Trade update I: Milwaukee Bucks acquire No. 38 pick Nate Wolters from the Philadelphia 76ers for No. 43 pick Ricky Ledo and a 2014 second-round pick.
Areas of Strength
The Bucks' pendulum is swinging back to its frontcourt with the dramatic improvement of Larry Sanders as a defensive force, with last year's top pick John Henson contributing more as the season played out and with Ersan Ilyasova settling in after some new-contract bumps. Forward Luc Mbah a Moute can guard four positions when healthy.
Milwaukee stuck with its high-risk, occasionally high-reward backcourt of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, giving up size and defensive fundamentals for their potent scoring ability and gambling tendencies on defense (the Bucks ranked second at forcing turnovers). But those two were among several who played with contract issues on their minds -- Ellis can opt out, Jennings is a restricted free agent -- and the uncertainty made for lousy team chemistry. The midseason coaching switch from Scott Skiles to Jim Boylan barely caused a ripple.
Two Stats That Matter
39.0 -- Percent of Milwaukee's missed field goals attributable to Monta Ellis (597 of 1,436) and Brandon Jennings (497 of 1,247). As a team the Bucks shot 43.5 percent (3,128 of 7,197).
550 -- The Bucks set a franchise record for blocked shots, led by forward Larry Sanders' 201. That ranks fourth among Milwaukee players all-time, behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's top mark of 283 in 1973-74.
The Way To Go
Milwaukee GM John Hammond still was busy hiring a head coach -- would it be Kelvin Sampson or Larry Drew -- as May turned into June, though lots of teams went through that this spring. There has been speculation that the Bucks might prefer to re-sign Ellis and lose Jennings via restricted free agency (with a sign-and-trade perhaps) because the former is a lethal scorer and the latter still doesn't play like a true point guard. The backcourt was thin even with both of them and, remember, J.J. Redick (who cost the Bucks young forward Tobias Harris) is a free agent too. Looking like a guard pick.
2012-13 Team Stats (points per 100 possessions, with NBA rank)
Offensive: 100.9 (21st)
Defensive: 102.3 (12th)
G: Ish Smith
F: Drew Gooden
F: John Henson
F: Ersan Ilyasova
F: Luc Mbah a Moute
F: Larry Sanders
F: Ekpe Udoh
C: Gustavo Ayon
G: Brandon Jennings (restricted)
G: Monta Ellis (player option)
G: J.J. Redick
G/F: Mike Dunleavy
G/F: Marquis Daniels
C: Samuel Dalembert
C: Joel Przybilla
Recent Draft History
2012: John Henson (14), Doron Lamb (42)
2011: Jimmer Fredette (10), Jon Leuer (40)
2010: Larry Sanders (15), Darington Hobson (37), Jerome Jordan (44), Tiny Gallon (47)
2009: Brandon Jennings (10), Jodie Meeks (41)
2008: Joe Alexander (8), Luc Mbah a Moute (37)
2007: Yi Jianlian (6), Ramon Sessions (56)
2006: David Noel (39)
-- Steve Aschburner