(Before I get started with possible soon to be traded Bucks I’ll give my take on the recent Brandon Jennings video.
If my friends recorded me talking to them about someone at work or my thoughts on the New York Knicks I’m sure I’d be nearly as vulgar and equally embarrassing. That’s usually how people talk when they talk to their friends. My friends don’t put videos like that on Youtube though. Of course, my friends aren’t second rate rappers who have been irrelevant for over five years. The last time I heard about Joe Budden was when an old friend told me he was listening to a Joe Budden mixtape two years ago. I said, “Joe Budden? Dude who did Pump It Up? What the…why?” He replied, “Joe Budden has that fire.” This friend was usually a reliable resource when it came to listenable rap music so I gave it a chance.
We listened to the tape on the way to our fantasy football draft. As we got out of the car I told him I never wanted to hear about Joe Budden again. And I figured I never would. So I guess this is a big week for Joe Budden. My only real problem is that Brandon Jennings probably listens to Joe Budden. Ugh. He sure does seem to know his NBA though. I knew there was a reason he had tracks on NBA Live 2004.)
Free agency is upon us…and no one is talking about the Bucks, as usual. No big deal though, the Bucks weren’t planning on being big players in this part of the off-season anyway. When the most talked about names in free agency are Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Kidd’s Corpse and Charlie Villanueva, it’s hard to be mad at a team for laying low.
After the Richard Jefferson trade a lot was made about the Bucks new-found flexibility. No longer did they have a fifth of their payroll committed to one player and the opportunity now exists for moves to be made. This was a huge selling point to fans from the front office. And it sounds good. But just who could the Bucks be interested in moving, and more importantly, who would take these guys on?
Let’s break it down.
Luke Ridnour. Ridnour is likely at the back of the point guard line now that the Bucks have made a qualifying offer to Ramon Sessions and likely will make a fair attempt at bringing him back. Ridnour hit some big shots last year, can ice games at the free throw line and was fairly consistent. He’s a veteran and only has one year left on his deal, both of which make him at least an interesting conversation piece as a commodity. I’m not sure what the Turkoglu signing would do to Portland’s cap situation, but you have got to think Ridnour would be an upgrade over Steve Blake, right? And he’d just have to hold the fort for a year or so while Jerryd Bayless got ready. Ridnour has one year left on his deal at $6.5 million which makes him a nice sized expiring contract too. Given that Rudy Fernandez is making waves about the potential Turkoglu signing maybe it’s possible he could be had on the cheap for a package including Ridnour? That’d be sweet. Don’t count on it though.
Kurt Thomas. When NBA general managers think of a big man who plays defense and is a veteran it seems like the first name that comes to mind is Kurt Thomas. He should get some looks by mid-season if he is still a Buck and might be able to be parlayed into a second round pick or young crappy guy. Get excited. If the Thunder are making a surprise run in January or so they may be the kind of team that’d take a flier on Thomas. They have picks and cap space galore and he’d fill their need of a veteran defender up front. Otherwise Thomas will likely be bought before April 1 so he is free to sign with whomever he chooses.
Michael Redd. After dumping Jefferson for a lot of old with a side of long would the Bucks really ship Redd out? I think so…if they got the right offer. Redd’s name means a little more in Milwaukee than Jefferson, so I don’t think they’d ship him out for money like they did RJ. But if Cleveland offered something like J.J. Hickson, Wally Sczerbiak and a first round pick next year Milwaukee might bite. I wouldn’t put it out of the question at least. Teams like the Jazz, the Hornets and the Celtics are seeing the Cleveland’s and San Antonio’s of the world tool up and may be eager to make a big splash too. I firmly believe Redd could be had for the right price. What’s attractive about Redd is that he’s got two years left on his deal. It’s not too long any more and it kind of shows fans that the team trading for him is making a two year commitment to winning.
Andrew Bogut is probably the only untouchable on the Bucks and from the looks of the moves they’ve made recently I think they want to give it a go with a more athletic up-tempo team. Amir Johnson, Joe Alexander and Brandon Jennings all have plenty of giddy (code for giddy-up). Between Ramon Sessions and Ersan Illyasova the Bucks aren’t going to have money to land a free agent this off-season but they should be very active on the trade market. Will it result in any moves? Maybe not. But they’ll likely have their eyes out for any young athletic guys that have a skill.