Official word has come down on Joe Alexander’s injury. He has a torn hamstring and will miss eight to twelve weeks. Clearly, this is not the way Joe Alexander wanted to start his second professional season. He worked hard over the summer and thought he might be able to make some major strides in his second season.
So what’s next for Joe?
After 12 weeks, and really there is no reason to rush him back any sooner, the most logical solution is to have Joe spend some time in the D-League. Alexander has said the game didn’t slow down for him until summer, so why not work him back into the mix in an atmosphere that is more comparable to the summer league in which he thrived? If Alexander starts with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the Bucks D-League affiliate, he’ll be able to take on a larger role, play more minutes and get his ever wavering confidence to where it needs to be.
Why bother bringing Alexander up to the show to let him languish on the bench behind Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Carlos Delfino? It’s unlikely he’ll be able to offer anything that either of them wouldn’t be able to do better. Alexander may be more athletic, but he’s not anywhere near the defender LRMAM is and far from as savvy the player Delfino is.
If the Bucks do pick up Alexander’s $2.76 million option, they need to make sure Alexander can be productive next year. It may sound crazy to be evaluating him as if this season is already lost, but it’s the most logical way to look at things. This is one of the reasons it’s nice to have depth, to be able to survive any injuries. The Bucks have no reason to A. rush Alexander or B. force him into the mix when he isn’t ready. There is no dunk contest possibilities this year, no marketing gimmicks to sell, just a player who’s development has thus far been stunted this year and a career that needs to be gotten on track.
Last season the Bucks had to market Joe Alexander, this season they do not.