Why Keeping RJ Is Ok (For Now)
Trade deadlines are like the panic holiday. All these GM’s whose team’s are under performing feel like they need to make moves to “shake things up” or cut costs. That’s how guys like Tyson Chandler end up getting shipped away (almost) for nothing. The trade deadline leaves us with legendary failures like Steve Francis in New York. Typically the NBA trade deadline is on a Thursday. I think it’d be cooler if they made it the same number day every year like the MLB trade deadline. It’d be easier to remember for us common folk. I think the way it is constructed now is that it’s the Thursday after the all-star game, but I could be wrong. Anyway, typically that Thursday becomes the day everyone trashes their team’s GM or lauds them with praise. The Bucks, for example, were supposed to be active today. Richard Jefferson was supposedly a hot commodity, yet the trading deadline has passed and Richard Jefferson is still a Buck. This is where I may be inclined to rip into John Hammond for not getting a deal done. Yet I sit here conflicted.
On one hand Hammond has possibly turned the rest of this season into The Ramon Sessions Farewell Tour. Without saving the money owed to Jefferson next year the Bucks are facing a tall task in trying to resign Sessions. Jefferson’s contract is an albatross. As has been stated, Jefferson does not represent the future for the Bucks. He was at his peak a year or two ago and is heading down right now. Trading him and Luke Ridnour for the package that Portland supposedly had on the table would have been ideal.
But how realistic was that?
Everyone that really follows the Bucks was getting a little too excited about the prospect of that trade. So doesn’t it stand to reason that Portland – with a very astute general manager in Kevin Pritchard – knew they weren’t getting enough by having Jefferson as the center piece of the deal? That would explain the rumors that they wanted the Bucks to include either Sessions or a first round pick to sweeten the deal. They realized that they were doing the Bucks a favor by taking back Jefferson and his large deal. Granted it was a favor that helped them in the process by giving them an established wing scorer but it doesn’t push them over the edge into the pool of title contenders or anything.
Now we’re at the other hand.
As it stands the Bucks could still make a deal before the draft and create cap room to resign Sessions. If they traded Sessions with Jefferson they leave themselves without the talent or the youth required to interest other parties in deals. Giving away a draft pick would indicate once again that they are a team without a direction. They aren’t competing now and by trading away a draft pick with Jefferson they would be trading a future asset all in the name of saving money. To me this lack of a deal says it’s not necessarily all about the money in Milwaukee. Hammond appears to see that payroll is not as important as building a winning team.
At it’s best the lack of a trade shows not only the idea of a plan, but that John Hammond isn’t going to be a sucker . At worst it costs the Bucks Ramon Sessions. I’m thinking John Hammond isn’t going to panic about that worst case scenario, he knows what he’s doing.