Friday, September 11, 2009

Bucks Decline to Match Sessions Offer Sheet

The Milwaukee Bucks declined to match the offer sheet that combo point guard/shooting guard Ramon Session signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves (source here). Last Friday Sessions signed a four-year offer sheet with the Timberwolves worth a reported $16 million. This move comes as no surprise as Bucks General Manager John Hammond continues to re-shape the roster he inherited from former Bucks General Manager Larry Harris. Signing Sessions would have put the Bucks over the luxury tax threshold, which neither Hammond nor Bucks Owner Herb Kohl were interested in doing.

The Bucks already have a crowded backcourt with Brandon Jennings, Luke Rindour and Roko Ukic at point guard as well as Michael Redd, Jodie Meeks and Charlie Bell at shooting guard. The last name on that list Charlie Bell is an example of the difference between the Larry Harris regime and the John Hammond regime. While General Manager of the Bucks, Harris matched the five-year $18.5 million offer sheet that Bell signed with the Miami Heat in 2007 (source here). The Bell contract has proved to be wasted money and it was smart for Hammond not to repeat the mistakes of his predecessor.

Bucks fans are fortunate that Hammond has a long-term vision for the roster. There is so much turnover in professional front offices, usually General Managers mortgage their future for short term results. Hammond could have resigned Sessions but it would have created an even bigger logjam at the guard position. Instead, much like declining to re-sign Charlie Villanueva, Hammond opted for long-term financial relief. The open question is whether long-term financial relief will come at the expense of short-term results.

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