Jake's Take - 6/28/10
Those Busy Bucks
When someone is working tirelessly, it's typically stated they are "as busy as a bee." After this week, I think it should be reworded to "as busy as the Bucks." And this is why, to date, I've enjoyed John Hammond's tenure as general manager of the Bucks.
Let's compare Hammond to Ted Thompson, the general manager for the Green Bay Packers. Thompson can usually be found sitting on his hands, idly watching other general managers make trades and sign free agents. He masterminds the most boring offseason in professional sports year after year.
Hammond operates in a completely different manner, and I couldn't be happier. This summer has marked the third straight year that Hammond has kept the phones busy and, in turn, my attention grabbed. Right now, I don't even mind if the moves he's made this past week pan out. I'm just glad that he kept me interested. Even better, I trust that the moves that have been made will pan out, making this week that much better. It's one thing to be content with an exciting week of roster moves. It's another to be content and confident that those moves will result in a better team.
Here is why I'm confident:
Corey Maggette: Only New Orleans shot fewer free throws than Milwaukee last year, and that was by a mere one-tenth of a freebie per game. How does one go about fixing this problem? Acquiring Maggette, who averaged more free throw attempts per minute last year than everybody not named Dwight Howard, is a pretty good start. Replace Charlie Bell's and Dan Gadzuric's 1.7 combined attempts per game with Maggette's 7.9 attempts per contest and the Bucks move up from 29th in the league to fifth. Some might question the losing that has followed him from team to team, but that's more of an indictment of the team around him than anything else. From all indications, Maggette seems like a team-first kind of guy who will more than likely buy into what Scott Skiles is selling.
Chris Douglas-Roberts: First of all, I'm really looking forward to seeing CDR's last name rainbowed around the back of his jersey. Second, he'll provide constant entertainment via his twitter account. Third, he'll provide Brandon Jennings with another running buddy on the fast break. CDR is a relatively unproven commodity at this point, but he's shown flashes of being a valuable asset to any rotation. Putting up big numbers on a losing team doesn't always translate into success with a winning team, but it's hard to argue with what CDR did when given significant minutes last year. During an 11-game stretch early last year, CDR averaged 18.9 points per game, including a 31-point 10-rebound showing against the Bucks.
Larry Sanders: I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed when Patrick Patterson went to the Rockets in the pick just prior to Milwaukee's. I may have scarred my 10-week-old puppy for life with my reaction after David Stern announced Houston's section of Patterson. After giving the selection of Sanders the proper amount of thought, though, I feel like he could become a Horace Grant kind of player for the Bucks. Grant exemplified the value of a role player who knew his role. He hit open 18-footers, ran the floor, crashed the offensive glass and rebounded and blocked shots on the defensive end. Sanders has already shown the ability to do the latter four in college. If he can continue to do those things in the NBA while adding a consistent midrange jumper, he could become a great asset alongside Andrew Bogut.
Darington Hobson: I've always thought that versatility is an extremely valuable characteristic for a basketball player. The ability to do multiple things at multiple positions makes a player that much more indispensable to his team. This is where Hobson comes in. From everything I've seen, read and heard, Hobson seems like he could play minutes at three different positions: point guard, shooting guard and small forward. Personally, I would love to see Hobson get at least a few minutes at point guard during summer league play. I've always loved the idea of Jennings spending some time playing off the ball, which would allow him to get more scoring opportunities and limit the wear and tear that comes from bringing the ball up the floor every possession. Hobson's 6-foot-7 height and ball-handling skills could allow this to happen.
Jerome Jordan: Jordan is similar to Sanders in that he didn't pick up the game of basketball until high school. He's also similar to Sanders in that he has great length and athleticism, but the rest of his game is still developing. If his domination of fellow second-round draft pick Hassan Whiteside is any indication, the rest of his game is developing quite nicely. Jordan schooled the Conference USA defensive player of the year to the tune of 19.3 points, 13 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game in three meetings last year.
Tiny Gallon: Tractor Traylor left an indelible mark on me. I had his No. 54 Michigan jersey and couldn't have been happier when he became a Buck in 1998. Obviously that didn't work out as well as I had hoped, but I'm not going to hold Gallon's similar dimensions to Traylor against him. Gallon is obviously a very skilled big man who could bring a style to the Milwaukee frontcourt that hasn't been seen in a while. What I like most is his close relationships with Jennings and Sanders. Team chemistry is a vital part to any team's success, and if Milwaukee's three youngest players are tight off the court, their on-court chemistry should be equally as strong. If Gallon, Jennings and Sanders can continually work together during the offseason, that will only make the team that much better during the regular season.When it comes to the Bucks, I'm an eternal optimist. I come away from each and every draft thinking the most recent draftees are going to be key contributors during their rookie seasons. While it's highly unlikely that will be the case with each of this year's four draft picks, that's not going to dim my hopes. The Bucks frontcourt was severely lacking in size following the trading of Gadzuric and the free agent status of Kurt Thomas. Bringing in versatile big men like Sanders, Jordan and Gallon should help alleviate the team's size concerns. Throw in a versatile wing player in Hobson, and I think the Bucks came away with a pretty good haul.
Note: These are the views of the 6th Fan Blogger. Thoughts and opinions expressed in this articles are not necessarily the views of the Milwaukee Bucks.