The time has come for Joe Alexander. He’ll likely finally be getting his chance to earn some real playing time and be a featured option in the offense. The only problem? It’ll be for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA’s D-League.
From the Milwaukee Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks have assigned second-year forward Joe Alexander to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (Indiana) of the NBA Development League (D-League), General Manager John Hammond announced today. Fort Wayne is led by Head Coach Joey Meyer, who previously coached the Bucks D-League affiliate in Tulsa. Alexander will meet with the team tomorrow and his first game with the Mad Ants will be Friday at Iowa.
“This is a good opportunity for Joe to receive regular minutes in real game action and continue his development as he returns from injury,” Hammond said. “We’re looking forward to seeing his progress as he works with Coach Meyer and his Fort Wayne teammates.”
I suggested that this was the most logical option for Alexander back in October before the had declined his option for next season. My thinking was that would prevent this season from being a total loss for Alexander. In the D-League, Alexander will get the chance to get some real playing time as a featured part of the offense the same way Ramon Sessions did once upon a time. If he has success there, he could possibly make an impact down the road.
But at this point, that’s irrelevant for the Bucks.
It seems the Bucks just don’t want Alexander hanging around taking up space on the end of the bench, because his development is no longer of interest to the Milwaukee Bucks. By not picking up his option after another injury setback this year for Alexander, the Bucks have made it clear he’s not apart of their future. Despite labeling him a project coming out of college two years ago, the Bucks have seen something about Alexander that has made him toxic in their eyes. The Bucks, a team that has the desperate need for any talent at all on the wings, sending a healthy, athletic player like Alexander to the D-League is a pretty strong sign that Alexander is persona-non-grata in that locker room.
Where Alexander could possibly still be useful to the franchise, is in his value to the rest of the league. If Alexander heads down to the D-League, averages 20 points a night and grabs ten rebounds, he could look like an asset. Given the number of expiring contracts the Bucks have, they already could theoretically be players at the trade deadline and Alexander could play a role then. If a team is looking to shed cap space by dropping an okay younger player with two or three years left on a moderately priced deal, it’s possible they’d consider Alexander packaged with an expiring deal and toss a first round pick back at the Bucks for their trouble. That’s all speculation at this point, but for Bucks fans the best Alexander can do for us going forward is have success in the D-League and turn himself into a viable asset in the next month.