The Bucks last year at the trade deadline had two options.. Go for it or play for the lottery (Otherwise known as tanking). They went with the first one and acquired Monta Ellis in what some thought could make them not only a playoff team but maybe even a 2nd round playoff team. At the end of the season they now look back at what could have been as the last two weeks were absolutely disastrous for the Bucks. I myself can say I think the Knicks game was fixed, there was just too many awful calls down the stretch as the bucks looked to pull away. Either way its time to look ahead and not look back. With the first plan I lay out in a few paragraphs it is the team going for it.. Which I dont want them to do. But the second option is a young team that in a few years can compete for a championship, still put fans in the seats, and give Milwaukee a team they can actually talk about.
Lets start with the contract situations. Ersan Ilyasova and Carlos Delfino’s deals are up, Udrih has a player option for 7.8 million and Livingston a team option for 3.5 Million. Udrih is going to be gone because he wants a starting job and he proved this year that he deserves one. Livingston for 3 million is pricy as well so unless they can get him for maybe 1.5 or 2 million he will be gone as well. Back to Ersan and Carlos… Ersan said he is going to the team that pays him the most money so we wont be getting a discount. This leads to another HUGE decision, the Bucks can either go for it or start over. If they are going for it Ersan has to be resigned.
A New Head Coach
The next thing is a new coach. Skiles is probably gone and probably a lot of new personnel will be gone to create that type of feeling the Brewers did last year in Bringing in a lot of new coaches. Three possibilities I believe will be good options are Sidney Moncrief, Flip Saunders, and Mike D’Antoni. If you are starting over Moncrief is cheap, players and fans will like him, and he will keep the young guys in check. If you are going for it D’Antioni will fit right in and run the up tempo offense. Saunders is the third option if you cant get D’Antoni. Below I will be showing what might be done if they go for it or if they start over.
Option #1: Going For It
If they go for it Ersan NEEDS to be resigned hopefully for less then 8 million. The next move is getting a true center. Drew Gooden is still under contract and unless he is moved in a trade to free up contract space they will probably be keeping him if going for it. So although expensive, I believe in this scenario Gooden would be back a backup center for the 2012 bucks. So how do we get this center???
The Bucks need to decide right now if they want to keep Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis for another year or trade one for a true center. If they trade for one which I am in favor for then they need to sign a shooting guard. If they keep them they need to sign a center. If they make a trade I am thinking a guy like Andrew Bynum (who we probably cant get due to how well he is playing as of late). But a guy like that who can run a fast paced offense. If for some reason the Lakers did that, I think Brandon Jennings would fit the Lakers perfectly. We would probably have to throw in a sweetener most likely but leave that to the Bucks to figure out. Now you ask who plays the two guard?? Well there is this former buck that would make perfect sense. Ray Allen? Its either sign him or we sign a center. We have to do one or the other if we are going for it.
PG: Monta Ellis SG:Ray Allen SF:Carlos Delfino PF: Ersan Ilyasova C:Bynum
PG:Brandon Jennings SG:Monta Ellis SF:Carlos Delfino PF:Ersan C: Free Agent
Option #2: Starting Over
The second and least likely/More Complicated way is starting over. This is what I want to see because its not completely starting over but its getting some young guys that have talent and letting them play. The team will still be good but very young. The first move is getting rid of Gooden, Delfino,Monta, Livinston, and Udrih. Delfino, Livingston, and Udrih’s contracts are up so just release them for contract space. Then you can trade Gooden and Ellis for a top 5-7 pick in the upcoming draft….
If you made the deal mentioned above with those picks you could maybe get a Harrison Barnes at Small Forward and then depending on if you can get a free agent that I will talk about later, draft John Sullinger or Austin Rivers. Rivers would be a role playing guy off the bench to fill in at the 1 or the 2 guard. Harrison Barnes would give you a solid and high potential SF that you need with Delfino gone. If you dont get the guy I want at Center via free agency then Sullinger would be the guy to go after to go with the Sanders and Udoh combo.
Obviously starting over means that you are going to build through the draft. But I still think this year the Bucks if they do start over can be aggressive in free agency and land some top guys that are still young and have great potential. I talked about the true center. This is going to be an expensive move but Javale McGee would fit this team perfectly. He has some issues and we all know this but maybe we can get him easier because of it. He is a 24 year old 7’0 center and he fits this team in every way imaginable. He is like Sanders and Udoh as he is a shot blocking big play ability guy that can spark some energy with huge dunks. The combo of Sanders, Udoh, and McGee would be an amazing fit and a great duo. McGee can run the fast pace offense and at 7’0 gives you the true center you are looking for. They are all shot blockers and could develop together throughout the years playing at PF and Center. You would also still have Moute one of the best defenders in the league and Jon Leuer on the roster for big men. There are two other guys I see in this class and with our PF and C positions set its the 1, 2, and 3 where we could use some help. The first is OJ Mayo, a guy with tremendous potential and still at the young age of 24. He would be our shooting guard if we trade Ellis and would fit perfect into the Bucks system. Then you might ask, who is the veteran on this team besides Dunleavy? Well we would have to sign one and I look at a guy like Tracy McGrady for a million and a half. We don’t know yet if he will return to the Hawks but if he doesn’t a guy like him who is a former superstar will bring a veteran presence to the Bucks and help all the young guards and the small forwards on this team. He also is a reliable guy who can start at Small Forward or Shooting Guard any given night when the young guys need a break and be that 6th man off the bench with Dunleavy.
How That Team Will Work In Milwaukee
The Owner, GM, Coaches, and fans have a win now attitude in Milwaukee. If you tank you will lose lots of fans. The team I will outline below will put fans in seats because who doesn’t want to see T-Mac in a bucks jersey? What about the Duo of McGee, Sanders, And Udoh for a lot of years blocking shots and dunking the ball. This team is affordable, young, can win you games now, and the best part about these guys is anyone can emerge into that superstar. You will be in the playoffs for a few years. Hopefully they get a new arena soon and by the time that’s up they can be competing for a championship. All these guys are very young and can grow together. It keeps everyone happy. The people who want a superstar, the people who don’t care and just want to win, or just the casual fans who like to see a quality team. I do believe this team could give you a championship in 3 years and still compete every year until then while developing the players and getting a new stadium ready.. Why Not Milwaukee?
MY IDEAL ROSTER FOR 2012-2013 season:
SG:Mayo(24), Dunleavy (31)
SF:Harris(20), Barnes(20), McGrady(32)
C: McGee (24),Sanders(23)
2012 Salary: 60 Million
Predicted 2013 Salary: 50 Million