Wednesday, February 17, 2010

2010 NBA Trade Deadline Advice for John Hammond

Milwaukee Bucks General Manager John Hammond has shown he can wheel and deal since he joined the organization in April of 2008. Of the roster Hammond inherited, only 5 players remain: 3 untradeable contracts (Michael Redd, Dan Gadzuric and Charlie Bell), 1 up-and-comer (Ersan Ilyasova) and 1 franchise center (Andrew Bogut).

As the 2010 NBA Trade Deadline approaches (Thursday, February 18, 2010) a quick look at the Milwaukee Bucks roster shows they have very few assets to trade:

- Michael Redd (SG): has torn multiple knee ligaments the last two seasons. Redd is earning $17 million this year and has a player option worth $18.3 million next year.

- Dan Gadzuric (C): plays sparingly despite earning $6.75 million this year and $7.25 million next year.

- Charlie Bell (SG): has been starting since Redd's injury but Bell's age (30) and bloated contract (3-years, $11.55 million left) makes him untradeable until the last year of his deal.

Expiring Contracts:
- Luke Ridnour (PG): has been the 6th man of the year for the Bucks. Ridnour is earning $6.5 million this season and since the Bucks are still in the playoff hunt they will most likely hold on to Ridnour unless they get a really attractive offer.

- Kurt Thomas (PF): has drawn interest from Portland and other teams looking for a dependable veteran. Thomas is earning $3.8 million this season which is relatively cheap for a veteran big man as sad as that sounds.

- Hakim Warrick (PF): I grossly overvalued Warrick's value in my pre-season Milwaukee Bucks Preview here. Warrick's athleticism and versatility might be attractive to a borderline contender since he is earning $3 million this season.

- Joe Alexander (SF): Hammond's first draft pick as Bucks GM has been an absolute bust. Hammond (like Ron Wolf) swallowed his pride and did not exercise the Bucks team option for the 3rd year of Alexander's rookie contract. Alexander is earning $2.58 million this season which is VERY expensive for someone that has yet to appear for the Bucks this season and is toiling in the NBDL.

- Francisco Elson (PF/C): is out indefinitely with an injury so despite his cheap salary ($1.7 million) for an NBA veteran big man, the Bucks cannot trade Elson.

- Jerry Stackhouse (SG/SF): is earning a prorated $680,000 veteran minimum this season and is highly unlikely to get traded since he was signed a little less than a month ago which means every other NBA team could have signed Stackhouse if they were interested in his services.

Favorable short-term deals:
- Ersan Ilyasova (SF/PF): was drafted 36th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2nd Round of the 2005 NBA Draft. Ilyasova's career has been all over the map since getting drafted by the Bucks: Tulsa, OK (NBDL '05-'06), Milwaukee, WI (NBA '06-'07), and Barcelona, Spain (FC Barcelona '07-'09) before returning to the Bucks on a 3-year, $6.96 million deal this offseason. Ilyasova is a budding NBA star with a cheap contract which makes him borderline untradeable.

- Carlos Delfino (SG/SF): was drafted by the Detroit Pistons while Bucks GM John Hammond was a member of Detroit's front office. Hammond acquired Delfino this off-season in a sign-and-trade deal (3-year, $10.5 million contract with only $500,000 guaranteed in the 2nd year and the 3rd year is a team option) because of his affinity to Deflino which means Delfino is unlikely to get traded.

- Luc Mbah a Moute (SF/PF): The Prince (check here for an explanation of the nickname) has been a lock down defender since the Bucks drafted him in the 2nd round of the 2008 NBA Draft. Add in that The Prince's offensive game is improving and he makes next to nothing by NBA standards (2-years, $1.6 million left) and you see why The Prince is almost untradeable.

- Jodie Meeks (SG): too early to tell whether the rookie will be a good professional player. Based on his production in college at Kentucky and cheap contract (3-years, 2.3 million) the Bucks will hold onto Meeks based on potential alone.

- Andrew Bogut (C): despite his expensive extension (5-year, $60.5 million) kicking in this season, franchise centers don't come along often so the Bucks would have to get an amazing offer to even entertain moving the future all-star.

- Brandon Jennings (PG): his 55 point performance put the Milwaukee Bucks on the national radar. Although the rookie has come back to earth in recent weeks, Jennings is the most untouchable player on the Bucks roster based on his potential and cheap rookie contract (5-years, $14.5 million).

Despite having few trade assets, I did my best to work the ESPN Trade Machine. Only try the trade machine if you have hours to kill but I guess if you have read this far then you must have ample discretionary time to spend on hypothetical NBA trades. All of these trades involve the Milwaukee Bucks taking on money long-term which Bucks GM John Hammond has said he will entertain since the Bucks only have $25 million committed for the 2011-12 season.

Here is the logic, teams want to dump long-term contracts for short-term contracts if at all possible. Furthermore, the Milwaukee Bucks will have a hard time enticing marquee free agents to sign in Milwaukee so they will most likely have to acquire them via trades. Finally, with a core of Brandon Jennings and Andrew Bogut locked up for the next 5 seasons players should be happier to play in Milwaukee then they have been in a long time. Here are my 5 trade deadline deals that the Milwaukee Bucks would do in a heart beat:

#5) Between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Golden State Warriors:

Golden State gets:
- Joe Alexander (SF): 1-year, $2.58 million
- Kurt Thomas (PF): 1-year, $3.8 million
- Luke Ridnour (PG): 1-year, $6.5 million

Milwaukee gets:
- Anthony Randolph (PF): 4-years, $10.77 million left ($1.84 million in '09-'10, $1.97 million in '10-'11, $2.91 million team option in '11'-'12 and $4.05 million qualifying offer in '12-'13)
- Monta Ellis (SG): 5-years, $55 million left (first 4 years $11 million guaranteed each season and 5th year player option for $11 million)

It is no secret that Golden State has been trying to move Monte Ellis ever since his infamous motorcycle accident. Ellis's large contract and the emergence of rookie Stephen Curry has only increased Golden State's interest in trading Ellis. The currently hurt and disgruntled Anthony Randolph is the exact type of power forward the Bucks have been searching for since Vin Baker left many moons ago. This trade allows Milwaukee to fill holes at shooting guard and power forward in one fell swoop. Basically this trade is a salary dump for Golden State.

Speaking of salary dump trades, the Bucks shipping Richard Jefferson to San Antonio for Kurt Thomas, Fabricio Oberto (who was then traded for Amir Johnson who was then part of the Carlos Delfino sign-and-trade) and Bruce Bowen (retired) is not looking like such a horrible trade with how bad Richard Jefferson is playing.  The Spurs are considered one of the smartest franchises in the NBA so nice to see the Bucks fleece them in a trade. Also don't forget Jefferson is still owed $15 million next season. As the dust starts to settle, Richard Jefferson for Kurt Thomas and Carlos Delfino looks like a great trade for the Bucks.

#4) Between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Sacramento Kings:

Sacramento gets:
- Kurt Thomas (PF): 1-year, $3.8 million
- Luke Ridnour (PG): 1-year, $6.5 million

Milwaukee gets:
- Kevin Martin (SG): 4-years, $46.24 million left ($10.18 million in '09-'10, $11.1 million in '10-'11, 12.02 million in '11-'12 and $12.94 million in '12-'13)

The emergence of presumptive rookie of the year Tyreke Evans has lead to a crowded back court in Sacramento. Acquiring Ridnour would allow Evans to get some schooling under Ridnour just like Brandon Jennings has gotten in the first half of the season. This trade allows the Bucks to fill their gaping hole at shooting guard and allows Sacramento to transition from the Kevin Martin era to the Tyreke Evans era.

#3) The Milwaukee Bucks and the Portland Trailblazers:

Portland gets:
- Kurt Thomas (PF): 1-year, $3.8 million
- Milwaukee's 2010 1st round pick (top 5 protected)

Milwaukee gets:
- Rudy Fernandez (SG): 4-years, $7.79 million left ($1.17 million in '09-'10, $1.25 million in '10-'11, $2.18 million team option in '11'-12 and $3.19 qualifying offer in '12-'13)
- Travis Outlaw (SF/PF): 1-year, $4 million

Portland's GM Kevin Pritchard has been dubbed an NBA genius even though he is the guy that drafted gimpy Greg Oden (and his explicit camera phone pictures) ahead of Kevin Durant (possibly an all-time NBA great) so there is always room to snooker Pritchard in a trade. Plus, Pritchard is on record as having interest in getting bigger on the front line for a playoff run so Thomas is an attractive option. Rudy Fernandez is apparently "untouchable" at this point but the Bucks' draft pick might sweeten the deal enough for Pritchard to bite which would allow Milwaukee to get their shooting guard of the future while adding to their record number of international players all at once.

#2) The Milwaukee Bucks and the Chicago Bulls:

Chicago gets:
- Kurt Thomas (PF): 1-year, $3.8 million
- Luke Ridnour (PG): 1-year, $6.5 million

Milwaukee gets:
- Kirk Hinrich (SG): 3-years, $26.5 million left ($9.5 million in '09-'10, $9 million in '10-'11 and $8 million in '11-'12)

Chicago is in full on salary dump mode. With the best young point guard in the NBA (Derrick Rose) and a fair amount of cap space going into the most anticipated NBA off-season in a decade, the Bulls are hoping to land one if not two of the prized NBA Free agents this off-season: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh or Joe Johnson. By dumping Hinrich's contract they get one step closer to landing one or possibly two of the aforementioned studs in the off-season. Milwaukee gets to shore up their shooting guard position for the next few seasons at a fairly palatable price with a contract that actually decreases in yearly payout, which is unusual in professional sports.

#1) The Milwaukee Bucks and the Philadelphia 76ers:

Philadelphia gets:
- Hakim Warrick (PF): 1-year, $3 million
- Kurt Thomas (PF): 1-year, $3.8 million
- Luke Ridnour (PG): 1-year, $6.5 million
- Milwaukee's 2010 1st round pick (top 5 protected)

Milwaukee gets:
- Andre Iguodala (SG): 5-years, $68.7 million left ($12.2 million in '09-'10, $12.35 million in '10-'11, $13.53 million in '11-'12, $14.72 million in '12-'13 and $15.9 million player option in '13-'14).

If Philadelphia could throw an atom bomb and their roster and start over they would. Philadelphia's best player is Iguodala but $68.7 million over 5 years is a hefty sum to pay him so it wouldn't be all that surprising to see them dump his salary. You think the Bucks had it bad with Michael Redd and Danny G. Without Iduodala, Philadephia has $40.4 million committed to Elton Brand, Samuel Dalembert, Jason Kapono and Louis Williams for the 2010-11 season so anything is possible with Philadelphia.

If you read this far I want to thank you very much for spending all this time reading my random thoughts on the Milwaukee Bucks and potential trades that will never happen. Please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom or email me ( your thoughts on these trades or any other trade ideas you might have as the 2010 NBA Trade Deadline approaches.

No comments:

Post a Comment