man. Watch the 3:00-4:18 mark here where Brogdon talks about the importance of his education and goals of using the money he will make from his NBA career to help those in need. I know what you might be thinking, character is not going to win basketball games, and that is true. The reality is we as sports fans generally don’t care what players do with their free time as long as they perform on the court.

However I think Brogdon’s goals of contributing to the world outside of sports is impressive when he could easily live comfortably off the money he will make as a pro. It’s safe to say Brogdon would be a successful individual even without basketball. He is a genuinely likable person and because of that it is almost impossible not to cheer for Malcolm Brogdon as he begins his NBA career.

In closing, there are a lot of things to like about Brogdon both on and off the court. While the odds are he will never be a star player. His effort and basketball IQ should allow him to become a solid rotation player on a Milwaukee team that was lacking off the bench last season. Do not be surprised if Malcolm Brogdon carves out a role and plays meaningful minutes off the bench as early as his rookie season.

 

Reaction to Thon Maker's First Summer League Game

Fresh off Summer League action, we take a look at what Thon Maker brings to the court

By: Bill Tewes

As Milwaukee’s first Summer League game wraps up, we finally get a glimpse of what Thon Maker is capable of against NBA level “talent”. The 19-year-old started for Milwaukee against Cleveland’s squad and showed flashes of real potential.

Maker hit a nice jumper from just inside the 3-point line and drew a foul just past the half way mark in the second quarter. Maker then missed his free throw, but got his own rebound and scored, netting four points in about five seconds. Maker finished with 15 points on 5/14 shooting and grabbed 13 boards netting him a double-double and also had two blocks. Maker grabbed a nice offensive rebound with less than 20 seconds left to help seal a win for the Bucks 81-75 over Cleveland.

I think back to draft night and how I felt after the 10th pick was announced. As I sat in a small room with two friends watching the NBA draft, I was nervous as I usually am about the Bucks when it comes to their pick. Any Bucks fan will tell you that draft night is always a situation wrought with anxiety and sometimes even frustration immediately after the pick is announced.

Truth be told, I sank to my knees when I heard Maker’s name announced by Adam Silver. Right before Milwaukee’s pick, Jay Bilas suggested the Bucks could realistically take Maker at 10 and Chad Ford even mocked Maker at that spot in his final mock draft. It is interesting to see what happened after Milwaukee picked Maker. Players such as Taurean Prince, Georgios Papagiannis, Juan Hernangomez and Guerschon Yabusele all went much higher than vast majority of experts thought they would. So perhaps as crazy as it might sound, John Hammond might have set off a trend by selecting Maker at 10.

The most obvious and constantly discussed concern with Maker is his actual age. Rumors have been swirling that Maker is actually closer to 23 years of age as opposed to his stated age of 19 years. If Maker turns out to be closer to 23, it will most certainly be a devastating blow and yet another pick that may go down as a complete bust for the organization. My major concern with Maker being 23, is that the level of competition he has played against has been exclusively high school kids. While his highlights certainly are impressive, they are clearly less impressive if he is significantly older than his competition.

After reading his Draft Express profile, it is definitely concerning that scouts are afraid Maker might not be able to put on enough muscle to be competitive in the NBA. Even though the league is clearly in the middle of the Small-Ball era, a 7’ 1” center who weighs 215 pounds is going to get thrashed in the paint.

Watching this YouTube video is enough to prove that Hammond was super high on Maker. They loved his work ethic and are seemingly sold on his measurables and potential to be an NBA starter as well as impact player on this team.I think the reason I despise this pick the most, is that Maker was selected at 10 instead of later in the draft. It is hard to say if the Bucks could have traded back and still picked up Maker, or if Hammond was that enamored with him that there was no other option but to take him. The NBA draft is a perhaps the most difficult draft to pick players from as it is far from certain that a team will get even a role player in the lottery. The Bucks must know more about Maker as they passed on local talent Henry Ellenson and a slew of other picks that would have made sense for the Bucks.

The intrigue is there for Maker and he certainly has the tools to put it all together. But how long will it take for Maker to become NBA ready and end up contributing to a potential Eastern Conference Finals run for Milwaukee? And if Maker is 23, it certainly sours what is currently a fun and exciting pick for Milwaukee. 

 

D-Wade reups meeting with Bucks, Middleton recruiting?

By: Bill Tewes

After cancelling a meeting with the Milwaukee Bucks yesterday, free agent Dwyane Wade has rescheduled the meeting and is set to meet with Bucks management this afternoon. Just days after Kevin Durant shocked the sports world and signed with Golden State, another NBA superstar may be on the move. Milwaukee Bucks fans are definitely familiar with the idea of Wade in a Bucks jersey.

Alex Kennedy via twitter suggested that Milwaukee Bucks shooting guard Khris Middleton is actively recruiting Wade with the help of coach Jason Kidd. Middleton knows Wade well as they have previously worked out in the offseason together and has credited Wade for his vast improvements over the past year. Last year there were rumors that the Bucks were significantly interested in luring Wade away from South Beach. Wade signed a one-year deal to stay with Miami and is now set to meet with Bucks management this Wednesday after reportedly being disgruntled at Miami’s initial contract offer.

Milwaukee would most definitely have to trade Greg Monroe in order for them to land Wade. The Bucks would miss Monroe’s paint presence offensively, but would gain a future Hall of Famer in Wade and a hometown hero from his days at Marquette. Wade would immediately bring veteran leadership that the Bucks so desperately need to a team that has lacked solid leadership. I would expect Milwaukee to put Wade as our starting point guard to run the floor and give opportunities to Antetokounmpo, Middleton and Parker.

The one obvious concern with signing Wade is that he has had perpetual knee injuries over the course of his career. He is now 34 years old, but is also coming off a year where he played 74 games (most since he played 77 in 2009) and had one hell of a playoff run for Miami this year. Wade shot 47% from the field last year (per basketball-reference.com) and has been working without the likes of LeBron James and Chris Bosh for the better part of the last 2-3 seasons.

Miami has reportedly upped their offer to a two-year deal worth $40 million for Wade’s services, but that offer appears to be falling short of what Wade can get from other interested teams (Denver, Milwaukee and even Chicago are in the mix). While Wade might be using Milwaukee as leverage, it does seem interesting that he is still willing to visit with Bucks management. Wednesday’s meeting (which is expected to happen this afternoon if not already) certainly has intrigue and who knows what Wade’s thoughts are about joining this young team. Experts suggested Milwaukee had slim to no chance of signing Greg Monroe, and he’s on the roster.

Whether or not Wade fits the “scheme” in Milwaukee, this signing would be a huge boost to a team who is on the verge of competing in the Eastern Conference. If Wade ended up signing with Milwaukee and had 2-3 productive years while giving the Bucks a sound locker-room presence, I do not think we could ask for much more. Wade would not have to post All-Star caliber numbers and the pressure for him to be the teams’ top player would be alleviated, while also alleviating pressure from Milwaukee’s young up and comers. It seems like Milwaukee will have to guarantee Wade three years if he wants to sign with the team and that might be exactly what Lasry, Edens and company would do to lure Wade away from Miami.  

                                                           

Bucks Rumor Roundup Part 2: Monroe, MCW and Delly

By: Bill Tewes

We are just a little more than 24 hours away from the start of the 2016 NBA Draft and already many rumors are being put to rest. It is being reported by multiple media outlets that there is seemingly little to no interest in the Boston Celtics 3rd overall pick. Whether that is because the asking price is too high, or because Boston is waiting for a better deal is yet to be seen.

The Milwaukee Bucks are still in the headlines as team officials have stated that Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker and obviously Johnny O’Bryant are untouchable as far as trades are concerned. This comes as a relief to many Bucks fans who are fed up with seeing the team trade away talent and get burned in the process. The Bucks are also still in the draft night eve headlines for two recent rumors:

Greg Monroe and Michael Carter-Williams trade value

According to some league officials as reported by HoopsHype, the Milwaukee Bucks are  having a difficult time finding a suitor for Greg Monroe. Some unnamed league executives from both conferences stressed that they believe the Bucks can’t even get a lottery pick for Monroe.

This is hard for me to believe as Monroe averages a double-double nearly every night and even though he signed a player friendly contract with Milwaukee, should still have appeal to a contender. Even though the league is going in a small ball direction, it was quite obvious that the Golden State Warriors desperately needed Andrew Bogut’s skillset as they got killed in the paint against the Cavaliers. Monroe still provides a lot of offensive value, even if his defense is lacking. A contender could certainly use the points in the paint and an above average free throw shooter for being a big.

As for Michael Carter-Williams, it seems as if the former Rookie of the Year’s trade value is at an absolute all time low. Carter-Williams had a poor showing last season which ended in him having hip surgery. If the Bucks could part with Carter-Williams in a multi player deal and get some value back for him, it might be worth pulling the trigger on a trade. Otherwise the Bucks may be wise to hang on to Carter-Williams and hope he increases his trade value or can be used as bench depth moving forward.

Dellavedova and Jason Kidd’s obssesion with him

I cannot quite figure out what the Bucks’ brass (err Jason Kidd’s) deal is with Matthew Dellavedova. Last year Delly had an incredible NBA Finals series against the Golden State Warriors in place of the injured Kyrie Irving. But since Irving came back and destroyed Golden State in this years’ finals, I cannot see the appeal for giving Dellavedova a lot of money. Dellavedova saw limited playing time in this years’ Finals and we saw more of the #52 than we probably expected to see (Mo Williams).

ESPN Cavaliers writer Brian Windhorst believes that the Bucks are absolutely obssesed with Dellavedova. Windhorst stated on Zach Lowe’s podcast that the Bucks have a certain infatuation with Dellavedova:

“For some reason, (chuckles) and I got a pretty good idea why, the Milwaukee Bucks attended Cavs games in the playoffs like they were a fan of the team. They had scouts there…Jason Kidd came to one of the games. I think the Bucks have zeroed in on Dellavedova. I think they intend to offer him a bunch of money.”

If the Bucks do indeed sign Delly, I think it would be another questionable move on “Kidd’s” part as de facto GM of this team. Even though there has been speculation that Bucks management has been less than thrilled with Jason Kidd’s personnel moves, this latest rumor adds even more concern that Kidd is meddling in places where he should stay out of. Kidd already got burned by his desire to have Michael Carter-Williams as this team’s court general and I think the Bucks would be remiss if they pursued Dellavedova.

 

 

Middleton to Celtics? Let the Rumors begin!

By: Bill Tewes

One of the first major trade rumors of the 2016 NBA Draft involves none other than the Milwaukee Bucks and shooting guard Khris Middleton. Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge is kicking the tires on a potential trade that would send their 3rd overall pick as well as their 16th pick in this years’ draft and an expiring contract for Middleton and our 10th. Hoopshype tweeted Charles Gardner on John Hammond’s reaction to this rumor:

midsrumor

This trade would be highly problematic for Milwaukee. The issue here, is that outside of the first two picks (which barring a catastrophic change of heart, will be Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram) there is no real guarantee that the Bucks will get a player they can groom into a star.

Khris Middleton has made major strides since being drafted in the second round of the 2012 draft by the Detroit Pistons. The Milwaukee Bucks got a steal by trading an underwhelming Brandon Jennings to get Brandon Knight and Khris Middleton. Middleton has become an incredible two way player for Milwaukee and easily their best defender. The Bucks would have to be less than thrilled with Middleton’s progression as a potential leader for this team in order to cut ties with a budding star to take a gamble on an unknown at 3rd overall.

I think it would be another huge mistake in a long line of mistakes that Bucks management has made over the years, by trading players before we can see what they truly offer. While the 3rd overall pick is certainly intriguing, I’m not certain it is worth giving up on Middleton and the chemistry he brings to the table.

Ainge knows Middleton’s value and the Boston Celtics desire a dynamic scorer that can help them win now. Adam McGee of Behindthebuckpass.com stressed Middleton’s importance to this team by noting his relatively cheap contract and that he lead the league in steals post All-star break. As of right now, Middleton is really the only player on this roster that can consistently knock down the three and it would be difficult to replace that production of an established two way player with a rookie if we trade away Middleton.

When the dust settles from all of these rumors and we get to draft night, I cannot see the Milwaukee Bucks parting with a key piece of our current Big 3. But seeing as how the Bucks have made some big splashes via the trade market, I could very well be in for a shock Thursday night.