August 7, 2008

Bucks' offseason makeover bound to continue

Category: Bucks — Patrick Stumpf @ 1:30 pm

After a draft-day trade sent Yi Jianlian to New Jersey for star forward Richard Jefferson, it seemed apparent GM John Hammond was going for it. Jefferson offers versatility, and is the perfect compliment to Michael Redd, and Yi finally got his wish to go to a bigger market. But even after the big deal netted the Bucks their coveted small forward, and Joe Alexander and Luc Richard Abah a Moute were welcomed into the fold on draft night, the pieces to the roster puzzle still don’t seem to fit. The problem lies at the point guard spot. Ramon Sessions played so well in his time at the point, putting Mo Williams’ long-term future in Milwaukee in jeopardy even after his extension. Despite all trade rumors that swirled around Williams, none came to fruition. Now the Bucks are in a tough spot. Trade Williams to allow Sessions to take over? Or, keep Williams and let the big three (Williams, Redd and Jefferson) fend for themselves?

Whether you like it or not, the answer is to trade Williams. Look at the guy play. Mo Williams is not a true point guard. He is a shoot first, pass second player. That won’t fit with Redd and Jefferson. There just isn’t enough ball to go around. Solution? Trade him to Miami, along with Charlie Villanueva and Dan Gadzuric for Shawn Marion. As crazy as this speculation may sound, this deal makes sense. Miami, who has shown interest in Mo, is desperately in search of a point so they can move Dwayne Wade to the 2. And Mo still has four years remaining on his deal, allowing to Heat to put off negotiations for several years. As far as Marion goes, he’s is a cash cow, making a hefty $17 million dollars a year. The catch is, he will become a free-agent after this upcoming season. So the Heat front office would be wise to move him now while he still has value.

The Bucks do this because everbody wants to return to the playoffs. With Redd, Jefferson and Marion, a trip to the postseason would be all but a lock. And because Marion has only one year left, the deal is low risk, high reward. Next year he would walk for more money elsewhere, allowing a more experienced Joe Alexander to assume the 4 spot in ’09. They also would dump Dan Gadzuric’s awful contract, and let Sessions, a pass first player, take the reigns at point.

One thing is clear: after signing Tyronn Lue to a 1-year, $2.5 million deal as the third point guard, do not be surprised to see Hammond wheeling and dealing again before November.

Now for a concrete rumor: HoopsHype has reported the Bucks are very interested in signing center Francisco Elson as a backup center to Andrew Bogut. The 7-footer averaged three points and three boards a game last year for the Spurs, but what appeals to the Bucks’ front office is his ability to play aggressive defense and shoot very well from the free-throw line.

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