Friday, June 24, 2011

2011 NBA Draft Day Trade for Milwaukee Bucks

Although I am going to post my traditional Sunday Funday post where I give my thoughts on the Milwaukee Bucks' 2011 NBA Draft, I had to do a special Wednesday What Happened post to dissect the big draft day trade between the Milwaukee Bucks, Charlotte Bobcats, and Sacramento Kings.

After running a fiscally tight ship for his first few years as general manager of the Milwaukee Bucks, John Hammond painted himself in a corner last summer when he traded for Corey Maggette, signed John Salmons to a ludicrous contract extension, and signed Drew Gooden to the mid-level exception. After seeing those pieces not work well together last year, Hammond decided to make a big trade. Here is the breakdown of the deal:

Milwaukee Bucks* get:
- Stephen Jackson (SG/SF)
- Beno Udrih (PG/SG)
- Shaun Livingston (PG)
- 19th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft: Tobias Harris (SF/PF)

Charlotte Bobcats** get:
- Corey Maggette (SF)
- 7th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft: Bismark Biyambo (PF)

"Sacramento"*** Kings get:
- John Salmons (SG)
- 10th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft: Jimmer Freddette (PG/SG)

At first blush this looks like a salary dump by the Milwaukee Bucks. According to HoopsHype the Bucks shipped off $45,346,207**** in long-term money committed to Maggette and Salmons while they took on $37,862,500***** in long-term money committed to Livingston, Udrih, and Jackson. At the very least Herb Kohl saved $7,483,707 million in the trade by not giving up very much in the process.

The pieces that the Bucks added fit their team much better than the ones they gave up in the trade. Stephen Jackson has proven to be a temperamental guy in the past (one of the main guys involved in The Malice at the Palace) but he is a flat out scorer that the Bucks desperately need. Udrih is a similar player to Luke Ridnour, a key contributor to the 2009-10 Milwaukee Bucks playoff run. Shaun Livingston is one of the greatest players that never was because injuries really derailed his once promising career. It has been a sad fall from being the 4th player drafted in the 2004 NBA Draft to here but Livingston will only be 26 years old the next time the Bucks take the court so there is still time for Livingston to resurrect his career.

Juxtapose that with the guys that the Bucks gave up in the trade. Maggette never fit the system in Milwaukee and has been a locker room cancer at every one of his NBA stops. Salmons never regained his 2009-10 form after getting hurt going into the 2010-11 season. As a result the Bucks really didn't give up a ton to get the players they got. Furthermore they free up money for the 2013-14 season when there will most likely be a hard cap in the NBA.

I see two problems with the deal. One, if John Hammond just signed Luke Ridnour to the four-year, $16 million contract****** that the Minnesota Timberwolves signed him to last off-season, the Bucks would have been just fine. The Bucks could have let Salmons leave via free agency and never traded for Corey Maggette.

Second, moving down from the 10th pick to the 19th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft the Bucks gave up a chance to get a bunch of guys they had an interest in drafting. I will leave my thoughts on the decision to take Tobias Harris instead of Kenneth Faried for my Sunday Funday post about the 2011 NBA Draft for the Milwaukee Bucks but needless to say this trade would get more support from me if the Bucks made a better pick at 19.

Still the Bucks look like the winner in the trade because they added better pieces. The Bobcats come a close second in the trade because moving from 19th to 7th in the 2011 NBA Draft allowed them to draft my draft crush Bismark Biyambo...the next coming of Serge Ibaka. Unfortunately they had to give up Jackson for Maggette to move up. For the sake of Biyambo please put Maggette's locker as far away from his as possible MJ. Finally the Kings are in huge financial trouble yet they took on long-term money in the trade while moving down in the draft. Normally that would not be a big deal because to move from the 7th pick to the 10th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft because it is considered one of the weakest drafts in years but somehow Kentucky point guard Brandon Knight slipped to 8th in the draft. As a result the Kings lost out on their chance to add Knight so they were forced to deprive the Utah Jazz of The Jimmer.

Long story short, after watching the aforementioned pieces play together last season Hammond decided to shuffle the deck again in hopes of limiting the damage, albeit damage of his own doing. Hammond better hope that the guys that went from 10th to 18th******* in the 2011 NBA Draft never turn into superstars because that will be the achilles heel of the trade if Tobias Harris turns out to be a flop.

* = Traded away Corey Maggette, John Salmons, and the 10th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft

** = Traded away Stephen Jackson, Livingston, and the 19th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft

*** = You notice I put Sacramento in quotes because their bankrupt owners tried to move out of Sacramento but couldn't pull it off...good guys. Anyhow they traded away Beno Udrih and the 7th overall pick in the draft.

**** = Corey Maggette is owed $21,186,207 ($10,262,069 in 2011-12 and $10,924,138 in 2012-13) and John Salmons is owed $24,160,000 ($8,500,000 in 2011-12, $8,080,000 in 2012-13, $7,580,000 in 2013-14, and $7,000,000 team option in 2014-15 that would push the value of the contract to $31,160,000 but I didn't include that because there is a 1% chance that the Kings will pick up that team option for the 2014-15 season).

***** = Shaun Livingston is owed $3,500,000 in 2011-12 with a team option for $3,500,000 for 2012-13; Beno Udrih is owed $15,042,500 ($7,232,500 in 2011-12 and $7,810,000 player option for 2012-13), Stephen Jackson is owed $19,320,000 ($9,260,000 for 2011-12 and $10,060,000 for 2012-13).

****** = $4,000,000 for 2010-11, $3,680,000 for 2011-12, $4,000,000 for 2012-13, and $4,320,000 for 2013-14.

******* = Jimmer Fredette (PG/SG), Klay Thompson (SG/SF), Alec Burks (SG), Markieff Morris (PF), Marcus Morris (PF), Kawhi Leonard (SF), Nikola Vučević (PF), Iman Shumpert (PG/SG), and Chris Singleton (PF).

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