Wednesday, June 23, 2010

2010-11 Milwaukee Bucks heading into 2010 NBA Draft

John Hammond continued his wheeling and dealing ways ahead of the 2010 NBA Draft by making two pre-draft trades. In the bigger of the two trades Hammond sent Dan Gadzuric and Charlie Bell to the Golden State Warriors for Corey Maggette and a second round pick (44th overall) in the 2010 NBA Draft.

Maggette should be a nice player for the Bucks but when I saw the Bucks made a trade with Golden State I was hoping the Bucks acquired a different Golden State Warrior...Monte Ellis. Although Ellis has faced some off the court issues, he is an underpaid starting shooting guard (by NBA standards) at four-years for $44 million (2010-11: $11 million; 2011-12: $11 million; 2012-13: $11 million; and player option for 2013-14: $11 million). In my 2010 NBA trade deadline post I set out how the Bucks could get Ellis. That said, Bucks fans are ecstatic that Hammond got rid of Gadzuric and Bell in one fell swoop...almost too whats the catch?

The Golden State Warriors are having ownership issues so they are in full salary dump mode. On the other hand, the Bucks have a stable owner (Herb Kohl) and tons of cap space in 2011-12 so the Bucks have the ability to take on Maggette's contract. Here are the specifics of the trade, which looks like a one-sided salary dump by the Warriors:

Golden State receives:
- Dan Gadzuric averaged 2.8 points and 2.9 rebounds in 9.8 minutes per game over 32 games (6 starts) in 2009-10 and is owed $7,243,750 for the 2010-11 season. With Suppan and Gadzuric gone, Cheesehead fans will have to find a new whipping out Trevor Hoffmann. I actually think this is a good pick-up because Gadruric is perfect for the Warriors' run and gun offense.
- Charlie Bell averaged 6.5 points, 1.5 assists, and 1.9 rebounds per game over 71 games (39 starts) in 2009-10 but still has two-years for a little less than $8 million left on his contract (2010-11: $3,844,000 and 2011-12: $4,092,000). With Monte Ellis and Stephen Curry on the roster, look for the Warriors to trade Bell or buy him out.

Milwaukee receives:
- Corey Maggette averaged 19.8 points (highest scoring average for a player who played less than 30 minutes per game) shooting .516 from the field (19th in the NBA) in 70 games (49 starts) in 2009-10. The reason Maggette was available for essentially nothing is that he has three years and a little less than $31 million left on his contract (2010-11: $9,600,000; 2011-12: $10,262,069; and 2012-13: $10,924,138). The only real knock on acquiring Maggette (besides being 34 in the last year of the contract) is that he is a shoot first guy. But as I have said all along, if the Bucks want to get a player of Maggette's caliber they are going to have to do it via trade (because free agents rarely sign with the Bucks) so I will trust Hammond on this one.
- 44th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft

In the less heralded of the two trades, which broke Kevin Love style on Twitter, the Bucks acquired Chris Douglas-Roberts ("CDR") from the New Jersey Nets for a second round pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. When the Bucks selected Luc Richard Mbah a Moute ("The Prince") 37th overall in the 2008 NBA Draft, I wanted the Bucks to take CDR (who went three picks later to the Nets).

As we all know, John Hammond did the right thing taking The Prince instead of CDR but now the Bucks have the best of both worlds with The Prince and CDR in the fold for the 2010-11 season. How well The Prince and CDR perform next season will determine if Hammond offers either of them a long-term contract since they will both be free agents after the 2010-11 season.

The aforementioned trades mean that the Milwaukee Bucks currently have 9 players under contract for a total of $54.5 million for the 2010-11 campaign As of July 1st though, the Bucks might only have 8 guys under contract (pending the Bucks signing their draft picks). As most Bucks fans know by now, John Salmons plans to opt-out of the last year of his contract. The Bucks say they want to keep Salmons in the fold but depending on who they select in the draft, Salmons could have a new home next season.

Here is how the Milwaukee Bucks depth-chart looks heading into the 2010 NBA Draft:

PG: Brandon Jennings
SG: John Salmons, Michael Redd, and Chris Douglas-Roberts
SF: Corey Maggette and Carlos Delfino
PF: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Ersan Ilyasova
C: Andrew Bogut

The Milwaukee Bucks currently have four picks: 15, 37, 44, and 47 in the 2010 NBA Draft. Before the Bucks acquired Maggette, most mock drafts had the Bucks selecting a small forward (Luke Babbitt, Gordon Hayward, Paul George, or Damion James) with the #15 pick. There is still a chance the Bucks will take one one of those guys if they fall to them at #15 but the Bucks have bigger needs now.

The Bucks need the 2010 version of 1996 Vin Baker...minus the drinking problem. It is a total crap shot trying to predict who the Bucks will select with the 15th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft but the Bucks are set at point guard, small forward, and center so look for the Bucks to take a shooting guard (Jordan Crawford or Xavier Henry) or power forward (Patrick Patterson, Larry Sanders, Kevin Seraphin, or Ekpe Udoh) at #15. With their three second round picks I expect the Bucks to address their needs at back-up point guard, combo guard, and center.

Check back tomorrow night for in-depth Cheesehead analysis of the 2010 NBA Draft.

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