Bucks Overall Team Grade
After trading for two wing players earlier in the week, Milwaukee needed to get more physical inside, and become a better defensive and rebounding team. That is exactly what they accomplished. Sanders and Jordan bring a lot of length to the frontcourt and add immediate depth. Gallon has a lot of upside and was a great roll of the dice with their fourth pick of the 2010 NBA Draft. I am really high on Hobson and think his versatility will give the Bucks wing a different look. GM John Hammond is quickly becoming one of the best in the biz. (Grade: A-)
15. Larry Sanders, PF, VCU
I knew the Bucks liked Sanders so this doesn't surprise me at all. He will bring some needed defense to their frountcourt to complement Andrew Bogut. Their acquisitions of Corey Maggette and Chris Douglas-Roberts filled their need for a wing, so going with a post player is wise. (Pick Grade: Makes Sense)
37. Darington Hobson, G/F, New Mexico
Hobson is a versatile talent who could play a point forward role in the NBA. I am not sure how he fits in with the recently acquired Corey Maggette and Chris Douglas-Roberts, but I really like him as a second round value. (Pick Grade: LOVE IT)
44. Jerome Jordan, C, Tulsa
In trading Dan Gadzuric, the Bucks created a hole behind Andew Bogut. In adding Jordan, the Bucks get a big body who won't be anything more than a bench player but could play 8-12 minutes a night. Adding him with Sanders makes for two solid picks. (Pick Grade: LOVE IT)
47. Tiny Gallon, PF, Oklahoma
The Bucks needed to get more physical inside and Gallon is load. He is well worth the value with their fourth pick of the 2010 NBA Draft, plus he and Brandon Jennings are boys from high school, so I know Young Buck is going to be thrilled. He probably doesn't contribute right away, but could be a solid player in a year or two. (Pick Grade: LOVE IT)
2009-10 Season Summary:
FEAR THE DEER! Boy was I off last year when I picked the Bucks to finish dead last in the Eastern Conference. But even with the yearly season-ending injuries to Michael Redd and Andrew Bogut, Milwaukee ended up earning the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference and nearly knocking off the Hawks in the first round of the playoffs before losing in seven games.
So how does a team without its two best players overachieve as much as the Bucks did? Credit head coach Scott Skiles for keeping this team together, and the healthy players on the roster for unselfishly accepting their roles and doing what was necessary to win. Plus, it helps when you have a rookie point guard like Brandon Jennings who silenced all the doubters by finishing third in the ROY voting highlighted by his 55-point performance against the Nuggets.
General manager John Hammond deserves a lot of credit as well and was properly rewarded by being named the league's Executive of the Year. He made a great trade deadline deal by acquiring John Salmons who came up huge in the final weeks of the season. Hammond also dumped Richard Jefferson's overblown contract on the Spurs for cap space and veteran Kurt Thomas who was the leader and low-post banger this young Bucks team needed. Add in foreign products Carlos Delfino and Ersan Ilyasova who returned to the NBA after spending some time playing professionally overseas and brought energy to this team, and the pieces fell perfectly in place for Milwaukee even though the talent level did not stand out.
2010-11 Projected Depth Chart:
C: Andrew Bogut/Larry Sanders/Tiny Gallon
PF: Drew Gooden/Luc Richard Mbah a Moute/Ersan Ilyasova/Jon Brockman
SG: John Salmons/Michael Redd/Chris Douglas-Roberts
PG: Brandon Jennings/Keyon Dooling/Earl Boykins
NBA Free Agents:
SF Jerry Stackhouse (UFA)
C Primoz Brezec (UFA)
2010-11 Team Salary: Approximately $62.1 million
2010-11 League Salary Cap: $58 million
Bucks sign PG Earl Boykins to 1-year, league minimum deal
Bucks acquire PF Jon Brockman from Kings for PF Darnell Jackson and future second round pick
Bucks sign PG Keyon Dooling to 2-year deal
Bucks re-sign SG John Salmons to 5-year, $39 million deal
Bucks sign PF Drew Gooden to 5-year, $32 million deal
Bucks acquire SF Corey Maggette and 44th pick in NBA Draft from Warriors for C Dan Gadzuric and SG Charlie Bell
John Salmons opts of final year of his contract
Bucks acquire SG Chris Douglas-Roberts from Nets for 2012 second round pick.
Bucks trade C Jerome Jordan (44th pick) to Knicks for cash considerations
NBA Offseason Needs:
1. Physical power forward- The addition of Kurt Thomas provided the Bucks with the physical, low-post rebounder the team needed. Thomas is a free agent meaning the undersized Mbah a Moute and somewhat soft Ilyasova are the only "power forwards" under contract. The Bucks need to find a Thomas-type who can help bang the boards so that Bogut does not have to play the role and risk getting injured... again. Plus Dan Gadzuric is worthless except for the four times a year he decides to live up to the ridiculous $7.3 million dollars he will make this season.
2. Shooting Guard- Michael Redd and John Salmons can both opt out of their contracts this offseason. If Redd turns down making $18.3 million in the final year of his deal, I will tie a cement block to my package and throw it off a building like Weezy had to do in Old School. Salmons seems likely to become a free agent, passing on the $5.8 million he could earn next season since he will likely receive a larger amount in free agency. With that being said, the Bucks need to bring in another shooting guard if they cannot get Salmons to return to Milwaukee especially since it is uncertain whether or not Redd will be ready to start the season depending on how the rehab goes on his torn ACL.
3. Backup for Young Buck- Jennings is the point guard of the future in Milwaukee, but the Bucks need to find some depth behind Young Buck since Luke Ridnour is a free agent. The team should make a strong play at bringing Ridnour back since he was very effective in a reserve role and even alongside Jennings in certain situations. When Jennings hit a mid-season funk, Ridnour rose to the occasion by playing the crunch-time minutes at the point. If Ridnour decides to continue his playing career elsewhere, the Bucks need to find a veteran backup.